Toyota will begin comprehensively refreshing ex-customer cars at its UK manufacturing facility as part of a drive to add value to vehicles throughout their life cycles.
Agustín Martín, president and managing director of Toyota GB, gave Autocar the first details of a new process that Toyota will implement as part of its new fleet-focused mobility sub-brand, Kinto. He said: “We need to stretch the way we look at life for both the vehicle and the customer.
I think we’re very familiar with the usual two- to three-year cycles that are extremely popular in the UK, but we need to go beyond that two- to three-year cycle and say: ‘Okay, what happens in that second cycle and in the third cycle?’”
In order to extend its contact time with customers “at least to 10 years”, Toyota will take vehicles back to the factory after their first use cycle (ie a typical lease contract) and refurbish them “to the best standard” to ensure the second user has as new a vehicle as possible.
The same process could also be carried out, Martín suggested, before the third use cycle, after which Toyota will focus its efforts on recycling the vehicles as efficiently as possible.
While the details of the vehicles’ end-of-life process have yet to be laid out, Martín hinted that the focus will be on avoiding waste and reducing the environmental impact of new vehicle production.
He said: “How do we recycle it? How do we reuse different parts that are essential and maybe can be used for other services? How do we then rebuild the batteries, reuse them and recycle them? How do we use part of the material for the brand-new vehicle that’s going to be used in the factory?”
Toyota’s emphasis on customer satisfaction and vehicle durability extends to its first production BEV, the bZ4X, which is due in early 2022. Its 71.4kWh battery, giving a range of 280 miles, is promised to retain up to 90% of its usable capacity after 10 years of use.