In a bid to broaden the range of products available to its Internet car shoppers, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has launched a new program with Autobytel.com to make Toyota's extended service contracts available on the Web.
The program is open to consumers who buy Toyota vehicles through Autobytel. It is the first time a car maker has marketed factory-backed extended service contracts online.
Car companies are still trying to figure out how to best use the Internet without taking away sales from dealers. The Toyota service contract program is an effort to use e-commerce to provide information to online shoppers that could end up boosting Toyota dealers' sales of profitable products such as extended warranties.
The contracts, which typically offer consumers low-deductible insurance covering repairs to various parts and components beyond the original factory warranty, are sold by Toyota Motor Insurance Services Inc., a subsidiary of Torrance-based Toyota Motor Sales.