The Kinto Factory program offers the possibility to fit older cars with new tech in order to keep them driving
This service can also replace worn out parts like seat fabrics
This is an effort to reduce the need for new cars and maximise the life of older vehicles
Toyota launched a program in Japan that will allow owners of certain older Toyota and Lexus models to have their vehicle modernised with the current technology and materials.
This service, offered by the company’s Kinto Mobility division, aims to maximise the life of vehicles already on the road instead of scrapping them in favor of a new vehicle, which is better for the environment.
Customers can choose to have some of the latest tech added to their cars, including many active safety systems. For example, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert can be fitted, as well as kick sensors to activate the power tailgate when the driver’s hands are full.
Kinto Factory is also categorised as a restoration service since it can replace worn out components such as seat fabrics and steering wheels, two elements that can quickly show a vehicle’s age and mileage.
This program is currently only available in Japan and only some models are included, but more could be added and if it proves successful, Toyota could expand it to more countries. The supported models are the Toyota Aqua, Prius, Prius Alpha, Alphard and Vellfire. Lexus models that are supported are the NX and the UX.
Since this program is aimed at reducing emissions, it also includes a recycling service for vehicles that have truly spent their useful life and can’t be brought back on the road at realistic costs. This is a more ecofriendly alternative to traditional scrapyards.
The Kinto Factory service is also a way for Toyota to make more money out of existing vehicles, a practise that will have to become more common among automakers due to the reduction of car ownership rates in some countries, something that will become increasingly prevalent with the introduction of autonomous vehicles.