Section 3. Rapid Growth of the Japanese Market and Development of the Lexus
Item 2. Reaffirmation of the Customer First Philosophy
Used car business and leasing business
During this period, the used car business at dealers was stagnant. The rapid growth in new car sales and the prominence of used-car-only dealers and businesses that bought used cars greatly lowered the trade-in rate during new car purchases, reducing the used-car inventory and retail sales at Toyota dealers. In response, the dealers implemented various measures such as remodeling their used-car lots, separating the retail department from the wholesale department, and increasing female sales staff in response to the rise in female consumers. TMC also worked with its dealers to promote a revitalization of the used-car market, for example holding its Used Car Standard Product sales event, the first of its kind in Toyota history, in July 1988.
In 1989, TMC extended the special warranty period for new cars to five years or 100,000 km and, in conjunction, revised its "Long Run" warranty for used cars in 1990. For passenger cars, TMC expanded its warranty coverage to all Toyota vehicles and also extended the warranty period in an effort to establish an image of peace of mind and reliability for Toyota used cars.
Since Toyota Rent a Car was also facing a transition period in the expanding leasing market, in 1986 it developed a three-year plan (for 1987-1989), setting "Becoming the No. 1 Group in Profitability" as its goal. Based on this plan, Toyota Rent a Car opened 60 new locations in 1987, expanding its network to 719 locations. Additionally, the total number of vehicles it owned, including leased cars, reached more than 100,000 vehicles in July of the same year, steadily expanding Toyota Rent a Car's business base.