Toyota eyes new Irish financing arm
The Toyota motor group is understood to be in the process of establishing its own bank in Ireland so it can provide car finance directly to customers.
The company would join a list of other car manufacturers which have already established private banks in Ireland, including Volkswagen.
A Toyota spokesperson declined to comment, however.
Car makers have been stepping up their activity in offering consumers attractive financing deals in a low interest rate environment, and at a time when car sales across the country are declining again following a surge.
Sales have been hit by weakened sterling, which has resulted in a UK car buying spree by Irish consumers.
Data released earlier this month showed that new car sales in Ireland fell 10pc year-on-year in April, but used car imports rose almost 30pc.
The trend has been visible for a number of months. In the first four months of 2017, 74,180 new private cars were registered in Ireland. That was a 10.9pc decline on the first four months of 2016, according to the Central Statistics Office.
According to figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, there were 7,865 new cars registered in Ireland in April this year. That was a 24pc drop on the number registered in 2016.
The biggest selling marque in the first four months of this year was Toyota, with a 9.94pc share of new car registrations. Volkswagen was second, with 9.7pc, closely followed by Ford and Hyundai, each with 9.63pc.
Toyota Ireland is an unlimited company, meaning it does not have to file publicly available accounts.
Toyota's group profits fell in its last financial year for the first time in five years.