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Given mixed success with the likes of Yaris and Innova, Toyota is adopting new strategies for the Indian market. The introduction of new vehicles like Alphard, Rush and Avanza notwithstanding; one of the largest auto makers of the world is now taking a leaf out of subscription booklet and is in processes to introduce subscription based car owning scheme here. After finding success with the same in its domestic market of Japan, the company hopes to cash in on the rising idea of shared mobility in India. With companies like Mahindra and Skoda having similar lease based programs here, Toyota will be the first manufacturer to have a full-fledged subscription scheme here.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s deputy MD N Raja spoke on the topic of shared mobility and company’s new planned initiative and stated that this concept is slowly going to come to the fore in India. He said that technology and out-of-the-box thinking helps garner a lot of interest in the field of shared mobility as well as subscription services. He further added that Toyota as a maker and Zoom car co-founder Greg Moran as a service provider will lead to this concept burgeoning.
Raja looks at this initiative as an advantage and says that not only will these scheme make car owning a hassle free experience for customers, this will also lead to a potential customer gaining first-hand experience about the stellar ownership experience of a Toyota product. He further added that this scheme would be kind of an extended test drive for the customers.
The introduction of this program would mean that just in a few steps one can have access to an Innova Crysta, Fortuner, or any Toyota product for a tenure depending on customer’s needs. To let you know, Toyota has found success with its Corolla Altis, Innova and Fortuner models in India. Before going ahead one should remember that while customers on major cities will be the first ones to adopt this new program, the response of public in smaller cities will be gauged as time goes by.
The company will face a lot of challenges in convincing the customers about the ease and benefit of a subscription service instead of owning the car. Before the past decade, customers in India were more incline toward owning a new car, and buying a used car was considered a compromise, but this change in pattern is bound to raise Toyota’s hopes.
Taking a global look, services that offer ride-sharing services already have a major presence in developed markets. This leads to the sales of cars taking major hits, US and UK are the prime examples of this phenomena. India too saw smaller number of cars being sold in 2018 as compared to 2017 but the reasons behind this were different.
Another reason for Toyota to be hopeful about its services is that players like Zoomcar (offering ZAP Subscribe) have had a good response from the market. Such services have a major advantage of ridding the customer of the pains of owning a car and limit their worries to only a monthly fee and fuel.