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San Diego Toyota dealer finds new ways to serve online shoppers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Kearny Mesa Toyota

San Diego Toyota dealer finds new ways to serve online shoppers

Jason Stesney
January 24, 2006

Buying a Car Online in San Diego.

Today’s car shopper is faced with many choices on how to buy a vehicle, but none offers more information and up-to-date information like the Internet. In years past, when you in were in the market for a car, you would go to the dealership empty-handed, test-drive the car and put together the deal based on what you thought the car was worth. Unfortunately, many times buyers ended up getting a raw deal, with the dealerships using their salesmanship and behind the scenes knowledge to turn the deal in their favor.

But now, things are different. The Web offers shoppers a tool which they can research, price and even take a virtual test drive of the car they want. They can e-mail or call, and have all the information at their fingertips at sites like Kelly Blue Book (www.kbb.com) and Edmunds (www.edmunds.com).

Possibly one of the best examples of a site dedicated to the car buyer is www.sandiegocardeals.com, run exclusively by the internet/fleet department of Kearny Mesa Toyota in San Diego. The site offers a complete virtual inventory of all new Toyota and Scion models as well as complete pre-owned inventory listings. But what really sets this site apart from the others is that they actually post retail and invoice prices so that the buyer can simply “name my price”, based on the research they’ve done online prior to coming to the site.

This approach, of providing the buyer with as much information as possible, is a product of Kearny Mesa Toyota’s realization that it is not status quo in the car business anymore.

“We found that the buyer responds to being treated like an intelligent human being,” said Melissa Amick, Internet/Fleet Director at the San Diego Toyota dealer. “They have done the research, and they just love it when they talk to one of our Internet specialists and get a straightforward, honest answer.”

Kearny Mesa Toyota has even taken it a step further buy training and authorizing their entire Internet department staff so that they can quote prices over the phone without having to check with management.

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