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Toyota to offer cars in India on lease, subscription

NEW DELHI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will offer its cars in India on leases or shorter-term subscriptions, hoping to tap growing demand for private transport as travellers 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 and Hyundai Motor Co, 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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