Toyota Dealer RFI Goes to 12 Shops

Toyota dealers want no part of the car business’s ongoing price wars, according to the RFI that went out last week for the $80 million Greater New York Toyota Dealer Association creative review.

While recent ads from incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, focus on low monthly payments and financing deals, the RFI states, “Toyota, as the leader in its category, is competitive but prefers to drive traffic based on ‘Value.’ “

According to the RFI, the client is also looking for extensive integrated capabilities—including viral marketing, promotion, events and sponsorships—either in-house or through a partner.

The Saatchi office, which also handles planning, received the RFI, along with 11 undisclosed shops. Saatchi also handles the car maker’s $625 million factory business out of its Torrance, Calif., outpost.

The search reflects no dissatisfaction with the incumbent, said association president Dennis Lauzon. “It’s something that has to be done every once in a while,” he said. “It’s competition. There’s a very good chance that [Saatchi] will get the account back.”

Media buying, handled by Saatchi’s Publicis Groupe sibling Zenith Media, New York, is not part of the review.

Consultant Roth Associates, New York, is working with the client. Responses are due May 19, and a cut to finalists is set for early June. Final presentations are July 14-15 in New York.

Toyota dealers spent $330 million total on ads last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.