We’ve all heard about the massive success Toyota has been having with the 86 Coupe’ which was launched earlier this month, and it seems that the success has continued.
Earlier today some of the team went down to the local Toyota dealer to check it out in the showroom and found that the single GTS Manual which they had for demonstrations was certainly in high demand. Unfortunately, it seems that Toyota (or this dealer in particular) isn’t however too keen on letting potential customers jump in and experience the car before committing.
When we inquired about getting behind the wheel, we were asked to place a deposit or in the extreme case – be prepared to sign the dotted line immediately after. Talk about trying before you buy. We understand that there are buyers who will commit before even seeing a car in the flesh; however we think that most people in this particular market aren’t too keen on that idea.
The sales person told us that the reason why they were asking for a deposit was because they were getting a large amount of interest and they didn’t want to run up thousands of kilometres on the demo they had. Whilst we appreciate that you might get a few tyre kickers, it seems like a bizarre selling strategy as sometimes sales come from the least likely on first impressions and in doing this you may also be turning potential customers away who are simply discerning about their purchases and against putting deposits down for a test drive. This could be especially so as this isn’t a $300,000 or $600,000 car, but merely a car at the $40,000 mark, so this was surprising to say the least.
At the end of the day, we were disappointed and even though the sales person boasted that they had turned 20 people away yet still sold 4 cars in one day, is that really a measure of acceptance of this method, or could it have been 10 cars sold if they were more generous and accommodating of their customers? Just because a person doesn’t want to put down their hard earned dollars just to test drive a car, doesn’t mean they aren’t a potential customer if the vehicle lives up to expectations.
We’ll just strike this one up to experience.