Toyota launches car leasing in China’s Hainan, eyeing tourist market

04, Dec. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Toyota Motor Corp. has launched a car leasing service in China’s Hainan Province, a major tourist destination drawing a huge number of tourists.

It is the first move by the global carmaker to establish a subsidiary for such a service in China, a spokesman of Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., its subsidiary, said in a phone interview with NNA on Tuesday.

The new unit, established in the provincial capital Haikou on Nov. 27, offers short- and long-term leasing and VIP pickup services through bookings with messaging app WeChat and on travel information and hotel websites, among other channels, he said.

It has deployed 200 gasoline and hybrid cars of various types such as SUVs, mini-vans and premium passenger cars under Lexus brand, and will consider introducing more cars including plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles according to demand.

The number of domestic and international tourists in the southern island province increased 11.8 percent in 2018 from a year earlier to over 76 million, according to the local government statistics bureau.

The provincial government expects the figure to top 100 million in 2021, Toyota Motor (China) Investment said in a statement last Friday.

The Japanese automobile group, which holds a 55 percent in the Hainan arm, teamed up with Zhongsheng Group Holdings Limited, a major car dealership group in China, and the other local partner, who jointly owns the remaining 45 percent, according to China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, the state’s corporate registry platform.

The Toyota group is considering expanding the service to other parts of China, the spokesman said.