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Subscription vehicles gain traction in SA

Home Transport & Logistics Commercial & Fleet Subscription vehicles gain traction in SA

IN recent years, South Africa has witnessed a notable shift in how people approach mobility. The emergence of subscription vehicles has presented a compelling alternative to traditional ownership models. While several companies are venturing into this space, one notable player leading the local charge is Kinto One – a subsidiary of Toyota.

According to GM of sales and marketing at Kinto One South Africa, Slade Thompson, the rise of subscription vehicles speaks to broader industry trends and changing consumer behaviour.

“Our journey in South Africa mirrors the growing demand for flexible and hassle-free mobility solutions. With consumers and businesses alike seeking accessibility, affordability, and convenience, subscription vehicles have swiftly gained momentum.”

Thompson says this trend underscores a fundamental shift in mobility financing, as more people opt for subscription-based models that offer greater flexibility and control over their transportation needs.

“This model disrupted the traditional ownership model by offering a comprehensive package that included the vehicle, insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance, all bundled into a single, transparent monthly payment,” says Thompson.

Already, he says there are over 2,000 Kinto One vehicles on South African roads, with that number rising quickly as the market catches onto the subscription concept. With a focus on agility and scalability, he says 90% of Kinto One subscriptions in South Africa are B2B deals with a heavy focus on SMEs.

“We want subscription to be the driving force behind SME growth in South Africa,” Thompson remarks. “Where capital investment in vehicles may be prohibitive, we want businesses to turn to subscription-based solutions. When you can’t buy, you can subscribe. This is bound to have a broad economic and societal impact – hopefully levelling the playing field for all sectors in our economy.”

As Kinto One continues to carve its path in South Africa, Thompson says the company remains focused on adapting to evolving market dynamics.

“Flex means consumers will be able to subscribe to a smaller vehicle for everyday use and when they need to go on holiday, can temporarily upgrade the vehicle to an SUV. This will make subscription a truly adaptable mobility solution.”

This adaptability not only enhances the user experience but also positions subscription vehicles as a viable solution for a wide range of consumers and businesses.

Beyond convenience, Thompson firmly believes subscription vehicles will play a crucial role in promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. “The shift towards electrification is gaining massive traction globally, but South African consumers are hesitant to invest in the exorbitant costs associated with this new technology.”

He says subscription models provide an avenue for consumers and businesses to explore alternative fuel options, mitigating their environmental impact while enjoying the benefits of modern mobility at an affordable cost.

As subscription vehicles gain traction in South Africa, led by innovators like Kinto One, Thompson says the future of mobility looks promising. “With a focus on flexibility, sustainability, and customer-centricity, subscription vehicles are redefining the way we think about transportation. Expect big things to come.”

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