The Toyota Motor Corp. in an effort to help regain the trust of the American car buyer has been including a 2 year service plan with the purchase of a new vehicle for the past few months along with their rebates and financing incentives.
On Wednesday October, 5 2010 they announced that they have now made this a standard feature to any buyer of a new Toyota or Scion. The service plans will be called Toyota Care and Scion Boost, the plans will included all factory scheduled maintenance for free along with 24 hour road side assistance at no cost to the customer for two years or 25,000 miles (whichever comes first). These service plans are effective immediately and apply to all all new vehicles.
A Toyota First – Full Line No Cost Maintenance
This new Toyota standard maintenance plan makes them the first full line auto manufacturer to include a no cost maintenance plan for the entire line. Toyota said that they decided to make the plans a standard feature after 73 percent of the customers that received the service plan as an incentive said the felt much better about their confidence in Toyota . As I mentioned earlier, Toyota started including a maintenance plan as an incentive in the spring after the highly publicized recalls. Effective immediately the company will promote the service plans through a nationwide advertising and promotional blitz.
It’s no secret that the once sacred Toyota reputation for quality and reliability was damaged after 13 million cars were recalled for problems and issues that included stalling engines, sticking gas pedals, brake control software, and possible computer problems. You couldn’t turn on a television, radio or open a web page or newspaper without hearing about the Toyota recalls. The once sterling reputation of the Toyota Motor Corporation was tarnished and it was going to be fixed in a week or two.
“The two complimentary maintenance plans were developed to help improve overall cost of ownership and provide invaluable peace of mind for our customers,” Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, said in the company’s press release.
Sly Like a Fox – Toyota
A smart move on Toyota’s part because the “true cost of ownership” will now be reduced and it can become a valuable tool for future promotions. When you consider the cost of the tire rotations, oil and filter changes, chassis lubrication, 19 point factory recommended inspections and road side assistance that includes jump starts, lockout protection, towing and flat tires for a two year period it can add up to some real savings. Now those savings can reduce the cost of ownership of a Toyota by a sizable amount.
So the question in my mind, is Toyota buying future customers with a future promotion that will blow the competition away with the “cost of ownership factor” or are they trying to buy the customer for sales today. I think it’s probably both, remember we are talking about Toyota, they always plan very far into the future and that is why they have come as far as they have.
Either way, if you are a Toyota a fan the two year standard service plan for no-cost to the customer is a great deal. I have heard some reports of people that were considering Nissan and Honda that were swayed by the free two year service plan from Toyota. So maybe it’s working better than you might think. I will be watching for the future cost of owning a Toyota reports.
This might be the ideal time for when to buy a car, or at least a Toyota.