Toyota Financial Services has solicited the white-label mobility service provider Launch Mobility, to jointly create a new short-term rental program for rideshare drivers, the companies announced today.
The unnamed service will use off-lease vehicles in the program and is expected to begin as a pilot in Southern California by yearend.
While there is no target number of vehicles in the pilot, all Toyota and Lexus models are currently being considered, Jason Zahorik, strategic innovation national manager at Toyota Financial Services, told Auto Finance News.
Additionally, the intent is for the rentals to be hourly, and Toyota and Lexus dealers to provide the vehicles to drivers; there will also be an online site and mobile application to access the vehicles, Zahorik said.
“We are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of drivers who are interested in ridesharing but lack an appropriate vehicle,” Mike Groff, president and chief executive of Toyota Financial Services, said in a company statement. “TFS has the off-lease vehicles, Launch Mobility has the technology, and Toyota dealers have the geographic presence and unparalleled vehicle servicing capabilities.”
Toyota Financial highlighted its Mobility Services Platform, a network of dealers and access to the TFS field teams as reasons that the company is suited to developing a viable product.
Over the past several months, there have been many new short-term leases or subscription services that have cropped up, such as Borrow, Clutch, Ford-owned Canvas, Care by Volvo, and most recently, Porsche Passport.
In addition, since Uber’s Xchange leasing program for rideshare drivers will be shuttered if no company buys it, there is additional room for other players to come in and service the rideshare population — Uber for instance likely has one million U.S. drivers on its platform, according to The Rideshare Guy. There are about 40,000 cars in the Xchange program, an Uber representative previously toldAFN. Lyft also operates its own rental service for drivers called Lyft Express Drive in partnership with Hertz and GM Maven.Like This Post