Section 5. Expansion of Sales Systems in Japan and Development of Markets in Other Countries
Item 2. Toyota Auto Dealerships (now Netz Toyota Dealerships) Start Operations
Sales volumes at Publica dealerships increased sharply as a result of the higher Corolla sales. Until the launch of the Corolla, Publica dealers handled only the Publica, and in 1965, average monthly sales were in the range of 8,000 units. Following the launch of the Corolla, however, sales volumes jumped as a result of its explosive popularity, and average monthly sales more than doubled to 18,000 units in 1967.
Toyota's sales plan for the Corolla anticipated that sales volumes would steadily increase. This rapid increase in pace, however, exceeded the ability of Publica dealerships to expand sales capacity, and Toyota decided to establish a new dealership chain to follow the Publica dealerships.
The plans to establish a new dealership chain entered the preparations stage in June 1967 when the launch schedule for the new Corolla Sprinter of the Corolla series (the Sprinter was later spun off from the Corolla series as the Toyota Sprinter) was set. The lessons learned from the Publica dealerships were put to good use and the basic policies for establishment of the new dealerships were as follows:
- 1.Local capital and personnel will be gathered. If human resources with automotive-related experience cannot be recruited, personnel support from existing dealerships will be requested.
- 2.Two or more dealerships will be established in large prefectures, but in this case, the prefecture will be divided and the primary sales territories of each dealership determined to avoid unnecessary competition.
- 3.Initially, the new dealerships will sell the Corolla sedan and the Publica sedan in parallel with the Publica dealerships and will serve as the exclusive dealers for the Miniace. Also, when the Sprinter is launched, it will be added as an exclusive series of the new dealerships.
Temporary office used at time of founding Toyota Auto Kitami (now Netz Toyota Kitami Co., Ltd.; 1969)
Preparations proceeded in accordance with these policies, and as a result of the active cooperation from dealers, decisions were made on approximately 20 dealerships in October of that year, and the first three began operations in November. Later, Toyota Auto dealerships were established at a rapid pace, and by the end of March 1968, there was a total of 43 Toyota Auto dealerships nationwide including Publica dealerships and dealerships affiliated with other companies that had switched. With the establishment of the Toyota Auto dealerships, Toyota now had two sales channels including the Publica dealerships (the name was changed to Toyota Corolla dealerships in 1969) for selling mass-market cars.