Toyota wants to send its dealers back to school — sales college to be exact.
Starting June 1, class is in session at the newly christened Toyota Sales Logistics College at the company’s headquarters in Toyota City. The goal is to bring dealers from around the world to Japan and give them uniform training in how to serve customers the Toyota Way.
The first four-week course is for domestic dealers. But overseas salespeople from India, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Panama fill the next block beginning July 13.American dealers are also eligible, but so far none has enrolled for the college’s first year.
Toyota Motor Corp. used to dispatch instructors to dealerships worldwide for training. But the new system brings people here and then sends them back home to teach what they learned.
The idea mirrors that of the Global Production Center, where Toyota flies in shop floor experts from around the world to inculcate them in the Toyota Production System.
At the college, a faculty of 14 instructors will lead classes on improving service logistics, encouraging repeat customers, improving used-car logistics and improving body and paint shops.
Each course runs four weeks and costs 45,000 yen, or $474.50 at current exchange rates, per person. Food and lodging will be covered by local distributors in the dealer’s home country. Participants will stay at a company dormitory.
Toyota expects to graduate 50 dealers by March 31, 2010.