If they build them, we will sell them - that was the tone of the 30-minute Toyota make meeting.
"We have product from A to Z, and what we don't have, they keep filling in," said dealer Fritz Hitchcock.
Dealers at the make meeting were told that the Scion youth brand launches this June in California. The rest of the United States has a staggered launch, and in June 2004 dealers in the rest of the country get the brand when a third model is added.
"The guys who don't get rolled out right away just wanted to know what they have to do with their showroom," said Hitchcock, CEO of Hitchcock Automotive Resources in City of Industry, Calif. "Most of us in California have already had our meetings."
A new Prius hybrid car comes this fall, Hitchcock said. Also, a third row of seats will be available on the Highlander SUV this fall and on the 4Runner SUV next year, he said. A Tundra with an extended cab will be launched in November.
Dealers asked for a high-performance sports car to compete with the Nissan 350Z, but factory officials made no promises.
The redesigned Honda Accord is nipping aggressively at Toyota's Camry for the crown of best-selling car. But dealers were assured Toyota would stay competitive and retain the top spot.
But that doesn't mean Toyota will put heavy incentives on the Camry, said Jim Press, COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
"We will support the Camry to achieve an optimal sales balance without sacrificing dealer growth," Press said. "We'll add a mixture of marketing and advertising, but we don't want to drive the car into the ground or hurt its reputation and dealer grosses.
"You can develop cars that are priced on the market, or you can't take vehicles that don't match the market and you have to offer great discounts. Ours is a more elegant solution."