• Feb 19, 2008
Toyota has so far resisted expanding its dealer body in the wake of the Japanese automaker's unprecedented climb up the sales charts. In eight years, Toyota has gone from having 15 million of its vehicles on the road to 22 million today. So far dealers have been able to keep up with the torrid sales pace, but at the service end, dealerships are busting at the seams. In an attempt to alleviate some of that pressure for landlocked dealers, Toyota has piloted off-site service centers and oil change centers. The early results show that the nine dealers in the pilot received significantly more customer pay (non-warranty) repairs than the average Toyota dealership, which translates into more money for the dealer.
For Toyota owners near dealers with satellite shops, this means your car or truck will be fixed in a more timely fashion, and 15,000-mile checkups won't land you on a three-week waiting list. We totally understand why Toyota doesn't want to have more dealerships, but the added service capacity is a no-brainer. Making Toyota owners wait weeks for needed repairs is just bad business.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      TMS has been looking into Satellite Service facilities since the late 1990's. This is not new news.

      The concept works. It just takes some balls to actually implement it, which Toyota is missing when it comes to affecting any real change with its millionaire owner/dealers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      well i do work at a toyota dealer ship and i also work with the used vehicle department of that dealer. i also in charge of doing the toyota warranty info. on avg most warranty problems are customer cause of breaking it or miss using its accy's and for recalls they cover a vin range like any other motor co. and most of them dont even apply to every vehicle. our service dep isnt bursting at the seams but last month it was doing better then any dealer in the area. we had there techs coming to see us to get a job due to they were leaving at noon every day or not going in at all for weeks at a time.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "most warranty problems are customer cause of breaking it"

        I'm glad to see this crappy 'it's the customers fault' attitude isn't just a local problem. So do service techs get dinged if they rack up too much warranty work or something? Is there a quota that says you can only do so much warranty work?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oops! My mistake, I'll just blame the dog.
      http://www.uwsa.com/issues/trade/japanyes.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      haha yea i hear it all the time
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why do we always get into this reliability argument? Your locale will greatly affect the types of vehicles you see daily, which, in turn, affects the types of vehicles you see in the shop. Also, your locale is likely to effect the types of repairs most prevalent in that area (i.e. heavily congested areas probably have more wear-and-tear).

      I'm not a Toyota fan by any means; I think their cars are devoid of any soul. But they make a decent appliance, like the rest of the industry. The key to their success has always been commitment to the basics and industry foresight. (read: Prius, Scion, etc.) Whether or not they've remained true to their core values is another issue onto itself.

      While it may be true that domestics have increased in reliability over the past decade, what I'm not impressed with still is a lack of attention to details. Details sell the car...it’s that thing that makes you whisper "wow..." Building a reliable car without this is like writing a good paper without proofreading: Good ideas, mediocre execution.
      • 6 Years Ago
      toyota must be doing something right i see more toyotas with more miles and cost let then any other vehicle you can buy. i've seen more transmissions go in to non toyota vehicles in one month then i have seen in a year for a toyota.
        • 6 Years Ago
        tom,
        "i've seen more transmissions go in to non toyota vehicles in one month then i have seen in a year for a toyota."
        Total bs. A fellow car club member and neighbor owns a transmission shop on a very busy street and not an import to be found. Two blocks in from the busy street is his import only shop, bussling with Toyota's and now more than ever, Hyundai's. "I could close the domestic shop and make a great living on Toyota's alone". HIS words.
        Another car club member is the manager of one of the largest auto recycling yards probably in the country. It's located just south of Chicago and operated like a fine tooth comb. One section is domestics only, and accross the tracks is imports only. HIS words, "the average age and mileage of domestics vs. imports being scrapped is exactly the same. Most of the Toyo's being scrapped is because of either major engine or tranny problems". And I think all of us will agree that Imports are far more expensive to repair than domestics.

      • 6 Years Ago
      for some reason i recall submiting a few of them sludge campaign. those customer did not do oil changes like you should in a vehicle. whats wrong with the tundra... that propeller shaft recall only applys to 5% of 17k of vehicles. i have not had to replace any of them shaft yet in over 50 trucks in this area. hmm like the biggest recall ever on the camry all weather floor mat recall, it only applyed to the vehicles with all weather floor mats so only the people that had bought the floor mats it applyed to and the main reason it was sent out is the floor mats were not being installed properly and they were just 1 inch to long and um if i recall they sent out the recall and are owning up to fault on that same with any recall a motor co. sends out. dealers dont blame the customer till its proven they didnt take care of the car go to a wal mart and listen to every car that drives by and listen to the noises that come from them and you tell me what ones are taken care of and what ones are not. have you ever looked at a parking lot ground once its first put in and then a year later and what it looks like 5% of the oil leaks on the ground is a dealer/garages fault.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tom,
        Don't waste your breath man. It's a futile effort. The minute Toyota is mentioned we got all the colorful characters that have to chime in with the “facts” and enlighten us.
        Toyota has this great hypnosis thing going to "fool" people into buying them and making the company what it is today.
        All of us that drive Toyotas and are very happy with them are all ignorant.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They sure need more service, those overrated piece of crap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I laugh every time i see a toyota forum, dumb-mestic fangirls comes out scrambling ,but toyota this, toyota that,toyota expanding and its a bad thing,GM losing billions and its a good thing,no good news has come out of detroit since well ,forever!.keep attacking toyota the way you attack china, just pray we can pay back all that money we borrowed from china,
      • 6 Years Ago
      this is rather funny. how many stories have we seen here on Autoblog in the last ten days that concern domestics needing to (allegedly) close dealers?

      my comments then were all about two things:

      1) less competition becomes collusion when buying a car, and

      2) service convenience will be greatly dimished.

      if Toyota service departments are "busting at the seams", I suspect that the majority of vehicles are NOT coming in for oil changes, and most likely for warranty work. is this unusual for the 'most trouble-free cars in America'?

      it's rather interesting that the reverse is true at domestic dealerships. as a former dealer principal myself, I have many friends still in the business. they have seen warranty-related business drop dramatically in the last ten years, and now rely on customers coming in for routine maintenence.

      having additional dealers (not satellite service facilities) really costs the manufacturer nothing. obviously, Toyota is NOT concerned about how convenient a dealership is for the customer; they are more concerned about keeping their already fat dealers fat, making sure collusion is not replaced with (that evil) competition.

      I'm sure that a three-week wait for a service appointment won't do much to help Toyota's already plunging CSI.

      AZMike
      • 6 Years Ago
      no need to get mad. its just a fact i see every day and that sludge thing i can ensure you i have proof 90% of them customer did not take care of the car. doesnt matter wether its a toyota or not. no need to get mad about it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let me be the first to whack this softball.

      Of course they are expanding their service groups. Toyota is America's #1 recall car company.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You sure about that? I can't speak for 2007 results, of which I don't have any data, but for 2006, here are the documented facts:

        Honda: 1.5 million US sales, 1.4 thousand US recalls (excludes owner's manual typo), 0.093% recall rate

        Toyota: 2.5 million US sales, 0.81 million US recalls, 32% recall rate

        GM: 4.1 million US sales, 1.4 million US recalls, 34% recall rate

        Ford: 2.9 million US sales, 1.7 million US recalls, 58% recall rate

        DaimlerChrysler: 2.4 million US sales, 2.3 million US recalls, 96% recall rate

        Nissan: 1.0 million US sales, 1.3 million US recalls, 130% recall rate

        Either in sheer number of recalls, or as a percentage of cars sold that year, Toyota was hardly the worst in recalls. And yes, I am well aware some companies issue hidden recalls by euphemistically calling them service bulletins, but I am also aware some other companies refuse to issue any recall at all, hidden or not, until forced to do so by class-action lawsuits.

        Links:
        http://www.autoblog.com/2007/01/19/surprise-recalls-fall-in-2006/1#c3182426
        http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/TOP%20STORY/496383/
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