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Toyota Tundra Dealers Forced to Get Creative

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Washington DC September 15, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that Toyota had hoped to sell more than 200,000 Tundras this year on its way to 300,000 in the near future. But that was before the bottom fell out of the U.S. truck market.

Now, many dealers are searching for a way to make their brand new truck facilities turn a profit. While some dealers are slashing Tundra marketing costs, Pat Lobb Toyota in McKinney, Texas, is spending heavily. The two-year-old store spent $250,000 last year to launch the truck and has been nearly maintaining that pace this year, managing partner John Mathews tells Automotive News.

When the dealership opened, 170 Tundras were in the market area. Last month, the McKinney store sold 77 trucks, and it has sold 488 Tundras so far this year. What's the secret?

"We have a presence with ride-and-drives and data collection at every community event we can find in our market area," Mathews says. "We have Tundras on display at Home Depot, Tractor Supply stores, and at every high school football game. We have a stripped chassis on the showroom floor. We press forward, no matter what the market is doing."