September 26, 2007 by Canadian Underwriter
Toyota Canada Inc. is eyeing the car insurance market as part of an aggressive expansion plan, reports the Globe and Mail.
The giant vehicle manufacturer already offers insurance in several other countries, including Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and Thailand, the paper reported.
If everything goes well, we want to [offer insurance] within a year, Toyota president Yoichi Tomihara told the Globe and Mail.
While most vehicle manufacturers in Canada have financial services arms, Toyota would be the first to enter the auto insurance market, although its presence would probably be limited to Ontario, Alberta and Atlantic Canada, where the auto insurance market is private, the paper added.
Ryan Lee, a professor in the department of risk management and insurance at the University of Calgarys Haskayne School of Business, commented on the potential move to the Globe and Mail.
Lee told the paper the ability to sell insurance through an existing dealership network would give an auto manufacturer a major advantage at the outset, but it is not clear to what extent such a move would shake up the market.