Toyota Delivers One-of-a-kind Tundra Launch
Toyota unleashed a one-of-a-kind launch that features its redesigned Tundra pickup truck. The launching of its second generation Tundra in Charlotte, N.C. was graced by various species of automotive press from farming, towing, aftermarket trades, construction, and hunting and fishing, RV, and motorcycle magazines all at the same ride and drive.
“People in construction, farming, mining, will help give us credibility," said Michael O'Brien, product planning manager. "Among other things, the commercial sales fleet has been charged with finding high-visibility operations, such as road construction and maintenance companies to sign up for fleet purchases of the truck."
The diversity of reporters made the campaign one of the biggest in over 45 years of Toyota's presence in the United States market. "Toyota is treating the launch of its Tundra full-size pickup as if it were launching an entirely new division, including reorganizing its marketing and product development teams," said Ernest Bastien, VP vehicle operations group. "We have co-located planning, advertising, PR, event planning, distribution, accounting, and the company's University of Toyota."
Five months before the launch of Tundra, Toyota opened its CAD files to SEMA member aftermarket companies to create a two-part dealer training program and launch a dealership design upgrade program. Said programs include the introduction of pickup Toyota Tundra truck parts to dealers. The redesigned 2007 Tundra was launched at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. It will go on sale in mid-January next year.
“The only dealer training immersion we have done that even comes close to that was for the Prius launch," said Bastien. "Toyota's dealership training road show in January is also much larger than before. "We will train some 24,000 salespeople. For the Camry launch we trained 18,000."
Aside from the diverse launch of Tundra, Toyota will also launch a road show with the Camry. Toyota Camry OEM parts are now made more sophisticated to improve quality and drive feel. According to Bastien, Toyota's "Prove It Tour," likened to Dodge's 2002 "Truckville" tour, will hit some 650 events in over 300 markets. It will also cover NASCAR and Daytona 500 auto events.
The automaker is also making its divisions more intensive than before. As with it Scion division, Toyota is doing a dealer sales-force training program which is beyond the ordinary. It is running a 4-day product and marketing immersion named "Truck Champions." It means that individual dealerships are chosen by the automaker to oversee sales and marketing for Tundra.
About the Author: Mark Clarkson is a 35 year old marketing consultant for a leading auto parts store. This native of Denver is also an off-road enthusiast.