- Helping you drive happy


Automotive columnist: , Updated:

To ensure that potential customers get believeable third-party comparative information, Toyota Canada will supply that data from something called Solutions Company, while the Canadian Black Book of resale values will be the source of third-party trade-in estimates, with an in-dealership inspection coming before any definitive price is set.

Consumers have previously heard that the dealer experience will be different from now on and then found out it wasn't, but Nakatani swears this time it will be. "To prepare for this new way of doing business," he says, "an innovative staff-training program was implemented, especially for those with front-line contact with customers."

He says that, "One of the first steps was to re-identify sales people as Product Advisors and adjust the focus of their responsibilities. To support that realignment, Product Advisors are learning a more flexible customer service process tailored to the specific requirements of individual shoppers."

As a result of Access Toyota and other online services, he says by way of example, many potential Toyota shoppers will now arrive at the showroom already prepared with extensive product knowledge and a good idea of what they want.

If full-disclosure pricing is the foundation of Access Toyota, Nakatani adds, then the web site is its most sophisticated tool.