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New 2006 Corolla LE owner
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http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/dec2005/nf20051221_8872_db039.htm


Katsuaki Watanabe is a man in a hurry. On Dec. 20, the Toyota CEO announced that the Japanese auto giant will bump up production by 10% in 2006, to more than 9 million vehicles -- increasing the likelihood that Toyota (TM ) will surpass General Motors (GM ) as the world's largest auto maker in the next 12 months. The bullish projections come on the heels of a remarkable 2005 for Toyota. It's on track this year to report an 8% increase in sales at a time when GM and Ford (F ) have been going the other way. But while Toyota's ascent may seem a given, a smooth transition to No. 1 still poses plenty of hurdles.

This is good! The hell with GM and the hell with their cars
 

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Toyota Fanboy
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4,486 Posts
LOL...remember the last part about that, "a smooth transition to #1 still poses plenty of hurdles".
Toyota needs to seriously work on improving their customer service and their dealer network.
Thats something that Ford and GM excell at and thats something that could easily burn Toyota in the future. Who cares how great the vehicles are if the dealers treat their customers like crap? :dunno:
 

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Stop staring at me!!!
06 Sequoia/ 98 Cobra
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14 Posts
Captain_Toyota said:
LOL...remember the last part about that, "a smooth transition to #1 still poses plenty of hurdles".
Toyota needs to seriously work on improving their customer service and their dealer network.
Thats something that Ford and GM excell at and thats something that could easily burn Toyota in the future. Who cares how great the vehicles are if the dealers treat their customers like crap? :dunno:
I'd have to disagree with some of what you're saying. Have you been into a domestic store lately? I'd say the retail auto business as a whole needs to clean up it's act not just an individual sector. Over worked, under motivated, and poorly trained the retail automotive sales force is terrible, at best. Unfortunately, they're the face of the business.

The biggest problem seems to be a general lack of effort on the management's behalf. It's so easy to be lazy and still make a TON of money so why should they bust their butts just to push another 10 units? It all comes down to being consumer driven vs. management driven.

Most dealers, and by most I'd say 99.9%, wait until a customer shows up on the lot and decide what they're going to do on the fly. They let the customer dictate how things are handled from there forward. That's called being Consumer Driven. "Tell me what you're buying Mr. Customer and I'll sell it to you."

What they need to do is have a hard sales process. One in which every sales person meets and greets a customer on the lot or on the phone in a similar manner. They guide the consumer through the process in a way that can be controlled and most importantly, repeated.

Now, for all of you who are thinking "sure, teach the sales people how to screw customers systematically, great" that's not what I mean. What I mean is the experience should be similar, if not the same, from sales person to sales person. It's pleasant, it drives repeat and referral business, and since it keeps the consumer comfortable and happy it makes more money.

I've been into some of the biggest car dealerships in the world as a component of my job. It goes without saying that all the top stores, domestic and 'import' are doing things a little differently. You'll find a direct and obvious correlation between the size/volume of a store and how it treats it's customers.

I used to sell cars for a domestic store. They almost never send an OEM trainer in to update the sales people unless it's a new product launch. Toyota does it quarterly. (I found this out over the last two weeks as I attended and was part of the new Toyota Certified Used Vehicle program launch. There's a reason Toyota's kicking everyone's ass and it's not the reliability of the cars, that's for sure.

Sorry for the newbie rant. I love the business and it makes me sad to see it run so poorly.

Alan
 
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