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Toyota dealers praised for recall effort

UK Toyota dealers have been praised by their chairman for their outstanding team effort in dealing with the brand’s recent recall trauma.

The way the high-profile campaign has been tackled is being highlighted as an example of the close cooperation possible between a vehicle manufacturer and its franchised network.

Steve Burrows, who chairs the Toyota national dealer council, said as an indication of the strong inter-relationship the network completed 3,788 recalls in the first week of the campaign in addition to the existing retail work booked into their workshops.

Now two months on, 84% of the affected vehicles have been brought through the franchise.

Speaking at the latest six-monthly AM Dealer Council Chairmen meeting, Burrows, owner of Pentagon Toyota group in Yorkshire, praised Toyota GB for its support of dealers.

At the start of the campaign the manufacturer supplied more than 700 new Yaris models to the network as courtesy cars at no cost, and within a week it had parts shipped in from the European mainland and had ensured technicians were trained. It also paid dealers an enhanced warranty rate for the recall work.

For most customers, the campaign has been handled so effectively that it has enhanced their regard for the Toyota brand and dealers.

Burrows said surveys have shown 95% were very happy with the experience.

Now focus is being placed on building the confidence of potential conquest customers.

Low rate customer finance offers are now available, and Toyota GB is offering a choice of a five-year warranty or three-year service plan free with new cars, and this is “winning new customers”, said Burrows.

He added: “During the campaign the focus was on looking after customers, not selling to them. Now it’s the time to go back to that customer and see what we can do.”

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