TORONTO - Access Toyota, a joint venture between Toyota Canada Inc. and its dealers that has been in the works for three years, combines Internet technology with a new sales approach in an effort to improve the sales and leasing experience. 'This is much broader than just introducing a new Web site,' said Karl Schlicht, a Toyota Canada vice president. 'We're going way beyond that.' He says that although e-commerce is getting a lot of hype, dealers will remain a key part of the distribution chain -if the way they interact with customers changes.
Access Toyota, which is being pitched as a new brand name, will give shoppers easy access to product and price information via the Internet, over the telephone or at dealerships, and will allow them to make an online down payment, a first in Canada. It will allow potential buyers to equip their own vehicle on the Web page, and see exactly what it will cost to purchase, finance or lease.
Product advisers will receive special training in dealing with Web-savvy customers who already have much of the information they need.
Says Schlicht: 'We want to make the whole process as seamless as possible.'