Toyota, the Japenese automaker, has today announced that it will be launching Kinto, a new brand, which focuses on mobility services; this includes car-sharing, subscription services and autonomous systems. Kinto will effectively be a new umbrella brand for these services.
The manufacturer is launching this initiative in order to evolve into a mobility company; it doesn’t want to be solely seen as an automaker.
“Kinto is part of our strategy to grow our total European business,” said Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe. “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.”
The Kinto brand will be broken into four separate categories:
- Kinto One: a leasing service that combines ownership of a vehicle and insurance into one single package.
- Kinto Share: the car-sharing service, which will explore the use of hybrid vehicles via a self-service concept; the company’s existing car-sharing service, Yuko, which operates in several European cities (Dublin, Venice, Copenhagen and Madrid), will be re-branded under Kinto.
- Kinto Join: a carpooling service, which brings together commuters that want to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Kinto Flex: the subscription-based car leasing service which aims to offer greater flexibility.
The brand’s aim is to increase its mobility services, where its strategy will be built upon these four pillars.
Matthew Harrison, Executive Vice President Toyota and Lexus Sales, said: “Our new mobility brand Kinto signals that the company is more than ever determined to meet the evolving mobility needs of the customer. Toyota and Lexus are well-established automotive brands, built around reliable, quality cars. With Kinto, our ambition is to create an equally strong brand for mobility services – a brand that consistently delivers exceptional customer experiences, whether moving close to home or travelling in other markets. Kinto epitomises Toyota’s ambition to deliver Ever-better Mobility for All.”
Kinto was inaugurated in 2018, where the company started to build the necessary foundations in order to set out its integrated services. At the time, Toyota established two entities: a fleet management company – Toyota Fleet Mobility (TFM), based in Cologne, Germany; and a digital platform company – Toyota Connected Europe, based in London, UK.
The former aims at growing leasing services across Europe; the company acquired Inchcape Fleet Solutions (IFS) in order to expand its business presence in the UK. As for the digital platform company, it aims to develop a range of products and services associated with connected vehicle systems.
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As for the name, Kinto, it’s derived from the Japanese word Kintoun, or Flying Nimbus, the name of a cloud which provides on-demand transport for a famous animated character in Japan.