Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Toyotas are Theft Proof

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMBarbara Ellington
This is the view of the new branch of Toyota Jamaica Limited located at 93 Old Hope Road. The facility, which opened just over a week ago, was toured by journalists on Wednesday.
The upstairs café, where customers will be able to wait in comfort and luxury.
Michael ‘Mick’ McGrane, the Old Hope Road branch manager.
The showroom of the new Toyota Jamaica Limited Old Hope Road branch has the spanking hot 2016 models on display.

For several years, the very features which made the Toyota brand of vehicles the first choice for Jamaican motorists were the same ones that made them a favourite with car thieves.

But the negatives are a thing of the past, because for more than five years now, work has been steadily advancing to the point where the vehicle immobiliser installed in all their brands now means that owners can feel safe knowing that their car cannot be easily stolen by simply using a generic key.

Speaking to The Gleaner at Wednesday's exclusive media tour of the new 93 Old Hope Road branch, manager Mick McGrane said the immobiliser is activated when a chip inside the ignition key is activated, and works in tandem with the computer in the vehicle .

"To start, the sensors will sense the key before it will start the car, so thieves can no longer go cut a key or hot-wire our cars as they did before. All our vehicles now come with a tracking device, the cost of which we cover for one year, following which the owner takes over the payments," McGrane said.



The best news is that the branch is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and along with the regular ground floor customer lounge, there is a cafÈ upstairs which overlooks the show room floor. Here, customers waiting on vehicles to be serviced will get one complimentary cup of coffee or tea, but there will be other snacks on sale. There is also free Wi-Fi in a cosy setting.

McGrane is upbeat about the efficient and capable team and the speedy and excellent service that will be offered in a location geared specifically for customers in the general New Kingston vicinity, but which will also welcome all Toyota customers in the island.

There are 18 service bays, one lift and one alignment stand; servicing time has been reduced from two and a half to two hours; and the technicians can complete 50 vehicles in a day and 20 by 1 p.m., where there are no major repairs required.

"Each technician can complete between five and eight vehicles per day, depending on the type of service, and we start working at seven in the mornings 'til five in the afternoons," the branch manager said.

This new branch brings to three locations in the island. The head office remains at 427 Spanish Town Road, while the Montego Bay branch is located at Lot 1200 Ironshore Industrial Estate.