On Rand Road sits a 124,000 square foot building with the word Toyota plastered across. While the building itself is new and shiny, there’s a history behind it. Arlington Toyota is all about family, where second and third-generation family members work in a place steeped in tradition. The President of Arlington Toyota, Gary Vicari, spoke with Chicago News about why Toyota is a brand for everyone.
Chicago News: What are the biggest updates in the Toyota brand in 2017?
Gary Vicari: Lane departure, pre-collision and dynamic-cruise control. These safety features join back-up camera and Bluetooth.
CN: Toyota promoted their hydrogen vehicle Mirai as a turning point in automotive history. Do you think it will eventually become as popular as the Prius?
GV: Toyota Mirai hydrogen vehicle is a turning point in automotive history. But it will take a while for it to catch on from the East Coast and the West Coast all the way through to the Midwest. This is because hydrogen-charging stations are needed before it can be fully adopted. But I’m looking forward to this as one of the innovations of the 21st century.
CN: What new models would you like to highlight and why?
GV: One is our Scion FR-S soon to be making the transition over to the Toyota brand as the 86. The 86, or Hachi-Roku, is a brand based on a racing car that was developed in Japan about 30 years ago. Now it is back with us as a brand-new version.
Another model I’d like to mention is the Scion iM that will soon join Toyota family as the Toyota Corolla iM hatchback.
CN: What’s your favorite Toyota model and why?
GV: I have to say the RAV4 is my favorite car. It has been a car that’s been in my family for 10 or 12 years. My daughter drove one, my wife drives one, and it is great. It is versatile and has a hatchback.
CN: It’s not a secret that Toyota is the best-selling brand. Why is this, in your opinion?
GV: It is my opinion that Toyota is the best-selling brand because they have never let up on their philosophy of continuous improvement from the faculty all the way to retail. It is one philosophy that drives them and makes them continue upon on models and improve upon technologies more than any other manufacture that I know of.
CN: How is Arlington Toyota different from all other Toyota dealerships?
GV: Arlington Toyota is a family-owned business. We have some third generation family members working here! We are intensely working on customer service to make customers happy. We did this first by building this tremendous facility that is one of the largest in the Midwest. It is 124,000 square feet, a facility that incorporates service, parts, a collision center and of course all the vehicles, all under one roof.
CN: What do you consider your biggest achievement?
GV: I consider our best achievement at Arlington Toyota is when we have second and third generation customers coming in. It is really flattering to know both their families and their future families will come back in for second and third generation purchases.
CN: We know that besides just selling cars you do a lot of charity work as well. Could you tell us more about this?
GV: All of the partners and many of the employees at Arlington Toyota participate in charity, fundraisers and other onsite events that we can give back to the community because it is important and it is the right thing to do.
By Vera Sauchanka, Jessica Lynk