Toyota's Dogged Drive To Attract New Buyers in Japan


  • Toyota Dog Circle Picture

    Toyota Dog Circle Picture

    Toyota has launched a major initiative to lure dog lovers in Japan. | April 19, 2013

4 Photos

Just the Facts:
  • Toyota has set up a "Dog Circle" Web site in Japan aimed at dog lovers.
  • The special site has all the leads on the latest Toyotas, recommending the best canine-compatible cars and vans.
  • Toyota Dog Circle is also up and running with its own Facebook page and Twitter feed.

TOKYO — Some may think Toyota is barking up the wrong tree with its new dog-friendly Web site in Japan, aptly named, Dog.Toyota.jp.

Don't worry, however. Toyota has the whole thing collared.

The idea of the site is to introduce Toyota's vast domestic model range to Japan's widespread family of dog lovers, helping them to pick one that is perfect for their pooch. So far, the initiative hasn't made its way to the U.S. and Toyota's other global markets.

Subaru of America seems to have marked that particular part of the market. It is known for its "dog-tested" commercials and Puppy Bowl, which attempts to steal some of the limelight from the Super Bowl.

Up until now, as Japan's number one automaker, Toyota has perhaps not had to worry too much about dog lovers, their dogs and what they need.

However, taking a lead from Honda, which has been quietly cultivating the dog-lover business in Japan for some time, it seems Toyota now sees some new opportunity in catering to the canine community.

On the site, you can scroll through the whole Toyota range, from minicar to minivan, with the site then supplying helpful dog-friendly advice.

The Toyota Porte, a small compact van with big side opening door, has been touted as being especially suitable for dog owners. So has the bigger Toyota Noah van.

On the site, there is also a dog-health advice section, another to tell you of dog lovers' meetings and further info on dog-friendly service areas on the highway.

Honda has also been targeting the dog world in Japan with models such as the Beagle (!), while the W.O.W concept has the same four-legged clientele in mind.

The Toyota Dog Circle already has its own Facebook page and is on Twitter, too, albeit all in Japanese.

Edmunds says: At Toyota in Japan, sometimes it really is a dog's life.

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