Dangled in front of buyers as a carrot while times were tough during the runaway Prius media storm, Toyota has learned that the relatively low cost program is actually a great way to lure customers and close sales. Toyota officials made the announcement at its annual national dealer meeting.
Complimentary Maintenance Programs Can Help Make The Sale
The programs will be called Toyota Care and Scion Service Boost and for most owners will likely result in several of oil changes and tire rotations. Given that many dealers independently make the first service complimentary, the program does not involve a heavy cost burden on either the manufacturer or dealer. On the flip side, the free services allow the dealership to build a relationship with the car owner who might otherwise defect to a quick lube establishment or private mechanic.
It is an interesting turn of events for free maintenance programs. Several years ago, some luxury car makers began to pull their complimentary programs citing costs and dealer profits. However, manufacturers like BMW stuck with their offerings and used it as a valuable deal closer when customers were weighing which brand to go with. Now, many car makers are jumping back into the fray, some with temporary promotional programs and others with more permanent offerings. In general, lower cost marques offer two years of care while higher end brands offer four years, with Jaguar offering a whopping five year or 50,000 maintenance plan. Also a differentiator is whether or not wear-and-tear components are covered.