Toyota's previous slogan and its accompanying jingle, "Everything keeps going right, Toyota" were introduced in 1973.
The company believes it is now time for change, in line with the new direction the company is taking since becoming a fully-fledged member of the Toyota global family in 2002.
This was when Toyota Motor Corporation, of Japan, took a 75% controlling interest in their very successful distributor, Toyota South Africa.
"The introduction of a new corporate slogan is a significant step in the changing projection of our company?s image to the outside world", said Dr. Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota South Africa.
"Our previous slogan was rooted in its era and was very suitable for a fast growing company like Toyota at that time. Quality and reliability was restricted largely to expensive cars and were attributes not generally applicable to affordable cars.
"Toyota's reputation for QDR - quality, durability, reliability - changed all that and built customer trust. It also focussed our employees and our dealers. 'Everything keeps going right' guided our decisions and actions. It was an important 'driver' in taking Toyota to market leadership in 1980 - a position it continues to hold after 25 years."
That well known slogan was no longer seen as being as relevant to Toyota SA today as it used to be in the past, because motor companies are competing more and more on brand values, vehicle design and other "soft" issues.
Toyota South Africa embarked on extensive research when it became clear that it was time for a slogan change. Several slogans were selected, in conjunction with TMC, in Japan, and these were tested in consumer research.
Dr van Zyl confirmed that "Lead the Way" stood out as the winning slogan for Toyota.
"Our customers judge it to be a relevant and credible slogan for Toyota. They believe that it is truthful and an accurate description of not only the company and its values, but also of themselves as Toyota owners and drivers.
"'Lead the Way' fits in very well with Toyota's leading edge technology, as epitomised in the Prius hybrid car, as well as Toyota South Africa's reputation for producing and marketing quality products.
"It is also backed up by the fact that Toyota is the highest rated car brand in South Africa and the world, according to independent surveys," said Dr. van Zyl.
"We pride ourselves on outstanding customer satisfaction and have the largest dealer network in the country to service our customers' vehicles.
"We see this as further attributes of a company that ?leads the way? in South Africa.
"We believe our new slogan embraces the essential values embodied in the 'Toyota Way' and reflects tangible customer benefits in terms of both our products, the back-up service we offer to our customers and our vision for the future of our company and the environment in which we live.
"We searched for a slogan that is not only sensitive to our proud history and our corporate values, but also promotes the characteristics of the ?new? Toyota - a modern, dynamic brand. We believe we have found that ideal slogan with 'Lead the Way'."
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