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Toyota to revamp Japanese dealership network

Last Update: 6:20 AM ET Mar 23, 2006


TOKYO (MarketWatch) -- Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.TO) said Thursday that it will revamp its domestic dealerships to enhance its sales network in its home market amid stiff competition.
Japan's biggest automaker by sales volume said it will redesign interior and exterior signs to match the characteristics of each of its three dealer channels - "Toyota," "Toyopet" and "Toyota Corolla."
It will also create new logos for each sales channel, Toyota said in a statement.

The Aichi-based automaker aims to clarify the responsibility of each channel in sales of Toyota vehicles. The "Toyota" channel will be responsible for sales of Toyota luxury models, the "Toyopet" channel will be in change of sales of Toyota mid-size models, while the "Toyota Corolla" channel will focus on compact models.

The latest move follows Toyota's introduction of its upscale Lexus vehicle brand in Japan last year in an effort to strengthen its domestic operations.
While Japanese automakers have been enjoying steadily growing sales overseas, domestic sales growth has remained flat with demand seen dwindling in the years ahead as Japan's population is expected to decline.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association expects domestic auto demand for this year to be nearly unchanged from last year at 5.93 million vehicles. Domestic sales have remained around 5.90 million since 2000.

Honda Motor Co. (7267.TO) overhauled its domestic sales network this month while Nissan Motor Co. (7201.TO) late last year unveiled a plan to improve the efficiency of operations at domestic dealerships.
 
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