Toyota to launch automotive hardware and software update service in Japan

A Toyota logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

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TOKYO, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Tuesday it would launch a service next year offering customization and updates for cars as customers keep their cars for longer and longer. vehicles.

The service, known as Kinto Factory, will begin in late January and will offer new safety features, refreshed interiors and software upgrades to car computer systems.

Toyota is trying to transform itself from a car maker and seller into a more service-oriented “mobility company”. The new service is part of Toyota’s Kinto brand, which launched in 2019 and offers car-sharing services.

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Kinto chairman Shinya Kodera told reporters that for sustainability reasons, it is best if the cars are “used for a long time in a healthy condition and eventually collected and recycled”.

The company would consider expanding its Kinto Factory service overseas, he added.

Kinto subscriptions, which offer flat-rate car rental and insurance contracts, had grown to 28,000 in November from 1,200 when they launched two years ago, which Kodera described as “a bit below what we expected”.

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Reporting Maki Shiraki and Rocky Swift; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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