?The company’s distribution strategy covers choice of firm distribution and transport, number and location of warehouse and weather the company carries out activities itself or buys (outsources) them. Toyota’s automotive sales distribution network is the largest in Japan. As of March 31, 2009, this network consisted of 290 dealers employing approximately 40,000 sales personnel and operating more than 4,800 sales and service outlets.
Toyota owns 19 of these dealers and the remainder is independent. In addition, at March 31, 2009, Daihatsu’s sales distribution network consisted of 62 dealers employing approximately 5,500 sales personnel and operating approximately 700 sales and service outlets. Daihatsu owns 36 of these dealers and the remainder is independent. Toyota believes that this extensive sales network has been an important factor in its success in the Japanese market.
A large number of the cars sold in Japan are purchased from salespersons who visit customers in their homes or offices. In recent years, however, the traditional method of sales through home visits is being replaced by showroom sales and the percentage of automobile purchases through showrooms has been gradually increasing. Toyota expects this trend to continue, and accordingly, plans to improve its sales activities such as customer reception and meticulous service at showrooms to increase customer satisfaction.
Sales of Toyota vehicles in Japan are conducted through four sales channels — “Toyota,” “Toyopet,” “Corolla” and “Netz. ” In addition, Toyota introduced the Lexus brand to the Japanese market in August 2005, and currently distributes the Lexus brand vehicles through a network of approximately 170 sales outlets in order to enhance its competitiveness in the domestic luxury automobile market. The following table provides information for each channel as of March 31, 2009.