Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. plans to announce today, April 19, a three-year marketing agreement that makes Toyota the official truck brand of Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine Group, a worldwide builder of fishing boats.
"We want to increase our full-sized truck share in the Midwest and South and get on the consideration list of people who purchase domestic trucks," says Steve Jett, Toyota's manager of national car advertising and event promotions.
The agreement with Bass Pro Shops, one of the nation's largest outdoor retailers, is Toyota's latest effort to win the attention of shoppers in the nation's heartland. Last year, the automaker opened its first U.S. V-8 engine plant near Huntsville, Ala. In January, it broke ground on a San Antonio plant where it will build full-sized pickups beginning in 2006.
In February, Toyota started racing the Tundra in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series.
"We believe that you have to connect with the lifestyle and the interest of your prospective buyer," Jett says. "And we want buyers to see that we have the products to meet what they want."
Nationally, the number of days a Tundra typically remained on a dealership lot fell from 60 to 39 between mid-2001 and the first three months of 2004, according to data from Power Information Network.
The truck is selling well in cities such as Atlanta; Dallas; and Tampa and Orlando, Fla.; and in such states as Tennessee and Oklahoma, the data suggest.
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