The leading edge of Toyota's massive push into digital retailing is in a single dealership in the seventh-largest city in Iowa.
Wilson Toyota of Ames — a dealership that last year sold about 1,200 new Toyotas in a town of just over 66,000 residents — is the first in the country to use a significantly expanded version of Toyota's SmartPath digital retailing system, one destined for dealerships nationwide. Dealers will get an update during the automaker's make meeting at next week's virtual NADA Show.
The expansion allows customers, for the first time, to complete a new-vehicle purchase without ever having to set foot in a showroom. It's been in quiet operation at Wilson Toyota since August and has the promise to be "transformational" in the way Toyota dealerships interact with customers in the sales process, owner Danny Wilson says.