With its new Toyota service and parts facility, Al Futtaim Motors sounds a siren in service standards that rings across the UAE’s automobile industry, by offering the everyman’s brand futuristic facilities that rival even the premium luxury brands in the region.
If efficient service and high-tech maintenance facilities were to determine your car purchase, then Toyota catapulted itself to the top of the preferential list last night, when it launched its futuristic service centre at Al Badiya. Not that it was faring bad at all as the largest selling brand in the UAE so far, but now it has unveiled a sprawling and sophisticated world of care and expertise that sets the benchmark for automotive service in the nation, or arguably in the region. The 14,500 sq. m. Toyota service centre at Al Badiya (Dubai Festival City) can accommodate up to 400 cars a day and deploys a maintenance crew of 110 technicians at once.
Technology that values time
The largely automated facility is designed to let customers make the most of their time – first, by ensuring dedicated attention to their car in evaluating, executing and expediting the maintenance work and next, by offering customers several options to make use of their waiting time. Conveniently located at Al Badiya, between the Festival Centre and the Golf Course, the new Al Futtaim service centre provides shuttle services to either ends of this wide world of shopping, entertainment and recreation. And in case they wish to leave their car behind, there is a drop service to the Al Rashidiya Metro station, too. Those who still choose to wait it out within the facility, there is always the cup of coffee or cupcakes at the café or a digital game board to warm up to! Or even better, they can take a test drive of the latest Toyota models on display! (That would be my favourite option, you can be sure!)
The assembly-line model integrated facility makes sure that the technicians needn’t leave the service bay while taking care of a car. Just as digital screens at the work station brings up the car’s record, the technician may feed in a parts requirement, which in turn gets delivered from the inventory via electric scooters, right unto the service bay. The car wash bay, which can care for a hundred cars an hour also is touch-free and brush-free employs high-pressure water that also saves 80% of water usage.
A “Green” facility
Besides the Car Wash bay that can save up to a volume of 300 water tankers a year, the facility has a host of energy saving features that include atriums for natural day light and a solar-powered lighting system for the 100-capacity car park. The used water is directed to the recycling plant of the facility, which also includes a compartmented scrap yard for waste segregation. The work environment not only saves air-conditioning energy but also ensures fresh air on the work floor through sophisticated air filters and constant climate control.
Now, what was more impressive – the facility or the launch event?
For the guests including the Media, who arrived for the launch of the 14th Toyota outlet in the UAE, the evening was a bundle of surprises that began even as we switched off our headlights and rolled into the welcome bay, on a laser red carpet! While the tour of the 14,500 sq. m. facility unveiled a new benchmark in vehicle service and customer experience, the launch event that followed at the atrium set new standards in making something like a service centre launch stunningly entertaining. But then, this wasn’t just any service centre – you can take my word for it!