TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 9, 2008 – Toyota Venza is taking its love of pets to an all new level, em-“barking” on a blitz of fun-filled events and promotions centered on everything pets – and, of course, their owners too.
Designed for those with active lifestyles that often involve pets, the Venza offers a full line-up of canine-friendly aftermarket pet products through Toyota dealers that are already generating howls of approval from pet lovers everywhere.
“More than 29 million Americans have traveled with their pets within the past three years,” says Bob Zeinstra, national product marketing manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., “and more than half of all dog owners consider their pet’s comfort when buying a car. Our goal is to inform these on-the-go pet owners that Venza is a great choice when it comes to creature comfort and pet travel safety options.”
Venza kicks off its pet bonanza this month as the exclusive automotive sponsor of America’s most popular dog production,
Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show,” which premiers Monday, February 9, and continues Tuesday, February 10 on USA Network.
Sponsorship includes exclusive online vignettes showcasing the Venza and featuring WKC Host David Frei, who will provide traveling tips with “man’s best friend.” The vignettes will also be available for streaming on USA Network’s
popular Character Rewind site.
WKC sponsorship is followed by the Global Pet Expo February 12-14 in Orlando, Fla. Venza will be the featured vehicle for pet travel safety demonstrations by pet accessory maker, Kurgo. Kurgo pet accessories are among those offered for the Venza through Toyota dealers.
February also marks the kick-off for a series of Venza “Dog Park Days,” which will roll-out first in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Denver. Events will be open invitations to pets and their owners to enjoy a doggone fun day on Venza, with free pet travel safety seminars by certified pet trainers; Venza ride and drive demos for pets and their owners; pet accessory and other giveaways; and free coffee, donuts and dog treats.
Earlier this month, Toyota announced its sponsorship of the hit show “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan” on the National Geographic Channel.
The Venza is the sole vehicle sponsor for the fifth season of the Emmy-nominated series. The sponsorship includes vehicle integration and custom vignettes and billboards highlighting dog-friendly features of the Venza and the best ways to travel with your pet.
In addition, popular canine Web site http://www.dogtime.com/
, and DogTime Media, the largest vertical media community reaching pet owners, has thrown its paw in the ring, with a feature article on “How to Spot a Dog Car” highlighting the attributes dogs might prefer in a vehicle, sponsored by Venza. DogTime.com will also be inviting dog lovers and photographers to submit their favorite pooch photos as part of the Venza-sponsored “Adventure Dog Photo Contest,” in which the winner receives a new digital camera and will have his or her dog photo prominently featured on the DogTime site.
The Venza, which officially went on sale last month, offers more than a dozen pet-friendly creature comforts, the most ever available through Toyota dealerships. Venza’s large cargo capacity and rear hatch allow for easy entrance and loading of pets. Available products include: a rear hatch pet ramp for easy loading and unloading, a leash tether for securing pets in the vehicle, a pet booster seat with harness, a first/second row or cargo area pet barrier, pet seatbelt buckles and rear seat zipline-style harnesses. Waterproof and removable hammock-style seat covers are also available to fit Venza’s bench and bucket seats. Venza, which combines the best features of a car and SUV, is also the first Toyota passenger car to offer Star Safety as standard equipment for all models.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.4 million vehicles in 2008. Toyota directly employs over 43,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $21 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $30 billion. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.
CONTACTS: Toyota Communications
Joe Tetherow (310) 468-4727
Cindy Knight (310) 468-2170
Art Garner (GolinHarris) (213) 438-8758
Erin Poole (Saatchi & Saatchi) (310) 214-6162
Media Web site: http://pressroom.toyota.com
Public Web site: http://www.toyota.com/