Toyota in December announced plans to launch a unique service where existing customers can have their cars restored and fitted with new features at the factory.
Called Kinto Factory, the service launches in Japan later this month and will provide owners of certain older models with the opportunity, for example, to have the interior refreshed, the latest safety aids installed, and upgrades made to car computer systems.
The service is still in its infancy but already has options available for several models including some from Lexus. Eligible models include the Toyota Aqua, Prius, Prius Alpha, Alphard and Vellfire, and the Lexus UX and NX. More models will be added to the list as the service evolves.
Some of the options available include adding blind spot and rear cross traffic sensors, as well as tailgate kick sensors (for powered tailgates), and replacing worn-out elements like seat liners and steering wheels.
Toyota recognizes that many customers prefer to keep their cars for longer, which can have a beneficial impact on sustainability when factoring in all of the emissions created in the production of a new vehicle, the automaker said. Kinto Factory will also include a recycling option for vehicles needed to be scrapped.
Toyota plans to expand the service to more markets but availability and timing are unclear.
Kinto Factory is one of the first services from Toyota's recently established Kinto mobility division, which in some markets offers lease and short-term rental programs. Like many of the major automakers, Toyota aims to generate more revenue from services in response to car ownership rates reducing in some parts, a trend that will likely grow as self-driving cars become a reality.