Toyota was on a mission too. Its goal, to blanket the nation with easily recognized facilities. In 1968, the company commissioned architectural firm R. C. Qvale & Associates to develop a building program for its dealers. Nine plans were created: small, medium or large, depending on projected market volume, and for each size, a design to facilitate efficient operation in severe, moderate and tropical climates.
As the national manager heading the program explained at the time, the main tenet was to offer Toyota dealers an ideal facility encompassing the three basic rules of a successful dealership — the flow of cars, the flow of people and the flow of paperwork.
Shift forward to the new millennium, Toyota launches a state-of-the-art facility program designed to renew the brand’s marketplace presence and grow capacity to handle massive increases in units in operation. Image USA II launched in September 2004, and to date more than 80 percent of dealerships have completed projects, for a total investment (building and land) of $6.7 billion.
The current Image USA II program features a prototypical design that can be tailored to the individual dealer’s business requirements and adapted for site specific needs. The plan also factors in environmental impact with dozens of dealership facilities certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and dozens more striving toward it. Every aspect of the design is geared toward redefining and improving the customer experience, from the service lanes to the Toyota portal (entry).
And it has opened the door to Toyota setting another benchmark for the industry. Mission accomplished.