What’s old is new in the world of Toyota. The company has a new plan for extending the lifecycle of the cars it makes. It wants to “refurbish” its cars to make them as close to new as possible, the same way you can refurbish your cell phones. Or, at least, Toyota wants to do that in The United Kingdom.
Toyota’s president and marketing director of Great Britain told Autocar that the new process will form the backbone of a new mobility sub-brand called Kinto.
“We need to stretch the way we look at life for both the vehicle and the customer,” Agustín Martín told the British publication.
He said automakers need to think beyond the usual two or three year life cycles that are popular. The plan is to extend those cycles to “at least 10 years.” Toyota will take vehicles back to the factory after their first use cycle — which is usually when they are returned from a lease. From there, Toyota will refurbish the car “to the best standard” in order to make sure the second owner has as new a car as possible.
It would then do the same sort of process for the third use cycle — meaning the car could be refurbished more than once. After that cycle, Toyota would turn its focus to recycling the car as best it can. It would reuse parts from the vehicle that are still in good condition, rebuilding batteries and more.
One can assume this would go a long way to increasing Toyota’s already stellar reputation for reliability.
Right now, there’s no word on if a similar program would be coming to the U.S. or to any other country. The company told CNET’s Roadshow the program is still in the early stages in the UK. It also declined to comment if it would be coming stateside.
The program is based out of Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, where it builds a couple different types of Corollas.
It should be pointed out this is not the first time a company has “refurbished” cars. Czech car manufacturer Tatra used to recondition some of its 603’s dating all the way back to the 1960’s and 70’s.
In exchange for a newer model year of car, the older Tatra would be brought back to the factory. From there, it was upgraded to match the current model years specifications, refurbished, and sent out to replace an older 603. It’s a great communist scheme and something that needed to be mentioned, lest Jason Torchinsky write me up.