Even after the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics ended, Olympic fever continued among consumers keen to drive one of the stylish symbols of competitions.
Approximately 2,700 vehicles supplied by Toyota Motor Corp. to support the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics sparked a buying frenzy among car buyers.
Showcasing the Games’ iconic red and blue “ichimatsu” check patterns on a white background, the official vehicles were used to transport officials to match venues and as lead cars for marathons and other competitions.
Used car customers and dealers alike have been rushing to get their hands on reasonably priced green vehicles.
Two of these cars were found at the end of October at Koriyama Jidosha Gakko, a driving school in Koriyama, in Fukushima prefecture.
Both Mirai fuel cell vehicles had the school’s name painted above the “Tokyo 2020” logo on the body.
“We also expect them to raise our profile as they attract attention,” said a school official. “With an increasing number of young people giving up cars, we want them to know that there are many varieties of cars, including green cars. “
Used cars have around 100 kilometers on the clock.
The new ones are said to cost over 7 million yen ($ 61,600), but the school was approached by a car dealership it has long done business with and bought them at a reasonable price, the official said.
Because they are a bit too big to be used for driving lessons, the school uses the cars to transport around 60 students to and from the school.
The official vehicles went on sale in the used car market in mid-September after the Tokyo Games closed.
They have become a hot topic on social media. One user said, “The price can be reasonable,” while another asked, “Who wants to buy them? “
Originally, Toyota, one of the main sponsors of the Summer Games, supplied around 3,350 vehicles, including electric cars and automated buses.
The automaker has decided to sell around 2,700 passenger vehicles, including Prius, Corolla and Mirai models, in the used car market, hoping they will be put to good use after the Games, a publicist said. .
Netz Toyota Koriyama, a Toyota dealership in Koriyama, had an inventory of 54 Mirai vehicles and 21 other automobiles, including Prius cars, associated with the Olympics and Paralympics.
All 21 cars were sold to private customers in mid-November, while all Mirai vehicles are also expected to be sold.
“They were well received by customers who remember the Tokyo Olympics in 1964,” said Yuzo Kato, general manager of the sales division. “With softball and baseball competitions also being held in Fukushima Prefecture, customers may have been encouraged by the idea that their communities were also a part of the Games.”
An employee of an Ishikawa Prefecture car dealership also said that the official vehicles are in high demand for their reasonable prices and especially because they are equipped with a car navigation system customized for these cars.
The Prius PHV A model also sold well as it cost around 800,000 yen cheaper than the new ones, which are priced around 3.8 million yen, the employee added.
Olympic vehicles appear to be popular due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, in addition to reduced production of new cars resulting from the global semiconductor shortage.
There have been numerous delays in deliveries of new cars, which has resulted in an increase in the demand for used cars.
“Car dealers were rushing for (Olympic vehicles). They have low mileage and are like new. They were sold by the time they went on sale,” recalled a source close to a dealership in the is from Japan.
After the Olympics and Paralympics ended, vehicles supplied by Toyota were lined up at the former Tsukiji Fish Market site in Tokyo’s Chuo district, which served as a parking lot for official vehicles and shuttles brought in from all over the world. countries during the Games. .
The cars were taken to car dealerships at the end of October.
The public was divided over the government’s decision to proceed with hosting the Games amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Some social media users have said they would be reluctant to buy the vehicles for their flashy decorations, but car dealerships say they can remove the decals.
“Besides the interest in the Olympics and Paralympics, there are a lot of people who really want to buy cars right away,” said another insider in western Japan. “At least 80% of our customers have removed the ornaments before driving the cars.”