In response to Mitsubishi’s construction and farming equipment rental services in residential areas, as well as Honda and Nissan reorganizing their auto dealerships, Toyota plans to reform its own business model. Toyota already offers housing solutions in Japan alongside their automobiles. They offer three different models in their home line-up, which include both traditional and modern designs built with earthquake-resistant steel frames. Beginning in 2010 Toyota will use their existing network of 4,900 Japanese dealerships to expand their business beyond the automobile industry. Showrooms for Toyota Housing will be used to demonstrate general life support products, including personal mobility devices and Partner Robots.
While it will likely be some time before we see Partner Robots on sale at Toyota dealerships, the infrastructure will be ready when the time is right. In the meantime, one can easily imagine Toyota’s personal mobility devices such as their i-Real, Mobiro, and Winglet being sold in this space. Toyota also plans to work with local medical facilities and government to revitalize aging communities by providing facilities open to local residents.
[source: Robonable (JP)]