Toyota owners will still be able to access service and parts back-up – and book cars in for recall repairs – as the company confirms its national network of more than 200 dealers remains open for business amid the coronavirus crisis.
While some Toyota showrooms and parts and service departments have reduced opening hours, Australia’s most popular car brand – with more than 2.9 million vehicles on the road – says all dealers will continue to be able to get access to the company’s parts warehouses.
Most Toyota Australia office staff at headquarters and in regional offices are working from home, but all parts warehouses remain operational, albeit following strict health protocols.
“We have retained our essential logistics staff in our parts distribution centres,” said Toyota Australia vice president, sales and marketing, Sean Hanley. “We believe that people will still need to stay mobile during this challenging time for various reasons, of course observing government directions and health directions.”
Mr Hanley said Toyota dealerships “remain open and they are continuing to operate. People in businesses and particularly those businesses providing essential services still need those cars to remain mobile, so we understand that we must play a role in keeping those cars on the road.”
Toyota says its dealer network also continues to replace Takata airbags “as an essential service”.
Toyota is well prepared for the COVID-19 crisis, Mr Hanley said, and is already preparing for when the market returns to normal.
“I’ve been at Toyota for 32 years and I can recount a number of tough times, whether it be the Global Financial Crisis, the tsunami and earthquakes that tragically occurred in Japan, and all the recent bushfires that we’re still recovering from,” said Mr Hanley. “Toyota has a history of supporting each other (head office and dealer staff) and the community in which we operate.”
Dealers are adjusting their staff levels with flexible work hours and using annual leave to keep people employed “with the aim of bringing them back as soon as the market corrects”, said Mr Hanley.
In the interim, Toyota is renewing its focus on its online customer services. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, Toyota customers were able to use its online services to buy a new car, get a quote for finance, or book a service, however it has now moved those portals to the home page of its website.