Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) is the Toyota sales, marketing, and distribution subsidiary devoted to the U.S. market. Founded in 1957 in California, TMS currently employs more than 6,500 people. Its current headquarters in Torrance, California supervises 14 regional offices.
TMS oversees sales in 50 states of Toyota, Lexus, and Scion products through a network of over 1,200 Toyota dealers (of whom more than 900 also sell Scion vehicles) and over 200 Lexus dealers. TMS develops Toyota's television campaigns and other nationwide marketing materials, and supervises dealer marketing to ensure that dealers present a uniform image. TMS also manages regional distribution, which occurs through 12 parts centers and five vehicle centers. James E. Lentz III is the president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.
TMS uses two private distributors in the United States, which were established in 1968. Southeast Toyota Distributors, founded by Jim Moran, and Gulf States Toyota Distributors, founded by Tom Friedkin have exclusive rights to market vehicles and parts in their respective states. Distribution
Toyota’s automotive sales distribution network is the largest in Japan. As of March 31, 2009, this network consisted of 290 dealers employing approximately 40,000 sales personnel and operating more than 4,800 sales and service outlets. Toyota owns 19 of these dealers and the remainder is independent. In addition, at March 31, 2009, Daihatsu’s sales distribution network consisted of 62 dealers employing approximately 5,500 sales personnel and operating approximately 700 sales and service outlets. Daihatsu owns 36 of these dealers and the remainder is independent.
Toyota believes that this extensive sales network has been an important factor in its success in the Japanese market. A large number of the cars sold in Japan are purchased from salespersons who visit customers in their homes or offices. In recent years, however, the traditional method of sales through home visits is being replaced by showroom sales and the percentage of automobile purchases through showrooms has been gradually increasing. Toyota expects this trend to continue, and accordingly, plans to improve its sales activities such as customer reception and meticulous service at showrooms to increase customer satisfaction.