Toyota Finance New Zealand has purchased locally owned chain Ezi Car Rentals as it looks beyond car ownership.

The move comes five years after Toyota acquired ride-sharing company Cityhop.

Toyota New Zealand chief executive Neeraj Lala said car ownership will change as flexible ownership forms come into play and it wants to be ready to act.

Ezi Car and Cityhop will be run as separate entities.

Lala said the purchase signalled the company's ambition to change from "a traditional car company to a mobility company".

He added that Toyota believes the future of its business will see new ways of leasing cars to customers.

"We've got more cars per household than any other country in the world - I think we're alongside the US," he said.

"This gives us a chance to reduce the (number of cars parked) in New Zealand by providing more flexible solutions."

The company wanted to give people the opportunity to access one car during the working week, and a "something quite different" at the weekend.

Ezi Car was established in 1988 and is spread across 18 airports throughout the North and South Islands, as well as an additional six locations.

Lala said he was confident Ezi Car was the right fit for Toyota.

"For Toyota, the importance of the rental car industry is the expansion of their value chain," he said.

"We've had a really long and successful relationship with lots of our rental car companies.

"This just felt right, a New Zealand-owned company, founded in New Zealand. We can continue the ambition that Ezi Car chief executive Kevin Walker has certainly put in place."

Lala would not name the purchase price, saying it was commercially confidential.


2023-10-03T00:46:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd