In today’s climate-conscious world, we’re all more aware than ever of the environmental impact of manufacturing new cars. Many see it as energy-intensive, and each new car requires no small amount of raw materials to produce - that’s part of what makes new cars relatively expensive, and why so many drivers instead turn to used cars (sometimes sourced from our own online car auctions right here at RAW2K).
With the environmental cost in mind, many big manufacturers are already under pressure to think of ways that they can mitigate that. And one recent idea by Toyota has proven particularly intriguing - namely, the plan to ‘remanufacture’ cars up to 3 times in UK factories. So, what does that mean, exactly?
Toyota’s remanufacturing plans
So far, one of the most vocal sources for Toyota’s new initiative has been Agustín Martín, the president and managing director of Toyota GB, who’s said “we have to stretch the way we look at life for both the vehicle and the customer.”
"I think we’re very familiar with the usual two- to three-year cycles that are extremely popular in the UK.” He continued. “But we need to go beyond that two- to three-year cycle and say: ‘Okay, what happens in that second cycle and in the third cycle?”
In other words, Toyota’s bigwigs are working out how they can effectively extend the operational lifespan of their vehicles, making them more economical for the manufacturer and consumer alike by helping to cut down on the financial and environmental costs of mafiuacturing new cars.
Their current plan to do that is to take vehicles back to the factory after what Toyota refers to as a ‘use cycle’ - which in this context, generally means a typical lease contract. Once the car is back in the factory, it will then be refurbished until it’s as close to new as possible, making them more attractive, useful, and economical for the second user. The teams at Toyota will then look at doing this one last time for each car, after which they’ll explore ways to dispose of the vehicle as responsibly and sustainably as possible.
When Toyota is ready, the plans will form the backbone of their new mobility sub-brand, named Kinto.
Where are these plans at now?
It’s not a nationwide programme just yet. Currently the plans focus on Toyota’s plant at Burnaston, known for manufacturing the Corolla hatchback and Corolla station. As things stand, the plans are still in their early stages in the UK, and beyond the details we’ve shared above, Mr Martín and Toyota as a whole are remaining relatively tight-lipped on it for now.
If it turns out to be successful, there’s a decent chance that other car manufacturers will follow suit. There’s a general feeling in the industry that the concept of offering remanufactured cars for sale, leases or subscription models will probably appeal to a sizeable proportion of the public, especially since new cars remain so expensive.
However, there are always going to be people who (understandably) would rather own their cars outright, whether the car in question is a brand new vehicle or a used car. If you count yourself amongst them, you’re in exactly the right place. Here at RAW2K, we’ve got a huge range of bargains available in our online car auctions, which are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis. This includes makes and models available from some of the world’s leading manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Ford, Renault, and many more. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?