Toyota in Japan are encouraging people to go green — and sample the latest Toyota-sourced hybrid hardware at the same time — by reducing the cost of renting cars like the Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius Alpha and Toyota Aqua.
Toyota in Japan has a network of 1200 car rental offices in addition to its car sales dealerships. These used to be stocked with cars like the Vitz and its sedan sister, the Belta. But now Toyota is encouraging customers to rent hybrids instead.
Although the Prius has sat at the pinnacle of the new car sales rankings for quite some time, it’s still the case that there are quite a few people who either haven’t tried a hybrid at all, or who haven’t experienced the latest Toyota offerings in this market segment.
What better way to introduce these potential buyers to Toyota hybrids than with a car rental — which basically is an extended test drive in real-world conditions?
There will be three price bands for hybrid vehicles from April 1st, with prices ranging from 8,925 JPY to 17,325 JPY per 24 hour period. This revised pricing structure will see the introduction of the Aqua (launched in Japan at the end of 2012) and price cuts for some existing hybrid rentals, such as the 525 JPY reduction for renting the 1.5 liter Prius.
The addition of 3 bands for hybrid cars is at the expense of non-hybrid vehicles which will see options to customers cut from 7 price bands to 5 price bands. So prices are down and at the same time hybrids are going to take up a greater slice of the available vehicle options. All in all, yet another sign that the hybrid drivetrain is is moving from being a fringe technology into the mainstream.
Source: Nikkei (Japanese-language)