January 22, 2002

Access Toyota expands to the Montreal area

Montreal, Quebec – Toyota Canada is expanding its Access Toyota system to the greater Montreal area after its successful introduction in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Access Toyota is a buying process which Toyota says “reflects the demands of today’s consumers in terms of transparency, access to information and interaction with car dealers.”

At the heart of the Access Toyota program is Toyota’s drive-away pricing system where vehicle prices are set for a geographic market area using a confidential electronic poll of Access Toyota dealers. However, prices are not static and can fluctuate depending on market conditions. The “drive-away” price gives customers an up-front transaction price that is always lower than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, says Toyota. It includes the cost of the vehicle and all added accessories and options, as well as all charges, taxes and administration fees. There are no hidden costs or surprises, and all Access Toyota dealers in a given area will honour the drive-away price.

Access Toyota prices for each model can be obtained on a special Toyota Canada web-site: www.access.toyota.ca, or from any Access Toyota dealer or from the Toyota call centre at 1-888-TOYOTA-8. The call centre is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

At access.toyota.ca, shoppers can create a personal home page with password protection. They can calculate prices and save information about five virtual Toyotas, trying out every option and finding out immediately what impact each element will have on the price. Customers can also obtain an appraisal for their trade-in vehicle based on impartial third-party information from the “Canadian Black Book”. They can also get a detailed comparison of prices and specifications for other Toyota models and for comparable vehicles. Information is provided by Autodata, an independent company that serves the automotive industry.

The Access Toyota system also changes the role of the sales rep at the dealership. “With the state-of-the-art training program and use of the Internet as a primary tool, the traditional salesperson becomes a product advisor, for whom the relationship with the customer is just as important as making a sale,” said Gilles Pelletier, regional manager, Quebec zone, for Toyota Canada.

“Our experience in the Prairie provinces clearly shows that consumers find this way of doing business to be a much better fit with their expectations and values,” said Karl Schlicht, group vice-president, business innovations, who is responsible for introducing Access Toyota in the Prairie provinces. “The 2001 Maritz study showed increased satisfaction among consumers who dealt with Toyota dealers following the introduction of the Access Toyota program,” he added.

“Greater Montreal represents the first and most important launch of Access Toyota in Canada’s major urban markets,” according to Tony Wearing, group vice-president at Toyota Canada.

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