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Toyota’s Signature Class has been named by the Reader’s Digest as the Most Trusted Brand for used car sales in New Zealand.
The Trusted Brand awards, now in their 20th year, are based on the views of around 1,500 New Zealand consumers. The research is undertaken independently of Reader’s Digest. Consumers were asked to name their most trusted brand in each of 65 categories. The brand names are unprompted to ensure the ratings are without prejudice.
Signature Class has been part of the used car scene since 1997 when Toyota New Zealand set up the programme to deliver used cars that buyers could trust and rely on. There are now more than 45,000 Signature Class vehicles on the road.
Over the last 15 years, an average of 3038 Signature Class cars and SUVs have been sold each year after undergoing a thorough inspection and refurbishment process at Toyota’s Thames Signature Class Facility.
“It’s an important part of ours and the dealer network’s business,” said Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager Franchise Development and Used Vehicles. “We’re delighted so many New Zealanders recognise that the Signature Class brand is synonymous with quality and reliability.”
Signature Class vehicles sold through Toyota’s dealer network are a mixture of New Zealand new and imported vehicles. Since 2004, 80 per cent have been used vehicles that were first sold New Zealand new and the other 20 per cent have been made up by imported used vehicles from Japan.
All are hand-picked by Toyota buyers and go through a comprehensive refurbishment process at the Thames Signature Class Facility. For imported used vehicles, independent odometer certification and compliance are carried out by the AA, and a New Zealand compatible sound system is fitted.
The benefits of Signature Class vehicles are well understood by buyers. A recent survey of Signature Class owners found a common theme: the cars are trusted because Toyota stands behind them. This brand responsibility extends to Signature Class advertising which has featured Toyota’s Thames staff for several years.
“The Thames team of 77 work together to ensure that every vehicle is refurbished thoroughly, so who better to stand behind the product,” Steve Prangnell said.
All Signature Class vehicles are sold with a three-year Toyota warranty and three years of AA roadside assistance and three years of Warrant of Fitness checks.