Toyota plans $1 billion effort in US for Q4


Reuters/WSJ reported Toyota is preparing a $1 billion marketing campaign to boost U.S. sales in Q4, while also expanding its line of hybrid models under the Prius name, the company announced. The $1 billion will include a media campaign, as well as buyer and dealer incentives, including sweeteners for leasing.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda and top U.S. execs told Toyota and Lexus dealers of the plans at an annual dealers meeting in Las Vegas.

The $1 billion marketing and advertising plan is 30% to 40% more than Toyota typically spends in the quarter, said the story.

The plan includes subsidizing leases and loan rates, offering other customer incentives and helping pay for dealer ads. The plan comes as Toyota struggles with its worst downturn since it was founded in 1937 and is expecting to report a loss for the second straight fiscal year.

Toyota also plans to raise the projected resale value of its vehicles, a figure used in calculating monthly lease payments, the report said, citing dealers briefed on the plan.

Lexus is the company’s luxury brand and has its own dealerships. When the Prius line is expanded by one or two models, those cars will be sold at Toyota dealerships.

Toyota execs in Frankfurt this week said the company planned to sell 500,000 to 600,000 hybrid vehicles globally by the end of 2009.