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At Toyota of Tampa Bay, we are determined to exceed every one of your expectations, from selecting the perfect vehicle to keeping it in top condition for years on down the road.

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You are currently browsing the Toyota of Tampa Bay Newsletter archives for April, 2014 .

Archive for April, 2014

Toyota Dealers Among Top Satisfaction Study

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Customer experience can dictate whether or not a consumer returns to a certain brand, and car dealerships are on the front lines when it comes to delivering an enjoyable experience.

Toyota, Lexus and Buick dealers all scored on top of a new customer service survey, locked in a three-way tie. According to the new study undertaken by the Temkin Group, a firm specializing in customer service, each one of these three brands scored a 74 percent rating in the 2014 study.

The study surveyed 10,000 customers and included different types of businesses, including air travel, banking and even fast food chains. The three auto dealers that tied collectively placed in the 59th position out of 268 companies that were included in the study. This is Toyota’s second year with the highest rated auto dealers, while it is a first for Lexus and Buick.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chrysler scored the lowest among auto dealers, coming in the 256th position. Dodge and Kia are the only other two brands whose scores declined this year, and they now make up the bottom three along with Chrysler.

Rounding out the top 10 from best to worst are Subaru, Hyundai, Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Mercedes and BMW.

Three different aspects are addressed in the survey. Customers are asked to rate the business’ functionality, accessibility and emotion, and then the three scores are taken and averaged.

Any score above 70 percent is considered good, while anything above 80 percent is considered excellent. Scoring under 50 percent is considered very poor, but not a single auto company scored lower than Chrysler, which was right on the line with 50 percent.

Source: []

Posted in Automotive News |

Putting Toyota’s Truck to The Frozen Tundra Test

Monday, April 7th, 2014 resident truck expert Stephen Elmer wasn’t born with 4:10 gears, locking differentials and trailer towing specs on the brain, but he might as well have been.

His father is known as the “Canadian Truck King,” so its no surprise that Steve takes to pickups like white on rice. But the King wasn’t pleased when Toyota invited journalists to test the 2014 Tundra. His criticism wasn’t with the truck, but the planned route that did little to test its purported capability. Fast forward a few months and Elmer Sr. and his progeny are tag-teaming the Texas-built truck on a no-holds-barred week-long trip meant as a stress test to benchmark what potential owners can expect.

The daring duo also got their hands on a used Tundra for a frame of reference to see how much the new generation – which has a carryover powertrain – has really been improved. Elmers² started their journey outside of Toronto, Canada and will venture into the rough northern reaches of Canada, ending on the country’s east-most reaches in Newfoundland and Labrador. Their route follows the Trans-Labrador Highway, the majority of which is unpaved. With winter coming to an end, much of the path will be mired with mud and loose ground. To top it off, they are also towing a trailer with a snowmobile in it that weighs roughly 4,000 lbs.

Source: []

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota’s ‘green bond’ an industry first, quickly rises to $1.75 billion

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Toyota is greasing the skids for more green car purchases with the announcement of a $1.75-billion bond designed to finance the purchase of high-efficiency Toyota and Lexus models. The Asset-Backed Green Bond is a first for the automotive industry and is making a lot of money available to buy or lease the following vehicles: any of the four Prius variants, Camry Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, RAV4 EV, Lexus CT 200h and Lexus ES 300h.

Originally, the bond was set at $1.25 billion, but Justin Leach, manager of public relations for Toyota Financial Services (TFS), told AutoblogGreen that demand was high and it was quickly oversubscribed. TFS has been looking at more ways to diversify its portfolio after a Diversity & Inclusion Bond that was announced in early 2013 and, with the new Green Bond, TFS is offering something for the “number of investors out there who are looking for investment opportunities in green.”

The way the money from the bond is used, basically, is that TFS takes the $1.75 billion and uses it to finance the purchase or lease of the nine vehicles listed above. As of right now, all the eligible vehicles are plug-in or hybrids, but the rules simply say that the cars in the program have to meet certain “powertrain, fuel efficiency and emissions” criteria. That means:
Minimum EPA estimated MPG (or MPG equivalent for alternative fuel vehicles) of 35 city / 35 highway
California Low-Emission Vehicle II (LEV II) certification of super ultra-low emission vehicles (SULEVs) or higher, which would include partial zero emissions vehicles (PZEVs) and zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
TFS raises plenty of billions in other ways for the rest of the lineup, and got into asset backed securities in 2010, Leach said. Given the success of this first Green Bond, Leach said he expects TFS to keep this idea in its arsenal. “This one was so well received, I would be surprised if we didn’t see it again,” he said. “If anyone was going to do it, it should be Toyota, right?”

Source: []

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota NA CEO says his excitement for hydrogen sedan is rising

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Toyota has an undeniable vested interest in seeing its hydrogen sedan succeed when it goes on sale in the US next year, so it’s no surprise that the company’s North American CEO, Jim Lentz, says that he’s got more hope for the car now than ever before. And if we remember ways that others in the company, like Bob Carter, have loudly sung hydrogen’s praises, we have to assume that positivity is running awful high in Torrance. In fact, Lentz said that the US side of the company is far more excited by the H2 car than colleagues in Japan.

Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, CA this week, Lentz said:
After we’ve seen the product, understand its range, its driving dynamics, its refueling, we’re a lot more bullish than Japan – probably about fivefold more bullish. It’s just a question of how many can be produced now.

Well, we’ve driven this car, and we still feel that Toyota is placing a big bet on the technology. One important issue is cost, but Lentz would not say exactly how much the car costs to make or what it will be priced at. He did say, though, that the production cost has dropped by 95 percent from the $1 million price tag the car wore ten years ago. That hints at a production cost of around $50,000. Lentz also said he thinks it will take at least a decade for hydrogen vehicles to hit sales of 500,000 per year in the US. Speaking to Bloomberg, he said:

Their acceptance could get off to a quicker start than the hybrids did. I think you’re going to see a lot more marketing of the concept of fuel cell much sooner than you did for hybrids, because basically the whole industry is behind it.

Source: []

Posted in Automotive News |

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