The used vehicle market is booming with record-high prices for low-end cars, trade-in values sometimes more than your MSRP, and non-existent price negotiating. Automakers are in dire need to make sure that people buy their car instead of going used. For instance, in 2016, a used 2012 Toyota Prius with pretty low mileage would go for about 15k on the high end. Today that same Prius is worth well over 10k when in fact it should only cost about 5-6k.
According to an article published by the Spanish auto news house, Hybridosyelectricos.com, “Toyota, will begin a recycling process for its cars by reconditioning them after the first and second life cycles.”
Basically, Toyota is going to do what many airplane manufacturers do which is tear down the entire plane, change out all the parts that would go bad, and put it all back together. In theory, it is still the same plane, but it has upgraded parts. The same would be for this new program. Toyota would take a used car, let’s say a 2012 Prius, take it all apart, change the hybrid battery, fresh new oil, maybe do some suspension work, refresh the interior, fix any body damage, slap a certificate sticker, and sell it for a lower price yet still benefiting Toyota.
Unfortunately, there is no telling how much Toyota would mark up or down the price depending on how much they buy the car in the first place. However, this is Toyota’s way of taking control over the used car market. As a dealer, I can make money selling used cars, as a private person, I can flip used cars, however, as a manufacturer, I cannot buy and sell used cars nor profit from that unless I own a dealership that isn’t allowed.
This is also a problem in the used textbook market as well. As a student, I have collectively spent thousands of dollars on textbooks and so forth. Luckily, most of them I was able to buy used for much cheaper. The publisher isn’t going to make a single cent off my purchase of a used book however let’s say they bought back the used book and maybe gave it a refresh, then they would profit twice off the same book.
I think this is a smart move from Toyota because people trust their reliability. Getting a refurbished car from Toyota is as safe as buying a refurbished laptop from Best Buy. These new programs would most likely also provide a warranty for these refurbished cars.
Now granted, we don’t exactly know the process Toyota would use to refurbish these cars however knowing Toyota’s history, it would in-depth, rigorous, and very clean. I would expect Toyota to just do an oil change and send the car on.
According to the article, Toyota also plans to use these cars as a fleet of cars to lower prices. The last time a very successful fleet car lasts long was the Ford Crown Vic, which was used as police cars, taxis, and even state cars. Toyota also plans to do the same turning used corollas into fleet cars with easy-to-manage systems.
What do you think? Would you buy a refurbished Toyota from Toyota? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.