Perhaps you’ve seen the news: Toyota New Zealand has revamped its dealer system (dealerships are now called “stores”) and dramatically changed the car-buying experience.

Instead of choosing from vehicles in stock at a particular dealership, car buyers now have access to a much wider range of models held at three “hubs” around the country. The dealerships (sorry, “stores”) will actually have fewer cars to look at, but will have a more helpful role: offering advice, arranging test drives (perhaps even an overnight loan), and taking care of ordering you precisely the car you want.

Alistar Davis, CEO of Toyota NZ (pictured above), says Toyota has become more efficient at getting cars to people at lower cost, meaning that customers can save money, save time and have more choices.

What many car buyers will welcome most is the introduction of fixed pricing. No more shopping from “store” to “store” to find the best deal. And no more haggling (the “charade” as Davis calls it). Toyota says this actually enables them to lower the sticker prices, since they no longer need room to negotiate.

Toyota New Zealand is a long-time Stellar customer, and we were pleased to be part of the Drive Happy project. Our team handled the integration of cloud-based dealership management software and other business systems with Toyota’s Microsoft SQL Server database.