Instant loans that don’t affect total debt service ratio, zero downpayment leasing are ‘just the beginning’ for Toyota and Lexus customers
Toyota Financial Services Singapore (TFSS) has debuted in Singapore and, in conjunction with Toyota and Lexus authorised dealer Borneo Motors, will offer automotive-related financial services to buyers of those brands.
The company is introducing a range of expanded financing and owership options (explained in detail below) that aim to help get more posteriors into the seats of Toyota and Lexus cars here.
“Through Borneo Motors’ highly trained and qualified sales executives at each Toyota & Lexus dealership, we want to provide customers the best auto finance in the market,” said Mr Vinod Cherudamathil, the CEO of TFSS Pte Ltd.
The presence of a financial arm of automotive companies here is not new – BMW Financial Services and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services appeared in Singapore in 2009 and 1973, respectively.
Toyota Financial Services operates internationally as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, and was founded in 1982.
It currently has USD213-billion of assets and generates USD2.5bn operating income a year, said Mr Cherudamathil. Out of every 100 Toyotas sold globally, 35 are financed by TFS, he added.
Mr Cherudamathil said the time was ripe for TFS to enter Singapore. “The markets are always changing – and COVID is an example of that – and Singapore’s car market is the pinnacle of mobility. It’s another sign of Toyota’s evolution from a car maker to a provider of mobility solutions.”
The partnership aims to deliver an experience that is at the ‘forefront of the industry’ said Ms Jasmmine Wong, the CEO for Inchcape (Borneo Motors’ parent company) for Greater China and Singapore,
“In addition, this partnership will allow us to deliver customized options to our valued customers by leveraging TFS’ extensive auto finance industry expertise. We have listened to our consumers’ voices and will give them a wide range of options tailored to their needs,” she said.
TFS’s primary offering is a standard hire purchase scheme – put a downpayment and make monthly payments towards a car.
One of the key benefits here is speed – not of the car, but in the process of getting you the car. TFS says its loan approval system is one of the most advanced of its kind, and can provide near-instant credit approval.
Another key benefit, TFS says, is that a hire purchase scheme with it will not affect a customer’s Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR), which is the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) way of putting a metric on, and controlling, individual debt here.
That’s because TFS is not a bank and is classified as a ‘non-bank commercial company’, so it’s allowed to provide loans and credit facilities specifically for automobile customers. That’s why it can provide you an auto loan which will not count to the 60 percent TDSR limit that’ is, for the average Singaporean, mostly taken up by housing loans.
As always, we welcome more consumer choice here, but car buyers need to do in-depth reading on the T&Cs as always, and err on the side of financial prudence.
TFS is also offering a long-term lease programme, called Toyota Ease. Again, TFS boasts ‘ almost instant approval’, a S$0 downpayment term, and lease tenure of three to seven years, in return for a monthly fee that covers road tax and comprehensive insurance.
CarBuyer asked if Toyota could possibly be one of the first to offer a mainstream cars-as-service model, and Mr Cherudamathil replied: “This is really only the beginning, it’s the start of TFS’ journey, and we have lots more exciting things coming in the future.”
To celebrate the debut of Toyota Financial Services, there will be special offers available. Borneo Motors says a promotional 1.88 percent interest rate will be available for a limited time period, as well as a promo where hire purchase customers pay S$0 for the first year and begin instalments from the 13th month on.
Interested parties can hit up www.toyotafinancial.sg or www.lexusfinancial.sg for more information, as well as the respective brands’ websites – www.toyota.com.sg and www.lexus.com.sg – which now have contactless purchase procedures, a new chat feature, amongst others.