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Toyota pilots dealer Internet services

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One day after Audi introduced a similar system, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Irvine, Calif. said Wednesday that it will test a corporate advertising support program with 19 of its dealers in Washington state. Long in development, the Toyota program calls for the corporation to provide dealers with information on available models, regularly updated incentive programs, online pricing, online financing and 24-hour real-time sales assistance via chat. The move underscores how car manufacturers are leveraging the Internet to improve relationships with retailers. Toyota's financing application is particularly innovative on the Internet, as it involves certifying a potential buyer's identity and credit worthiness in real-time without the paper-based financing processes many auto buyers have come to hate. On Tuesday, Audi said it would begin distributing advertising data to dealers throughout North America.
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