Toyota and Lexus dealers are selling used vehicles to each other on Toyota Financial Services' Web site.
Toyota's captive finance company also is enabling the dealers to sell used vehicles to non-Toyota and non-Lexus dealers on a Web site operated by the auction company ADESA Inc.
Both initiatives are part of a new program that Toyota Financial calls "Dealer to Dealer." It is designed to help dealerships manage inventories of used vehicles more efficiently, company officials say.
The program began Sept. 1 in California. Toyota Financial plans to make it available to all Toyota and Lexus dealers in the United States by Nov. 15.
The program is an outgrowth of Toyota Financial's "Dealer Direct" initiative. That Web-based effort enables Toyota and Lexus dealers to buy off-lease vehicles from the captive company at a fixed price. Unsold vehicles go on sale in an online auction open to all Toyota and Lexus dealers.
Dealer to Dealer saves dealers the expense of sending vehicles to auctions, says Dave Nordstrom, Toyota Financial's corporate product and remarketing manager. It also makes their vehicles more visible and available to other dealers, he says.
ADESA, the nation's second-largest auto auction company, administers the program for Toyota Financial. It developed the software and handles vehicle inspections for Dealer to Dealer.
Under the program, participating dealers offer vehicles for sale in daily online auctions. They also can sell vehicles at a fixed "buy now" price. Dealers pay $50 if they sell a vehicle and $150 if they buy a vehicle.
They also pay $30 to list each vehicle with the program if they handle the listings themselves. The fee is $85 if ADESA handles the listing. Vehicles that have not sold after two weeks can be listed again for $20.
"Dealer Direct created a great marketplace for Toyota dealers and Lexus dealers to buy our off-lease vehicles," Nordstrom says. "We think (Dealer to Dealer) is a great opportunity for them to offer their quality vehicles to Toyota and Lexus dealers and (to dealers) outside the Toyota franchise."
Geoff Yeager, general manager of Stevens Creek Toyota in San Jose, Calif., says the dealership has listed a few vehicles with the program and expects to increase its participation. But for now his used-car manager prefers to buy and sell used vehicles the old-fashioned way.
Says Yeager: "We've been more successful taking (vehicles) to auction."
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