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SoftBank launches used car subscriptions as telecom growth slows

12 Comments

SoftBank Corp has launched a subscription service that lets customers drive a used car at a fixed monthly rate, as it tries to diversify its business portfolio amid a slow growth in the flagship mobile phone business.

The Japanese telecom company has set up Carro Japan Corp in Tokyo, a joint venture with Singapore-based online used car retailer Trusty Cars Pte Ltd, for the new service.

Carro Japan started the service for corporate customers Tuesday, with an eye to expanding it to individual customers through partnership with SoftBank's group companies such as Yahoo Japan Corp.

The joint venture will utilize artificial intelligence to analyze the used car market so it can offer better deals than what competitors offer, SoftBank said.

The new service is part of SoftBank's efforts to diversify its revenue sources as its telecom operation struggles after the Japanese government propelled its push to lower mobile phone fees in recent years.

Demand for used vehicles has been growing as the delivery of new cars has been delayed amid a global chip shortage, said SoftBank.

The mobile carrier now directly competes with leading carmakers such as Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co, which offer similar subscription services.

SoftBank holds a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, while Trusty Cars has the rest.

One of the funds operated by SoftBank Group Corp, the parent of SoftBank, has invested in Trusty Cars, SoftBank said.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Most owners keep their cars for 10 years and then scrap them.

William Wallace,speak for yourself !

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Been a spike in costs of cars in Tonga recently - 95%+ are mid to late 平成 Japanese models in reasonable to wheels-falling-off condition. Lots of Voxys

Maybe Mr Son’s and other used car ‘subscription’(!!) ventures have had this effect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see you misunderstood completely the context of the word I used. Will forgive you, as English can have many nuances.

Since there is no nuance that could make the use of the world valid then the misunderstanding is only yours, it was very easy to demonstrate there is no void to fill.

On the other issue you brought up, Toyota and Honda did not enter into a joint venture with that Singapore company; SB did.

That does absolutely nothing to correct your misunderstanding, the service is not going to fill any void, it is offered in Tokyo, where it is already available, filled. The other companies do not require to be in a joint venture to effectively offer this service, which they are already doing. Nothing in your comment would represent an effective advantage of Softbank over much more experienced competitors. Much less offer something that was not already available.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Oops, "company".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What would lead you to make a statement like that?

You claiming that there was a void in joint ventures with "that Singapore country":

Toyota and Honda did not enter into a joint venture with that Singapore company; SB did.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

StrangerlandToday  08:02 am JST

Tnere was a void in companies entering into joint ventures with that Singaporean company? You use "void" to describe a foreign company not having a joint venture in a country?

Weird.

That's a weird question. What would lead you to make a statement like that? You misunderstood a simple statement too? Weird.

The average age of an automobile in Japan is 7.5 years.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

On the other issue you brought up, Toyota and Honda did not enter into a joint venture with that Singapore company; SB did.

Tnere was a void in companies entering into joint ventures with that Singaporean company? You use "void" to describe a foreign company not having a joint venture in a country?

Weird.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Void" means an empty space, not something already occupied by the well stablished services offered by Toyota and Honda. These companies obviously have much more experience in the vehicle industry.

I see you misunderstood completely the context of the word I used. Will forgive you, as English can have many nuances.

On the other issue you brought up, Toyota and Honda did not enter into a joint venture with that Singapore company; SB did.

a joint venture with Singapore-based online used car retailer Trusty Cars Pte Ltd, for the new service.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

This fills a void as automobile ownership in Japan is much less than in Western countries like the US, 

"Void" means an empty space, not something already occupied by the well stablished services offered by Toyota and Honda. These companies obviously have much more experience in the vehicle industry.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Most owners keep their cars for 10 years and then scrap them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Very smart choice; and typical of large Japanese companies to diversify their business portfolios.

This fills a void as automobile ownership in Japan is much less than in Western countries like the US, so it makes sense for SB to go into a growing industry, especially where Softbank has experience in other non-telecom sectors such as renewable energy.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Seems like a weird choice for a company focuses on telecommunications to diversify into used car rentals, I could understand if this was something new and expanding so Softbank was aiming to fill a void, but as mentioned in the article other companies with much more experience in the field are already offering similar services.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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