Toyota Gives GM Boost in Japan

Article excerpt

Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it has chosen its strongest dealer network to sell cars made by General Motors Corp., giving the U.S. automaker a major boost in its drive to export to Japan.

"The decision to select the 1,072-outlet-strong `Toyota' dealer network is an important step in making the marketing effort a success," Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda said.

Toyota has five separate domestic sales channels - Toyota, Toyopet, Corolla, Auto and Vista. The "Toyota" channel is the biggest, comprising 51 dealer companies with 1,072 sales outlets across the country.

Toyota and GM announced last November that Toyota would sell about 20,000 right-hand-drive Chevrolet Cavalier cars a year in Japan from early 1996 under the Toyota brand.

GM-made cars will go on sale in January or February 1996, a Toyota official said Wednesday.

"Toyota is confident that this kind of cooperation between private companies will contribute to the expansion of imports the public is calling for and will thus contribute to the promotion of a more international automobile market in Japan," Toyoda said in a statement.

GM-made cars are currently sold in Japan only through 193 outlets of Yanase & Co. Ltd., a major foreign-car dealer, and 16 outlets of independent dealers. …