Section 2. Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. to Form Toyota Motor Corporation
Item 3. Aiming for Annual Domestic Sales of 2 Million Vehicles
After the merger, Toyota devised a series of measures to strengthen its sales structures with the aim of building a system for annual domestic sales of 2 million vehicles.
The effect of the merger would soon be apparent in domestic sales performance as reflected in the figures for vehicle units sold and market share. For this reason, strengthening of the sales system had become an important and pressing issue not just for the harmonization of the former Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd., but also for the consolidation of the integration with Toyota of its dealers and suppliers.
In July 1982, at the same time as the merger, to strengthen dealers' sales operations and improve their management operations, proposals were presented that offered dealers a 10-day extension of payment deadlines and an increased profit margin. Additionally, a system providing loans for investment in strategic equipment, the third such system, was set up so that low-interest loans could be offered to promote the establishment of new sales bases or refurbishment of existing ones. At the same time, generous support measures for increases in sales staff were devised.
In October of the same year, there began a program of informal meetings between dealers and senior management, arranged by sales channel or by regional block. The informal meetings also included tours of production plants, visits to the Engineering Group premises, and similar events that encouraged dealers to feel a closer connection with the new Toyota, which combined the former Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. At a succession of these informal meetings, senior management on the dealer side presented more than 100 comments and requests, which Toyota promised to take into account in product development and sales strategy.
Meanwhile, in the one year immediately before the merger, in line with Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. President Shoichiro Toyoda's policy of emphasizing dialog, there had been an expansion in the program of executive visits to dealers. To build a mutual relationship of trust between Toyota and dealers, these visits were stepped up to twice the previous level in that year.
Regarding the merger of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd., the mainstream view in the media had been that harmonization would be a long process, while within the industry there were quite a number of people who saw it as a good opportunity for other companies to challenge Toyota. However, the speedier decision-making that had been the objective of the merger bore steady fruit in each organization group. The Japan Sales Business Group, in particular, which had worked actively to put in place sales support measures and strengthen product performance, was among the first to show the benefits of the merger. In 1982, the number of new Toyota vehicles registered in Japan grew to 1,524,000 units, a 2.0% year on year increase, while market share grew year on year by 0.5 percentage points to 38.8 percent. In the following year, 1983, the figure grew again to 1,599,000 units and market share to 40.2 percent, passing the 40 percent mark for the first time in the nine years since 1974.