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Sharing Economy

Toyota rolls out Lexus subscriptions for $1,800 a month

New service offers a fresh car every six months for ownership-shy spenders

A Lexus dealership in Nagoya. Toyota becomes the first automaker to offer new-car subscriptions in Japan. (Photo by Sora Takahashi)

NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor will let drivers pick a new Lexus twice a year for 194,400 yen ($1,770) per month, it said Tuesday, through a subscription service that will test how the sharing model fares in Japan's flagging auto market.

While some European and American competitors have launched new-car subscription services -- General Motors tried with Cadillac but halted it last year -- Toyota is the first to do so in Japan. The country's top automaker has been cautious in debuting new services, but the declining popularity of car ownership spurred it to move ahead of the pack.

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