Toyota to launch car 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 that it will launch a service offering personalization and updates for cars next year, as customers increasingly retain their vehicle longer.

The service, known as Kinto Factory, will start at the end of January and will offer new safety features, refreshed interiors and software upgrades for the car’s computer systems.

Toyota is trying to move from a car maker and seller to a more service-oriented “mobility company”. The new service is part of Toyota’s Kinto brand, launched in 2019 and offering carsharing services.

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

The company is reportedly considering 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, up from 1,200 when it launched two years ago, which Kodera described as “a bit overwhelming. below what we expected “.

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Report on Maki Shiraki and Rocky Swift; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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