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Sales and costs top Toyota plans

Toyota is to help its dealers beat the credit crunch with higher efficiency and lower showroom costs.

It is poised to back model introductions with an ambitious ‘rolling rental’ PCP package next year.

Called Access Toyota and based on two or three-year terms, it will allow both private and business motorists to lease models at attractive rates, said Toyota GB managing director Miguel Fonseca.

“We remain in a better position than most and our liquidity gives us an advantage over Ford or GM as a finance provider. 

Because our latest engineering developments cut CO2 emissions, we can achieve higher residual values on next-generation cars and this allows us to offer particularly competitive finance packages. We expect to increase our sales penetration in several segments as a result,” he said.

Fonseca believed Access Toyota could even allow customers to move to higher-value replacement models at no extra cost.

“The idea is to leverage our financial strength to offer packages that will benefit customers and dealers. It should help us maintain or improve our sales performance,” he said.

Fonseca added: “Our focus on accessibility of product should help prevent discounting and attract extra F&I income to boost margin retention.”

Toyota GB is introducing several management initiatives to reduce operational and operating standard costs and improve customer retention. 

Fonseca claimed a new eight-step environmental plan would achieve substantial reductions in utility bills.

“We’re copying initiatives in our US, Swedish and French networks that have achieved 30% lower energy bills. Dealers can cut annual overheads by £17,000.”

Like their rivals, Toyota dealers have seen profits slashed in recent months. According to Fonseca, this has now bottomed out.

“It’s not all been doom and gloom. Despite being 51% down in November, our retail business share has improved to 6% YTD to take us to fourth position. 

“It could take five years to get back to where the industry was, but our product offensive will get us there ahead of the rest and we need a strong network,” he said.

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