Toyota and Lexus upgrade tools so you can buy 100% new cars online

  • Toyota’s SmartPath aims to allow shoppers to purchase online and have their vehicles delivered from local dealerships without having to go there in person. Or they can start shopping online, then go in and bargain.
  • Only about 50 Toyota dealers use the SmartPath today, but that number will double this spring.
  • Lexus is also involved in this with a similar program called Monogram. Only a few dealers use the Monogram, but Lexus “will aggressively accelerate availability through 2021.”

    Toyota customers love smart things. Lexus drivers prefer to have their items written in monograms. This is one way to take a look at the enhanced online car shopping service that the two brands offer to Lexus and Toyota shoppers in the United States. The online tool is functionally the same regardless of whether you’re looking for a new IS or a new Prius, but Lexus calls its service Monogram while Toyota’s is called SmartPath.

    The idea behind the one-and-a-half-year-old universal retail program was to make buying a new Toyota or Lexus as easy as possible, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, the offline aspect has often been a selling point. we will. Toyota says Cox Automotive’s digital shopping survey last April showed that two-thirds of shoppers are 100 percent more likely to want to buy a car online. Toyota first introduced the SmartPath in September 2019 as a way to connect the car buyer’s experience across a number of Toyota shopping sites, including Toyota.com, buyatoyota.com, and local dealer sites.

    To date, of the company’s more than 1,200 agents in the US, only about 50 are currently synced to SmartPath. Another 50 agencies will be added later this spring. Only a few Lexus dealerships are currently using the Monogram in beta testing in select markets, but Lexus says it plans to “aggressively accelerate availability through 2021.”

    Toyota

    One of the big changes Toyota is making to SmartPath and Monogram this month is the ability to complete the entire purchase process without visiting a dealership. The only non-digital part of the transaction is a handwritten signature that is required in some states, but even that can be done when the car is delivered at your home, according to Car News.

    Toyota said it has made changes to the SmartPath and Monogram by working alongside Toyota Financial Services as well as dealerships across the United States, and there is one clear way the system is prioritizing dealerships over customers. When browsing, shoppers can check only one dealer’s inventory at a time, rather than seeing all vehicles available locally or locally, or even by comparing prices at two agencies.

    Once the shopper begins to select the vehicle and options in the SmartPath or Monogram, they can visit the dealership to see the vehicle or to haggle the price. Everything they bring to the site is added to what Toyota calls a “digital garage,” then that information becomes available to the salesperson, who can save time during the visit. Dealers are not forced to use SmartPath or Monogram and pay an undisclosed fee to Toyota if they want to be included in the system, Car News reports.

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