Toyota Goes Secured

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With the rapid growth of the Internet a lot of automakers already started to use the Internet to communicate with their dealerships. However, Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc decides that it is not the best way to go.

Instead, Toyota has built up their private virtual network, which is like a private section of the internet, to access the factory information. David Sowatsky, product manager in Toyota’s Office of the Web, said that the private network is more secure. Dealerships are all directly hooked up to the headquarters in Torrance, CA, which is always on and no dial-ups are needed.

Not only that, all the data communication between computers have to go through a series of security measures too, including encryption, encapsulation, tunneling, and authentication. This can prevent most unauthorized individuals from attempting to steal any information in between.

They even have a name for the whole virtual private network and portal, called the Dealer Daily. It is a joined project by Toyota, WorldCom Inc., Microsoft Consulting Service, and Dell Computer Corp. It joins all 1100 Toyota dealerships and 190 Lexus dealerships nationwide together, and connect them to the headquarters in Torrance, CA, making it one of the largest network in the whole world.

Benefits – Finding a Match

With the new system, Toyota had to replace all the old servers and terminals at each dealership. Toyota dealers have started to use the network since second half of 2001, whereas Lexus dealers started to have their fully functional version this past October. By the end of the year they expect to have around 17 Lexus dealers running the system, and then gradually they will hook up 20 dealers every month. Each dealer will have to pay a subscription fee based on the size of the dealership.

Dealer Daily has 140 features, and Vehicle Locator is one of the most popular. In the past, each Toyota dealership will have a single terminal for the whole sales department to search a vehicle in another dealership’s inventory, however it could not search on the whole Toyota region and there were also other limitations.

But with the new Vehicle Locator, now dealers are able to search the location of a vehicle in the whole Toyota region, and they are even able to narrow down the search using specific equipments on the car. Moreover, the search can be done on any personal computers, as long as it’s connected to the network.

Even more, if a dealership cannot find the particular vehicle available in any inventory of another dealer, they can use the Dealer Pipeline Management System to get the cars they want as fast as possible. It will search on all the orders by all the dealerships, and if a match is found and the vehicle is not reserved, the trade is done automatically. It will make the whole waiting period be around 3 to 4 weeks.


For example, Rinke Toyota places orders twice a month, and with the new system they are able to order cars that better match their customers’ needs. Ever since the introduction of the Dealer Daily, they have been able to trades with other dealers 90% of the time, whereas it was only around 50% in the past.

Last of all the Dealer Daily also integrates dealership management software from Reynolds and Reynolds Co., ADP Dealer Services and Universal Computer Systems Inc. This will allow dealerships to save time by not having to input data into both management systems.



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