Andrea Formica, Toyota Motor Europe senior vice-president sales and aftersales, believes the knowledge that Toyota has gained from pilots in France, Denmark and Spain, together with the experience of the UK retail network, means a pilot of the short-term leasing/maintenance programme is probably unnecessary.
“Focus is key to the success of the programme – from management, field force and the passionate buy in from retailers,” he said.
“I’m a fan of this programme – I did it with Ford successfully.”
TCM has now been officially launched in France and Denmark and trials have just started in Finland.
It is based on a 2-3 year leasing product that includes maintenance. It is more of a one-stop shop personal contract hire plan than a traditional PCP and allows customers to change cars at no extra cost.
The objective is to speed up and increase the repeat purchase level of new car buyers.
“The benefits for dealers are a shorter trade cycle, increased loyalty rates and higher satisfaction,” said Formica.
“We need a short-term cycle to sell new cars and increase profits from the remarketing of nearly new cars.”
Toyota’s experiences elsewhere, including in America where the trade cycle concept was invented some 20 years ago, show that dealers can go from loyalty levels of 20-30% to 70% and more after two or three years’ ownership.
But while penetration levels can be very high, that doesn’t mean the product is an easy sell to the customer. “It implies a change of mindset,” said Formica.
“It’s a shift from a single transaction to an ongoing relationship with the customer, but perseverance will pay dividends.”