Aug 10, 2007

Toyota Targets Distribution System to Solve Image Crisis

There's an intense sense of urgency around distribution in more and more sectors of the US economy. After years of intense cost-cutting and efficiency moves, there's a growing concensus that growth will be driven by improving the customer's total experience - from learning, shopping, and buying all the way through using and maintaining a product. That all happens downstream in distribution.

Read what Toyota’s North American sales and marketing chief Jim Lentz had to say about all this. He recently made some very pointed strtaegic comments about the importance of fixing the experience that consumers have in their dealerships:
"... dealers urgently need to improve their image...we’re all being judged on what happens at the dealership level – and it’s not always good... a quarter of prospective customers who walk into a dealership leave without buying because of poor Toyota, retail treatment is one of our most pressing issues...improving dealers’ image requires a hard look at some of the industry’s sacred cows such as vehicle allocations and dealer awards..."

We expect we'll be hearing much more of this from incumbent US branded product manufacturers as they rise to the challenges of generating growth.

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