Following its mantra of “slow and steady growth,” Toyota de Puerto Rico is rolling into 2017 with the goal of maintaining its local market share, currently 32.2 percent, while ramping up efforts to offer the best products and service.
Nancy Navales, vice-president of TdPR, exclusive distributor of the Toyota and Lexus brands in Puerto Rico, said during a meeting with the press Friday the company “will give people a lot to talk about, with new models, new technologies, more robust dealerships, a strengthened parts and service department, more support to community endeavors, and the sale of its one millionth car on the island.”
“Placing the customer first is what motivates us to overcome the challenges that the current economic climate imposes on the industry,” she said.
“We’re confident that Toyota will achieve its goals because we have the best vehicles in the market, provide the best customer service, and work to build lasting relationships with our customers,” said the executive.
Navales also noted that in the course of achieving its sales goal, Toyota will celebrate and surpass the sales of its one millionth vehicle in Puerto Rico. “This achievement is unique and meaningful in the local industry, and validates the fact that Toyota is a brand Puerto Ricans support and trust.”
In 2016 Toyota held the top spot in no fewer than six categories. Yaris dominated its class with a 43.4 percent market share; Corolla held strong in subcompacts, with 30.8 percent; RAV4 had 18.8 percent in small SUVs; Highlander, with 25.7 percent in mid-size SUV; and Tacoma, with 86.2 percent in small pick-up trucks.
TdPR will launch new Toyota and Lexus models and launch updated versions of current models this year, she said.
Toyota’s authorized dealer network will assume a more important role in the brand’s market performance, Navales said.
To that effect, four dealerships have invested more than $15 million in remodeling and updating their facilities including strengthening Parts & Service departments with more original parts, certified technicians, and better warranties and offers, among other efforts.
Toyota de Puerto Rico has 26 dealerships in its network: 22 in Puerto Rico; two in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and two Lexus dealerships.
Another important factor that will help Toyota reach its 2017 goals is Toyota Financial Services, the financing branch of the Toyota and Lexus brands, Navales said.
TFS, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, gives Toyota the opportunity to design more aggressive offers and incentives to support sales efforts, as well as provides dealerships with construction and working capital loans, said General Manager Breat Beals.
This year, TFS will launch a series of promotions and will keep competitive interest rates in place, all with the objective of helping foster a long-lasting relationship between the brand, dealers, and customers, he said.
“With TFS products, customers know that they can have the best car in the market at the best value,” said Beals, adding TSF has 37,000 clients in Puerto Rico, where the so-called “balloon” loan option prevails among consumers.
According to the Customer Loyalty Index, Toyota earned 71 percent in Sales and 72 percent in Service, an improvement of 1 and 4 points respectively, compared to 2015 figures. The company’s goal is to reach 85 percent in 2017. Parts sales also improved by 6.0 percent over 2015.
“Despite everything that is happening in Puerto Rico, we strengthen our commitment to our customers and to Puerto Rico by providing cars and services in which they can trust,” Navales said.
“More than a purchase, investing in a Toyota or Lexus vehicle is to be a part of a relationship built on trust. This has been the case for many decades, and will continue to be as such for many more,” Navales concluded.