Business / Corporate

Toyota brings forward revamp of its dealership strategy in Japan

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday it will reform its dealership strategy and start selling the full range of its models at all of its outlets across Japan from next May, moving up the schedule from the initially set period of sometime between 2022 and 2025.

The move comes as part of Toyota’s efforts to win customers despite the shrinking domestic market, which has been affected by the growth in car-sharing and Japan’s aging and declining population.

Toyota has maintained four dealership chains among about 6,000 dealers across the country — Toyota for pricey vehicles, Corolla for mass-market models, and Netz and Toyopet for young drivers.

Aiming to maximize its profitability by revamping the role of its dealers, Toyota has launched a car subscription program called Kinto while also planning to fully enter the car-sharing business using test-drive cars at its dealership chains and 1,200 outlets of its rent-a-car service affiliate Toyota Rent-a-Lease.

“By making vehicles and all possible services related to mobility available to customers through any outlet, Toyota aims to be able to provide at an early stage services that better approach the needs of its customers,” the company said in a statement.

In Tokyo, Toyota began a trial in April of having its dealerships sell all models together.

Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. have both already unified their dealership chains.