According to The Asahi Shimbun, Toyota Motor Corp. will introduce a new service that allows customers to use a variety of vehicles for a monthly fee, the first such system in the Japanese auto industry.
The pilot program for the "Kinto" service will be provided through car dealers in Tokyo in early 2019, expected to be expanded to other parts of Japan and overseas, the company said Nov. 1.
Toyota's new service designed to broaden its customer base comes as consumers want to simply use, rather than own a vehicle.
Subscribers can choose the type of vehicle according to their purpose: for example, a luxury sedan for business, or a sport utility vehicle for leisure.
Expenses such as taxes, insurance premiums and maintenance costs are included in the membership fee.
The business model is primarily aimed at young people and those who often relocate owing to work, according to officials.
Details such as the types of vehicles to be available and the monthly fee have yet to be determined.
A subscription service has already been introduced in other car markets.
German luxury car brand Porsche, for example, offers a subscription service for US$ 2,000 (220,000 yen) or higher per month in parts of the United States.
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