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Toyota Old Hope Road opens next month - Brand extends long-standing sales leadership

Published:Sunday | January 17, 2016 | 1:00 AMDavion Smith
The 2016 Toyota Hilux.
A conceptual drawing of the new Toyota Jamaica facility on Old Hope Road.
Hiroshi Kitahara (left), general manager, Toyota Tsusho America, Inc; Yasuo Takase (second left), Japan’s ambassador to Jamaica; Anthony Hylton (centre), minister of industry, investment and commerce; Tom Connor (second right), managing director, Toyota Jamaica Limited; and Peter Matalon do the ceremonial groundbreaking at the site for Toyota Jamaica’s new facility on Old Hope Road, St Andrew, last January.
Howard Foster, sales and marketing manager, Toyota Jamaica.
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Toyota Jamaica will open the doors to its Old Hope Road, St Andrew, complex to the public next month. The new location will serve as an addition to the company's Montego Bay, St James, and Spanish Town Road dealerships.

Howard Foster, sales and marketing manager for Toyota Jamaica, said the new location was constructed specifically to fill the needs of the company's clients. "It is mainly for the convenience of our customers. There will be greater accessibility to our product from a sales, service, and parts aspect. Those who live or work in the vicinity won't necessarily have to journey all the way down to Spanish Town Road to get their vehicle serviced or buy cars," Foster said.

Foster told Automotives that vehicle owners, future owners, and drivers will be greeted with a fresh lot of 2016 models at the new location. The company introduced this year's models last September, but will be showcasing entirely redesigned and remodelled versions of their Toyota Hilux and Fortuner.

Industry and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton; general manager of Toyota Tsusho America Inc, Hiroshi Kitahara; and Japanese ambassador to Jamaica, Yasuo Takase, were among those in attendance when ground was broken for the new Toyota Jamaica outlet last January. Projected to be completed in 12 months, it was reported that the 26,000-square foot facility had taken an investment of over $400 million, with construction to provide jobs to 100 persons. The new branch was to have a staff complement of 40.

The Japanese-owned company has been in Jamaica for more than a decade. It has been held the number-one spot in terms of sales of the vehicle brand for almost equally as long, Foster told Automotives. He said the company has enjoyed good business because of the reliability of the product.

"Our success is because of a combination of things. Toyota is known for its durability and reliability. It has the highest resale value and requires a low cost of ownership. To maintain the vehicle is less expensive than other vehicles," Foster said.

Toyota was positioned at number eight overall on Forbes List (2015) of the World's Most Valuable Brands. Apple, Microsoft, and Google held the top three spots, in that order. Toyota sits ahead of motor vehicle brands such as BMW (16), Honda (23), and Mercedes-Benz (24) on the list.

According to Forbes List, Toyota is the most valuable car brand for 2015.

Describing how easy it is for Toyota vehicle owners to access parts, Foster said "you can get parts at the supermarket, so to speak".

The Old Hope Road branch is expected to have an official launch in mid-February.

davion.smith@gleanerjm.com