Tag Archive | "Toyota"

Toyota, Lexus Offer Special Military Financing Program


TORRANCE —The captives for Toyota and Lexus are now offering special APRs and rebates to qualified military personnel and inactive reserves through participating dealers.

“In appreciation for all that they have done, and continue to do, we hope these rebates and special APRs make it a bit easier for our men and women in uniform who are in the market for a new vehicle,” said Mike Groff, group vice president of sales, marketing and product development for Toyota and Lexus financial services.

“We understand that it’s certainly a tough economic time right now for many military families, so it’s our hope that these special APRS and rebates, which can be coupled with other incentives, will help our troops save some much-needed and hard-earned money.”

In recognition of their service, qualified Toyota buyers under the Welcome Home Special APR Program can receive a 1.9 percent APR for up to 60 months when financing any new 2011 or 2012 Toyota vehicle through a participating Toyota dealer and TFS, according to the company. A $500 military rebate also may be used in conjunction with the special APR, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

Lexus buyers who qualify under the Welcome Home Special APR Program can receive a 0.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on new 2011 or 2012 ES and IS (includes all sedans, Convertible and IS F) and 2012 RX350 vehicles, or 1.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on any other new Lexus vehicle when financing through a participating Lexus dealer and LFS, according to the company.

A $750 military rebate also may be used in conjunction with the special APRs.

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Toyota Wins KBB’s Best Resale Value Brand Award


IRVINE — Kelley Blue Book’s 2012 Residual Analysis Report showed that Toyota’s entire lineup for 2012 is expected to retain the greatest amount of its original value after five years. The results of that analysis led KBB to name Toyota and its Lexus brand as 2012 winner of the site’s

Both brands regain the titles they claimed from Kelley Blue Book back in 2010. Across its fleet, Toyota improved its 60-month average residual value by 2 percentage points compared to its 2011 average, allowing the company to best last years’ winner, Subaru, and a few others for KBB’s award, reported F&I and Showroom magazine.

“Despite Toyota’s success in the 2012 residual rankings, the company lost market share in the U.S. due to its supply shortage following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The challenge for Toyota next year will be to regain this share without depressing its residual values,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting, Kelley Blue Book. “A number of actions that could quickly increase sales and market share also could jeopardize its residual value crown, including over incentivizing and increasing daily rental volume. Clearly, Toyota’s actions through the next year will be pivotal in shaping its future direction.”

Based on vehicle sales and overall economic factors, Kelley Blue Book’s 60-month residual values for 2012 model-year vehicles are forecasted to average 35.5 percent of their original MSRP after five years of ownership, up just 1.5 percentage points from last year. The 60-month residual value increased by 0.9 percentage points for the light-car segment and 3.0 percentage points for the truck segment.

With the exception of vans and hybrid utilities, the average segment residual value for all truck segments, including SUVs and full-size trucks are projected to be higher than the average residual value in every car segment, except for high-performance cars, according to Kelly Blue Book. The truck segment is projected to maintain 38 percent of its value after 60 months, while the car segment is expected to maintain just 34 percent. Only two segments, the near-luxury segment and the sports-car segment, declined on a year-over-year basis.

Gas prices and catastrophic natural disasters played a significant role in new-vehicle sales and strong swings in vehicle segment preference throughout the year, according to Kelly Blue Book. Other key factors affecting the future values of 2012 model-year vehicles include unemployment, a stagnant housing forecast and some of the lowest consumer confidence numbers seen in decades.

The unemployment rate remains at 9 percent heading into 2012, but forecast have the rate dropping to 8.7 percent next year. Those that are out of work are finding it more difficult to find jobs, with an average 41 weeks unemployed, according to the company.

Kelley Blue Book projects that 2011 will close with 12.5 million vehicles sold, a one million-unit increase from 2010. A similar increase is projected for 2012.

As the Japanese get back into full production in the new year, KBB said it expects a pickup in sales activity as consumers waiting on the sidelines get back into the game. With an expectation for some increased consumer spending, Kelley Blue Book is forecasting 13.5 million in vehicle sales for 2012.

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Toyota, Lexus Perceived Quality Scores Improve, ALG Reports


SANTA BARBARA — A study by ALG, an independent subsidiary of TrueCar Inc., indicated that Toyota’s perceived quality score rose more than two percent over the last six months, closing the gap with leading mainstream brand Honda. Additionally, Lexus once again came out on top among luxury brands, according to the company’s Fall 2011 Perceived Quality Study (PQS).

“The continued rally of Toyota is evidence of the brand’s widespread reputation for quality and ownership loyalty. This is the third straight survey where Toyota has shown relatively strong growth,” said Eric Lyman, vice president of residual value solutions for ALG. “If this trend continues, the brand might soon regain the top spot from Honda in the mainstream category.”

Twice a year, ALG surveys approximately 3,000-4,000 U.S. consumers to gauge perceptions of a number of mainstream and luxury automotive brands for its PQS, reported F&I and Showroom magazine. Of the 23 brands included in the Fall 2008 survey that remain in the survey today, Ford brands, Kia and Hyundai have racked up the biggest long-term gains, according to ALG. Hyundai led the group by moving from 18th place to 9th place, Ford Cars and Ford Trucks moved from 15th to 7th and 8th to 3rd place, respectively, and Kia jumped from 23rd place in 2008 to 18th place.

“These three automakers have made impressive efforts to improve brand perception and we can see that it has truly paid off in the mainstream rankings,” Lyman added. “The perception of where luxury brands stand in relation to each other seems to be solidly cemented in the minds of consumers, owing to the consistency of the luxury rankings.”

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Auto/Mate Fully Integrates With Toyota’s Dealer Communication System


CLIFTON PARK — Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has completed full integration of its dealership management system, Automotive Management Productivity Suite (AMPS), with the Toyota DMS integration program.

Toyota dealerships using AMPS can now communicate seamlessly with Toyota Motors Sales USA Inc. through integration points in all departments, including sales, F&I and accounting. The Lexus interfaces have also been successfully developed and tested with TMS, reported F&I and Showroom.

“The trend by auto manufacturers to incorporate open standards into their systems greatly benefits dealerships,” said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate. “Not only does it eliminate the high costs that legacy DMS vendors traditionally charge for custom development; it allows all DMS vendors to potentially provide seamless integration with manufacturers, thereby increasing competition and choices in the market, which further reduces costs for dealerships.”

The technology used in Toyota’s Dealer Daily communications system is based on standards set by the Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail, an organization that promotes the use of non-proprietary technology.

In February, Auto/Mate announced a partial integration of AMPS with 13 interfaces; now every module in AMPS is able to connect in real-time with TMS via a web-based portal. The final integration approval was granted after Auto/Mate’s participation for more than a year in the Toyota Dealer Daily Open Access Project. The latest updates to AMPS include:

ŸFixed Ops: AMPS seamlessly sends parts inventory, retrieves vehicle shipping information, special service campaigns, allows for parts orders and returns, transmits repair order information, retrieves operation codes, sends customer updates and retrieves national service history data.

ŸF&I/Sales: On demand or automatically, AMPS acquires and transmits vehicle inventory adjustments, retail delivery and credit contracts.

ŸAccounting: Redundancies are eliminated with AMPS as it transmits financial statement information, retrieves warranty payment data and transmits all customer information updates.

Auto/Mate’s AMPS is a robust, easy-to-use dealership management system with more than 20 integrated modules to help dealers manage their business. It supports an unlimited number of users, workstations and printers, and can be implemented in any size dealership.

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Spring 2011 ALG Perceived Quality Study Highlights Continued Rebound Of Toyota And Lexus Brands


SANTA BARBARA – Toyota’s Perceived Quality Score rose four percent over the last six months and Lexus once again captured the luxury category’s highest Perceived Quality rating in 2011, according to the Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study from ALG, a subsidiary of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc. and the industry benchmark for residual values and depreciation data.

The study also shows that Land Rover (up 2.5 percent) and Kia (up 5.6 percent) experienced the biggest gains in perception among luxury and mainstream brands respectively.

“The continued rebound of Toyota is a testament to the brand’s solid reputation for quality and ownership loyalty. Toyota isn’t out of the woods yet, however, as the company faces the repercussions of another large recall earlier this year,” states Eric Lyman, director, Residual Value Solutions, ALG.

“We also see the success of Land Rover being fueled by the growing popularity of its driver-oriented Range Rover Sport and the Evoque, helping the brand slowly notch perception improvements. For Kia, the consumer quality recognition is the payoff for a recent revolution in product quality and design supported by aggressive marketing campaigns.”

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GM’s U.S. Sales in January Top Estimates; Toyota Bounces Back


General Motors Co.’s U.S. sales in January rose more than analysts’ estimates, aided by bigger discounts, pickups and new models, and Toyota Motor Corp. rebounded from a year ago when a recall halted deliveries.

GM sales in the month gained 22 percent to 178,896 vehicles, topping four analysts’ average estimate for a 9.2 percent increase. Toyota’s sales rose 17 percent to 115,856 vehicles, beating the average estimate for a 16 percent gain, Bloomberg reported.

Industrywide deliveries may have reached the second-fastest pace in 17 months with a seasonally adjusted 12.4 million vehicle annual rate in January, the average estimate of six analysts. GM’s discounts and sales incentives last month rose 28 percent from a year earlier to an average of $3,762 per vehicle as the company sought new buyers, according to Edmunds.com.

“GM was very aggressive with some of its incentive spending,” Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Santa Monica, California-based Edmunds, said in a telephone interview. “They had some loyalty programs in the market.”

Toyota’s sales climbed from January 2010, when the Toyota City, Japan-based company temporarily halted sales of eight U.S. models after recalling millions of vehicles for unintended acceleration.

Ford Motor Co.’s light-vehicle sales rose 9.2 percent to 126,981, the company said in a statement. That trailed the average of four analysts’ estimates for an 18 percent gain.

GM fell 10 cents to $36.39 at 3:53 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Through yesterday, the Detroit-based company’s shares had gained 11 percent from the $33 initial public offering price. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford was unchanged at $15.95.

Incentive Spending

GM’s incentive spending increased “modestly,” and its sales gains were fueled by more advertising and strong new models, Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations, said today.

“We’re not going to return to the days of driving production with incentives,” Johnson said on a conference call. “We know that is not going to be a recipe for success for us.”

Chevrolet deliveries gained 19 percent to 125,389 vehicles, GM said today in a statement. Sales of the Equinox small SUV climbed 35 percent to 12,847. Deliveries of the new Chevrolet Cruze compact, which is replacing the Cobalt, rose 25 percent from December to 13,631 in January.

Retail customers accounted for 88 percent of Cruze sales in the month, compared with 40 percent for the Cobalt in January 2010, said Alan Batey, vice president of Chevrolet sales.

‘Tremendous’ Momentum

“For GM, the new products are pulling consumers into showrooms,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive, a researcher in Lexington, Massachusetts. “They have a tremendous amount of momentum.”

GMC Sierra pickup sales increase 46 percent to 10,627, and Chevrolet Silverado deliveries rose 24 percent to 28,172.

Buick sales climbed 32 percent to 13,269, led by the Enclave sport-utility vehicle. GMC deliveries gained 30 percent to 27,658.

Cadillac sales rose 49 percent to 12,580. Deliveries of CTS sedans, coupes and wagons increased 70 percent to 4,362.

Since filing for bankruptcy in 2009, GM has closed Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn and sold Saab to focus on Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. Sales of GM’s four remaining brands rose 23 percent from January 2010, the company said.

Sales of Ford’s Explorer SUV surged 73 percent to 7,351, the company said today in a statement. Overall deliveries for the namesake brand climbed 22 percent, tempered by a decline in sales of the Focus compact car.

‘Out of Their Caves’

“Consumers are coming out of their caves and spending money again,” George Pipas, Ford’s sales analyst, said yesterday during a briefing with reporters in Dearborn.

Deliveries of the Lincoln luxury brand declined 21 percent in January to 5,558.

Chrysler, the automaker controlled by Fiat SpA, said January sales rose 23 percent to 70,118 vehicles. The average estimate of four analysts was for a 27 percent gain.

Car sales dropped 22 percent to 11,425, driven by declines for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Avenger sedans, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company said today in a statement. Jeep Grand Cherokee deliveries more than doubled to 7,612.

U.S. consumer confidence rose more than forecast in January to the highest in eight months, the Conference Board reported last week, while the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment fell less than analysts estimated. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported.

Nissan Tops Estimates

Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s second-largest automaker, increased sales of Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles by 15 percent last month, Al Castignetti, Nissan’s vice president of U.S. sales, said in an interview. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a gain of 14 percent.

Honda Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest carmaker, increased U.S. sales of Honda and Acura brand autos 13 percent last month to 76,269, said Chris Martin, a company spokesman.

The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a rise of 24 percent for Tokyo-based Honda.

Kia Motors Corp., the second-biggest South Korean automaker, said in a statement today its U.S. sales rose 26 percent in January.

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