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Startups

Japanese vehicle maker jumps into microfinance in India

With banks pinched, Terra Motors offers prospective buyers its own auto loans

Terra Motors electric three-wheeled vehicles in India. Many potential three-wheeled taxi drivers don't have enough money to buy a vehicle and get started.

TOKYO -- Tokyo-based startup Terra Motors, a manufacturer and distributor of electric three-wheeled vehicles, recently launched a financial subsidiary in India. Its goal is to use microfinance to lift buyers' incomes and boost vehicle sales. But will a Japanese startup be able to thrive in India as the coronavirus spreads at a record pace?

An electric vehicle exhibition was held in India's capital of New Delhi in early August. While many domestic companies had their own displays, people packed into Terra Motors' booth, where alongside its vehicles the company showed off the services of the financial business.

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