Toyota Financial Services and Lexus Financial Services launched a key replacement product last week. The rollout is the captives’ latest step in providing a fuller customer experience, executives said.
For now, Toyota Financial and Lexus Financial will sell the product with a tire and wheel package. By year end, the captives plan to sell it as a stand-alone product. “We wanted to ensure we got it out there very quickly,” Karen Ideno, vice president of product and marketing, told Automotive News. “And also ensure that we move it out and we learn from it.”
Customer and dealer demand was the main impetus to launch a key replacement product, she said. “Today’s vehicle technology is great for consumers,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this sometimes comes with a high cost to replace. We know key replacement can be stressful for our customers, and we’re happy to now offer a solution.”
Industrywide, parts and labor for key replacement average $400 to $800, she said. The key replacement product covers lost, damaged or stolen keys, includes lockout assistance if keys are lost, damaged or stolen and offers towing assistance, taxi, rental vehicle or public transportation reimbursement and a replacement benefit for additional, nonprogrammable keys.
Toyota Financial also has expanded its services to customers by connecting them with auto insurance quotes. In April 2016, Toyota Financial Services, Toyota Motor Corp. and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. launched a jointly owned telematics car insurance services company: Toyota Insurance Management Solutions USA.
“We recently launched a pilot in which we are looking at providing insurance quotes online so that every aspect of ownership is considered,” Ideno said.
Toyota Insurance Management Solutions provides quotes from National General, Nationwide and Safeco, but plans to increase the number of insurance companies involved.
Through the new division, Toyota will support the development of usage-based and pay-how-you-drive insurance, which assesses driving behaviors and encourages safer driving.
If customers opt in, they consent to share driving data that can verify safe behavior or infrequent driving with Toyota Motor and their insurance providers, a spokesman said. Toyota Motor’s Big Data Center sends the information to Toyota Insurance Management Solutions, which offers it to the insurance companies that give customers driving scores.
“We are working towards various business models. One is usage-based auto insurance, where customers who opt in can receive insurance quotes from a variety of carriers aligned with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions. This initially involves using connected car data to ideally benefit the customer with premiums based on usage, such driving frequency or driving behaviors,” the spokesman said.
In establishing Toyota Insurance Management Solutions last year, Toyota Financial, Toyota Motor and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance aim to achieve their vision of “a mobile society that is safe, secure and convenient,” a statement at the time said.
Researching insurance possibilities and offering new F&I products, such as key replacement, adds value to the entire customer experience and ownership cycle, Ideno said.
“The vehicles are so exciting,” she said. “We now want to ensure that our financing and insurance products support that even further.”