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Company News

Toyota to offer cars in India on lease, subscription

FILE PHOTO: The Toyota company logo is pictured at the India Auto Show 2018 in Greater Noida, India, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T will offer its cars in India on leases or shorter-term subscriptions, hoping to tap growing demand for private transport as travelers cut down on communal journeys in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese automaker said on Tuesday it would offer leasing plans to corporate and retail customers of three to five years across its portfolio of cars - including the Glanza hatchback, Yaris sedan and Fortuner sport-utility vehicle - for as little as 21,000 rupees ($281) a month.

Naveen Soni, senior vice president, sales and service at the carmaker’s India unit, said the need for safe transport was growing and leasing or subscription models offered a more cost-effective solution than buying a car.

So far, leasing and subscription services in India have largely focussed on the higher end of the auto market and therefore make up a fraction of the overall numbers, said Soni.

“The lower end of the market is where the bulk is,” he said, adding that was where Toyota would also focus.

Toyota's competitors in India, such as Maruti Suzuki MRTI.NS and Hyundai Motor Co 005380.KS, have formed partnerships to offer similar services, as carmakers look to boost revenues amid the pandemic.

Toyota’s India unit has formed a separate team to drive the business and it will partner with its Japanese parent’s global mobility services brand, KINTO, as well as ALD Automotive and SMAS Auto Leasing.

Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by Mark Potter

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