NZ Truck & Driver News

 
Toyota to cut transport costs…and prices

Toyota to cut transport costs…and prices

NZ Truck & Driver News

 May 2018   
The cost of trucking new cars to dealerships is cited as a key factor in Toyota New Zealand changing the way it sells cars, SUVs and light commercials.

Toyota says it's "changing the whole business model" – so that vehicles will be stockpiled at three regional hubs instead of being delivered in bulk to dealers' yards nationwide.

The focus switches to online buying, with customers invited to go to a local Toyota "store" for a test-drive, then configure the exact specs of the vehicle they wish to buy online. It will then be transported out to the local store.

Toyota NZ says that its Drive Happy Project, launched last month, is its commitment to "transforming the retail experience for its customers to meet the needs of the 21st century."

Toyota is easily the single biggest manufacturer on the NZ light vehicle scene, last year claiming a reported 32,828 of the 159,871 national sales – better than 20.5% of the market.

Toyota NZ CEO Alistair Da...

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The cost of trucking new cars to dealerships is cited as a key factor in Toyota New Zealand changing the way it sells cars, SUVs and light commercials.

Toyota says it's "changing the whole business model" – so that vehicles will be stockpiled at three regional hubs instead of being delivered in bulk to dealers' yards nationwide.

The focus switches to online buying, with customers invited to go to a local Toyota "store" for a test-drive, then configure the exact specs of the vehicle they wish to buy online. It will then be transported out to the local store.

Toyota NZ says that its Drive Happy Project, launched last month, is its commitment to "transforming the retail experience for its customers to meet the needs of the 21st century."

Toyota is easily the single biggest manufacturer on the NZ light vehicle scene, last year claiming a reported 32,828 of the 159,871 national sales – better than 20.5% of the market.

Toyota NZ CEO Alistair Davis told Newshub's The AM Show that, by reducing the costs of transporting cars to dealers by road, Toyota could pass on to buyers savings of several thousand dollars on a new Corolla….and around $10,000 on the retail price of a new Hilux.

"The big savings," said Davis, "come from consolidating all our stock into just three locations."

The new business model for selling vehicles means that customers "can save yourself time as well as money."

The project pioneers a new way of doing business with private, business, fleet and lease customers and is part of the changing face of mobility worldwide, the company says.

"Our way of business needs to evolve to align with our customers' expectations," says Davis.

"Traditionally, vehicles have been sold through dealerships, where they're also serviced. But the internet's impact is transforming the retail landscape and the motor industry is no exception," he adds.

Davis points out that although the vehicle-selling process hasn't changed much in the last 50 years, the majority of customers are now using online tools to research options prior to a purchase.

And he says that in the near future – "like many other retail products and services" vehicles will also increasingly be reserved or purchased online.

He says that Toyota is still committed to a strong dealer network – with a critical role to play in delivering hospitality and customer service.

Customer research, Toyota says, shows that "the most common concern was price negotiation and never being sure if you got the best deal." It also determined that finding the right vehicle for the buyer's needs was more important than the best price.

Now, it says, it will offer "the same transparent pricing" in all of its stores nationwide. And it will offer a wider selection of vehicles from the trio of hubs to remove any pressure to buy from a limited selection of vehicles available at any one dealership.

"Our research has told us people want product specialists and not just commission-focused sales people," says Davis: "We're putting considerable focus on training our people to offer hospitality and a great customer experience."

Sales people have been retrained as vehicle consultants, product experts, or "the store concierge" to help customers select the best vehicle for their needs.


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