Toyota Joins Car Subscription Trend with Hui Service

Automakers are pulling away from the current framework and into the subscription car-sharing themes. Toyota is the latest major brand to venture into the new service with its Hui car-sharing service launched in Hawaii. It will start off with 70 cars at 25 venues around the city. These will not be free floating as the cars rented from the service are going to have to be returned to their original location.

Source: Innovation Village

The pricing for the rentals will include such things as gas and insurance. The models within the program will include the Prius, Prius Prime, Camry XSE and the RX 350 as well as RX F. The vehicles will be parked in reserved stalls for easy pickup and drop off.

Hui Service Details

The service maintains there will not be an application fee or restrictions on the mileage. The new users of the service are to be enrolled in the ELITE membership that charges $79.95 a day and a monthly fee. It would be waived for the first three months after the launch. At a later time during the year, Hui is allegedly going to bring a pay-as-you-go FREEDOM membership plan that is not going to charge a monthly fee but instead is going to charge a higher rating.

Source: The Japan Times

According to Zack Hicks, the chief executive officer of Toyota Connected North America, the program has a lot of user accessibility and convenience as a traditional car rental. Peter Fukunaga, the director of Hui also emphasized accessibility; reliability and convenience are major pillars of the Hui service so the objective would be to proceed addition of stations throughout the major island of Oahu with the assistance of the public and private mobility partners. Apparently, they are also open to the expansion of the service to Neighbor Island residents and interisland travelers.

To initiate, a potential member can download it for iOS or Android and apply for membership. When qualifying, the driving license holders have to be at least 19 years of age and have a valid license that has not had major violations for the previous 18 months or a DUI for the previous three years. International driver’s license holders have to be at least 25 years old and meet the violation regulations that had been specified for the locals.

Comparing Brands

Interestingly, this is not the first time Toyota has gone into the auto-sharing economy. Through Toyota Tsusho, it invested $ 1 billion into Grab earlier during the year as well as, Japan Taxi which is Japan’s Uber rival.  This represents a trend of investment in the car sharing industry that has been emulated by other brands. Volvo, GM, and Mercedes have all ventured into the car subscription service.

Source: Digital Trends

Hui may face competition considering the prices of the aforementioned brands are more competitive compared to what the Toyota is offering on a monthly basis which is the neighborhood of $2100. The others may range from $700 to $1500 though it could be from the fact the other brands have not capitalized on the majority of markets and are still within the pilot phases of their projects. Going forward Toyota’s Hui project may have to subsidize its rates and increase the number of models on offer to capture the majority of the market share.