LOS ANGELES -- Advertising of dealers' parts and service need not be dull -- or done by the parts department or the regional dealer ad association on a shoestring budget.
Eighteen months ago, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. placed all marketing of parts, service and accessories under the company's marketing arm, the same group that handles new-vehicle marketing. The move has reaped huge dividends, the company says.
The resulting promotional campaigns have been higher in quality, and the unified national efforts have resulted in much higher returns on investment, said Jack Hollis, Toyota Division vice president of marketing.
"A significant part of our business -- and a significant driver of customer loyalty -- is parts and service," Hollis said. "We wanted to unify the messages between the front and back ends of the business."
Although Toyota includes two years of maintenance in the price of new vehicles under the ToyotaCare program, dealers still endure steady leakage of parts and service customers to independent repair shops.
Toyota's current national advertising theme -- under the slogan "Keep your Toyota a Toyota" -- is an attempt to show why it's important for owners to keep going to a Toyota dealership. The commercial compares going to an independent repair shop to hiring a random doctor, accountant or plumber, with the expected bad results.
Saatchi LA, the Toyota brand's main ad agency, is doing the creative work for the Toyota service advertising.