Toyota Takes ‘Magic’ Mobility Out of Comic Books

Toyota is to bring a wide-ranging mobility service out of its domestic market to trial in other global markets starting with Europe.

The Kinto service, a name bizarrely derived from the magical cloud Kinto’un that transports the monkey-tailed boy character Goku of Japanese comic book fame, covers car subscription, sharing and pooling. The automaker says the service is built on four offerings:

  • A leasing service offering vehicle ownership, service and insurance in one monthly payment;
  • Car-sharing service using hybrids and self-service model with no running costs;
  • Car-pooling aimed at the daily commuters looking to reduce their carbon footprint;
  • Subscription leasing, claiming a ‘premium experience’.

Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said: “Kinto is part of our strategy to grow our total European business. In markets where it can be viable and sustainable, adding mobility services to our traditional business model will allow us to respond to new customer needs and meet the emerging mobility requirements of cities and regions.”

While the company has not said when these services will launch, it confirmed that additional services are being considered, such as ride-hailing and a multi-modal app. Services would be accessible using mobile apps and integrated payments. Meanwhile, it is continuing development of its e-Palette concept, an electric, autonomous transportation and delivery service for use in cities of the future, much like the smart city concept Toyota unveiled at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show last week.

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