Bermuda Motors has opened its revamped Toyota showroom to display a selection of the latest and most popular models from the car maker.
Improvements to the showroom, which is at the eastern end of Church Street, took about six months to complete.
“The floor was re-tiled, the full backdrop of the walls was re-panelled, and the ceiling was redone,” said Fred Thompson, new vehicle sales manager.
LED lighting was installed to better reflect on the vehicles in the showroom, and wall-size mirrors were replaced. The air conditioning was overhauled and the outside of the building was smartened up. There is also new furniture and an area where customers can relax.
Krishna King, general manager, said the showroom was updated in line with Bermuda Motors’ aim of giving the best customer experience.
“It is part of our commitment to selling Toyota,” said Mr King. He said sales improved in 2016 and 2017, but there was a need to get more people into the showroom to see the latest models and experience how Bermuda Motors believes it sets itself apart from its competitors.
“The competition do not do what we do, which includes paintwork and parts and servicing. That is important for a market like Bermuda,” he said.
Manuel Arias, a sales and marketing manager for Toyota Tsusho America, agreed. He is on the island to help with the launch of the new showroom and promotion of the latest Toyota models.
He said customers want to come in and see something modern, and if they have a good experience they come back.
“It is about having a good relationship with them at the showroom sale, and for them to still have that good relationship when it comes to parts and service,” he said.
“There is the experience of coming to the showroom, having a casual walk around and getting to see, touch and feel the vehicles. It is about building a relationship with the customer and making them feel part of the Toyota family.”
Mr Aria noted that there is a degree of loyalty to a make of car and to particular models, such as the Yaris; which has had sustained popularity in Bermuda. The latest Yaris is among the vehicles on display in the showroom. However, two new additions to the Toyota range have been given prime slots.
One is an eco-car that runs on electric power and gas. The Prius C features Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive. It converts braking energy into electric charge that can be used by the car during its electric power mode. The system switches between electric motor and gas engine — and a mixture of both — to achieve optimum energy usage and lower its environmental impact. The licence class E vehicle does not plug in to recharge as all the electric recharging is done while it is being driven.
Although the Prius C costs more than a comparable regular car, Sebastian Cornet, Bermuda Motors sales manager, said he had done calculations that show it saves money in the long run due to its lower energy costs.
The other all-new attraction at the showroom is the new Toyota Rush, a seven-seater SUV with specifications that include six airbags, rear air conditioning, back-up camera and back sensor. It is rear-wheel drive, which makes it different from many SUVs. Mr Cornet said rear-wheel drive improves manoeuvrability and is more reliable.
Elsewhere in the showroom is the seven-seat Avanza, essentially a lower-spec, less expensive version of the Rush, which is also marketed as an option for taxi operators. While for those on a limited budget and looking for a smaller car, there is the Agya, a licence class C vehicle.
Bermuda Motors also sells a range of Toyota commercial vehicles.