Over the past twenty years, Toyota has transformed the quality and appeal of their cars to the point where Toyota overtook General Motors to become the world’s number one car manufacturer in 2006. This transformation highlighted a number of issues, however, including the need to separate the Lexus brand from Toyota and also how to ensure aftersales servicing remained profitable when the new cars required much less maintenance. Nucleus was engaged to find a solution.
We concluded that Toyota dealerships would need to widen their proposition to owners of pre-owned Toyotas who frequently fell outside the dealers network, due to cost misconceptions and to owners of non-Toyota marques who required ‘quick-fit’ maintenance, such as new tyres, brakes and exhausts. To enable this, we recommended creating a new service brand we called ‘Autobase’ and created a new proposition based around ‘a better car care experience’.
We created the name for the service, the brand identity and also guidelines for retail environment development. The most significant design challenge was to give Autobase a distinct, recognisable presence on the forecourt, while respecting the two existing brands; the dealer and the Toyota masterbrand.
The prototype dealerships were so successful the concept was rolled out to the whole UK dealer network, but only on a ‘once you have met the standards’ basis.