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Toyota Dealership Uses Pokémon Go to Catch Customers

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Pokémon Go Logo

Photo: brar_j

After Pokémon Go exploded in popularity last month, we quickly saw that it did not mix well with cars: it took less than a week for drivers to get into accidents because they were distracted by the game.

However, a Toyota dealership in Amarillo, Texas, has found that Pokémon Go could also help them catch customers in addition to Pokémon after it hosted its first Pokémon Go event on a Sunday afternoon in late July.

Nick Schuman, who works at the dealership, attended the event as a fellow Pokémon Go player. He didn’t talk about pricing or try to make a sale on that Sunday for legal reasons, but thanks to the rapport he developed with some of the other players, three of them came back to buy a used car later on, despite having never done business with the dealership before.

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“People come to the lot with a barrier,” Schuman told Automotive News. “When you find common ground immediately, it just makes the process so much easier. I guess if you’re playing Pokemon, you’re not the stereotypical, extremely pushy car salesman. You’re kind of a nerd.”

With more than 50 people attending the initial event, it was popular enough for the Toyota dealership to plan another one for August, though this isn’t the only way that Pokémon Go is helping it achieve sales.

When a couple came to shop for a new family minivan, Schuman activated a Pokémon lure—which can be purchased in-game to attract more Pokémon to a location—to keep their four children occupied while they signed the paperwork.

The dealership was fortunate enough to be randomly labeled as a Pokéstop when the game launched, which would attract players—and potentially customers—without the need to do anything; however, there’s obviously a benefit to getting involved, though we’ll have to see if this is just a gimmick or a worthwhile tactic to gain more customers, especially since the Pokémon Go playerbase is already decreasing now that the novelty of the game has worn off.

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