Toyota President’s Award

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Automotive, Awards, Car Care, Car Maintenance, Community, Employees, Madison, News | Posted on 23-04-2014

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Toyota’s President’s Award is a highly regarded distinction that is bestowed upon dealerships who excel in all facets of their operations.IMG_0675

Recognition as a President’s Award winner signifies that a dealership has shown not just high sales performance, but has provided outstanding customer service throughout sales and service transactions. These Award winning dealerships display high service retention rates and employ a variety of Toyota Certified staff among their sales and service representatives. We at Smart Motors have recently been awarded the Toyota’s President’s Award for 2013.



Smart Toyota has earned the prestigious President’s Award seven years in a row since 2007. What does that mean to the average shopper looking for a new vehicle or service center? It means that our customers are happy customers! We’ve met and exceeded expectations far more often than not, and have given thousands of customers good reason to return to our business. The award shows that our staff is knowledgeable and friendly and that, company wide, our commitment to customer satisfaction continues through the life of a customer’s vehicle, not the length of their visit.



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Smart Express Lube – Remodeled and Reopen

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Automotive, Car Care, Car Maintenance, Driving, Madison, Service | Posted on 27-02-2014

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After nearly 4 months of destruction and subsequent reconstruction, the Smart Motors Express Lube is back to full-speed! As an “Express” lube facility, timeliness is essential. Our recently renovated no-appointment Express Lube facility has practically doubled in size, with literally twice as many service bays and a larger and more comfortable and convenient guest lounge.


The reasoning behind the renovation was the aforementioned essential: timeliness! Our service customer base grows steadily every year and our hard-working Express Lube employees were becoming limited by their facilities and equipment, causing prolonged visits for our customers. Adding four additional bays to the four existing bays, all complete with the necessary equipment to perform routine oil and filter changes, tire rotation and repair, and a variety of other related services, will provide the staff with the space and tools necessary to quickly and conveniently serve our incoming guests.


What has become somewhat routine for us here at Smart Motors in recent years, this substantial project was deemed essential for our continued growth, with long-term benefits greatly outweighing some short-term setbacks and challenges. The expanded Express Lube is sure to offer the outstanding service that Smart Motors customers have come to expect, combined with convenient no-schedule maintenance and lots of practical amenities that make for comfortable visits. The best part? Now we can accommodate even more guests and be introduced to new customers.


Whether you’re due for your next oil change, or have yet to experience Smart Motors’ award-winning service, come check out the newly expanded Express Lube.



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More Hybrid Options Means More Savings

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Hybrids, News | Posted on 25-06-2013

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Highlights from a recent WGN radio interview with Smart Motors’ own Allen Foster…

Continual questioning from consumer and expert markets are putting hybrid and EV’s under the telescope. Despite some hesitance for early adoption, these vehicles continually climb in sales and popularity.

Toyota Prius sales in the US are up nearly 10% in May over last years figures, and at Smart Motors in Madison, hybrid vehicles consistently make up nearly 50% of our new car sales. As additional manufacturers unveil new models, these alternative fuel vehicles will gain further traction. The Nissan Leaf, for example, has seen dramatic sales improvement (nearly 300%), thanks in part to a recent 18% reduction in price.

The increase in sales is not surprising, considering the inherent savings that these vehicles can provide to consumers. CR (Consumer Reports) estimates that the Prius costs owners 49 cents per mile — less than half the cost of operating an average car. One Chicago area listener estimates saving hundreds on fuel costs each month. The advent of plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles will undoubtedly show increased savings over the already efficient hybrids that we’ve come to know and love.

Follow the link to listen to the complete radio interview.

June 8th 2013 WGN 720 Hybrid Sales

For more information, visit our website at


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Hybrids offer “best value” for new-car buyers

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Community, Hybrids, News | Posted on 03-06-2013

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Toyota Prius tops the list, costing half as much as an average car to operate

President Obama’s Inaugural address emphasizing the importance of addressing climate change dovetails with reports of rising sales of hybrid vehicles and a recent Consumer Reports study suggesting that hybrids offer the best value for those buying a new vehicle, with the Toyota Prius ranking No. 1.

CR (Consumer Reports) estimates that the Prius costs owners 49 cents per mile — less than half the cost of operating an average car.

Americans in the heartland are keeping pace or pulling ahead of politicians and reviewers in recognizing the importance and value of conserving energy. At the Wisconsin’s oldest automotive vehicle dealer, Smart Motors, hybrids account for 40% of the dealership’s new car sales. Compare that to 2008, when only 25.2% of the dealership’s car sales came from hybrid vehicles, and their growing popularity and mainstream acceptance are clear.

“When these in-demand hybrids roll in, they almost immediately roll right out the door,” says Allen Foster, vice president/general manager of Smart Motors.

Not only do rising hybrid sales suggest the nation is ready to embrace energy-efficient products and programs, but stronger sales of cars in general and hybrids in particular are a leading indicator of our nation’s economic recovery. USA Today reports that if the industry can keep up its momentum, sales could climb back to 16 million in 2013 — on par with the best banner years of a decade ago.

“As the market begins to rebound, it’s obvious people are more aware, and are planning for the future with fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius, Prius V, Prius C, Prius Plug-In, Camry hybrid, Highlander hybrid and Avalon hybrid” says Foster. “During the past few years, the entire auto industry saw customers scaling back on their purchases, but hybrid vehicles have always been a solid product line for us, and in 2013 it is getting even stronger.”

The demand is there to quite literally drive intense and quick sales. A $20,885 Prius C hybrid drives off the lot almost daily.

About Smart Motors: Founded in 1908, Smart Motors is one of the nation’s oldest automotive dealerships and the Midwest’s largest hybrid dealer. In Wisconsin, Smart Motors is the No. 1 volume dealer for both Toyota and Scion. In the Chicago region, Smart Motors is the No. 1 Prius, Prius c, and Prius v dealer. Located at 5901 Odana Road, in Madison, Smart Motors is Wisconsin’s only two-time President’s Cabinet Award recipient from Toyota Motor Sales for superior customer service and sales volume. For more information visit

Check out this quick video of just a small sample of our hybrid inventory!

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New Corolla Concept gets “Ferocious”

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in News | Posted on 16-01-2013

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Toyota’s best selling vehicle in its history has just gotten a refresh in the form of the Corolla Furia concept vehicle that was unveiled yesterday at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. This new agressive design blends styling seen in the Scion tC and Lexus IS series that is a huge departure from the “standard” styling found in most cars in the compact sedan segment. This new concept could be a hint at the design direction that Toyota will be taking in the future according to Bill Fay, General Manager of Toyota USA, “It’s only a concept, but the Corolla Furia sends a clear message where we’re going in the future. Not only will the styling be more expressive, but it will also reflect our overall approach to the compact segment in every way.”

I, for one, have finally found a Corolla that I would be love to drive. What are your thoughts?

Here is the full article from Detroit News.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla “Furia” Concept photo courtesy Detroit News

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Where’s the tailpipe?

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Events, Hybrids, News | Posted on 24-05-2012

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Check out this great “sneak peek” video from Mungenast Alton Toyota for the all new RAV 4 EV!

What do you think of Toyota’s all new, all electric SUV?

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The All New 2012 Toyota Camry

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in News | Posted on 24-08-2011

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That’s right! Toyota released the 2012 Toyota Camry yesterday to much fanfare and it looks to be a major contender!

Check out this video:

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Toyota ranked as world’s greenest company!

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in Community, Hybrids, News | Posted on 01-08-2011

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This just in from, “You might not be surprised to see Toyota, the Japanese automaker behind the pioneering Prius hybrid, rank amongst the most environmentally conscious car manufacturers.

But a recent study by brand monitoring company Interbrand found the company to be the world’s greenest brand overall, besting multinational corporations like 3M, Siemens, and Johnson & Johnson.”

For more information visit:

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Expanding Prius Family Amps Toyota

Posted by John Dolan | Posted in Hybrids, News | Posted on 07-07-2011

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Any way you look at it, Toyota hasn’t exactly been riding the fortuitous train of late.  In a normal world the automaker would not have to deal with earthquakes and tsunamis crippling cities and disrupting power in Japan.  Not a company to rest on past accomplishments, Toyota is working day and night to get production up and in order.  Eight of Toyota’s North American-built models are already at 100 percent production.  Global output is expected to get back to normal levels by October. After September Toyota will shift focus to making-up lost production as much as possible.

While Toyota has worked tirelessly to recover operations it has also been pursuing the company’s established long-term growth strategy.  That includes developing fuel cell and electric cars, the next generation Prius as well as rolling out new compact and hybrid models within the Prius extended family.

This past May, Toyota launched the Prius ‘a’ or Prius Alpha in Japan, a sort of bigger, roomier minivan-ish Prius.  The orders poured in.  In the first month Toyota received 52,000 orders for the Alpha.  Last month Toyota sold 19,429 Prius vehicles in Japan where it has been perennially the best seller nationally.  Toyota seems to be getting their groove back.  Now Toyota has a good problem – delivering.  When earlier models of the Prius were released, buyers queued up on waiting lists for their prized Prius.  This was especially common in 2005 and 2006 when waiting lists deferred Prius gratification for most hand raisers.  Admittedly, it is a good problem to have and Toyota is prepared for it.

The North American version of the Prius Alpha will be called the Prius v (for versatile) and will be available around mid-October of this year.  The Prius v will have SUV-like cargo capacity, nearly 60% more than the current Prius.  There are 39 inches between the insides of the wheel wells, enough to accommodate dog carriers or whatever can be slid in through the tail gate.  The Prius v adds three inches of wheelbase, six inches of overall length, three inches of height and an inch of width compared with the venerable, standard Prius.  Every body panel on the 2012 Prius v is different from the standard Prius, yet it is un-mistakenly a Prius.  It drives and handles like a ‘regular ‘ Prius despite the longer wheel base.  The Prius v employs the same hybrid system as the parent Prius yet, it delivers EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg combined even with the extra size.  Toyota expects that the Prius v will expand the market for potential Prius customers by up to 20 percent.  If you like the Prius and the only thing that held you back from owning one was the cargo space well,  the Prius v is your hybrid .

The second Prius sibling to be added to the line-up, the so-called ‘baby’ Prius or Prius c is headed to production.  Expect to see the Prius c (for ‘compact’ or ‘city’) by early 2012.  The compact Prius hatchback is intended to be a city-friendly vehicle that Toyota believes will be the most fuel-efficient hybrid on the market.  It will be about 20 inches shorter than the standard Prius (about 6 inches longer than the current Yaris) and employ Toyota’s new THSII hybrid system.  Target pricing for the Prius c is expected to be around the $20,000 mark.

Other advanced vehicles arriving from Toyota in 2012 will definitely require a plug-in.  It’s no surprise that one of these advanced technology vehicles from Toyota is a plug-in version of the popular Prius.  The car will have an all-electric range of 14 miles which according to Toyota is plenty of juice for most city drivers.  Once the ‘charge depleting’ portion of the PHEV Prius battery pack runs out, it just gets plugged in again.  For longer trips, the car reverts back to operating as a conventional Prius by utilizing ‘charge sustaining’ technology for regeneration.

The production version of the PHEV Prius will have a selectable EV driving mode that will be useful for trips longer than simple city driving.  This allows the driver to conserve energy for electric-only junkets.  A button will allow the driver to turn the EV mode on or off.  The production version of the PHEV Prius can also take advantage of regenerative energy to recharge the complete battery pack just like the run-of-the-mill Prius to extend the time the car can spend in EV mode.  This is an important distinction because the Prius Plug-in prototype did not allow full recharging of the whole battery pack – only the third of the pack that mimicked a regular Prius would recharge.  Now, the car’s regenerative mode will reportedly have the ability of full pack charging.  The price of the Prius Plug-in will be only a little more than a conventional Prius making it more in line with a mainstream car.

Speaking of plugging-in, Toyota is also planning to release two all-electric vehicles (EVs) for 2012.  The announcement that the RAV4 EV is destined to be reborn has generated the most ‘buzz’.  As anyone who has seen the 2006 documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car? knows the original RAV4 EV already had plenty of hard-core followers in the mid 1990s.  Toyota made the electric RAV4 from 1997 to 2003 building 1,484 of them before pulling the program’s plug after California changed its rules on the zero-emissions mandate.  Their drivers tended to be a devoted group.  They would brag about the car’s minimal maintenance and dependability, saying it was a great car for daily commutes and weekend grocery runs.  In other words — it was an ideal car for urban driving.

Last year Toyota bought a stake in Silicon Valley startup Tesla Motors and immediately announced a joint venture to produce the second-generation RAV4 EV.  The re-incarnation of the RAV4 EV is a ‘no brainer’ for Toyota.  The new vehicle will have the same luggage capacity and performance similar to the gas-powered version.  The all-electric drive-train will be powered by inductive electric motors developed by Tesla.  The Panasonic-developed lithium battery will be located underneath the vehicle so as to not interfere with cargo capacity, thereby lowering the center of gravity and improving the handling over the gas-driven RAV4.  The RAV4 EV will have a range of 100 miles per charge and should be a big hit with drivers who require a more rugged vehicle with more cargo space.

At a recent dealer meeting held by Toyota in Las Vegas the company confirmed that the Prius v, c, the Plug-in Prius and the RAV 4 EV were all coming to dealerships next year.  But, the confirmation that an electric Scion iQ was also on it’s way to US dealers next year was a bit of a surprise.  The iQ is an electrified minicar with a range of 50 to 60 miles between charges.  Like the RAV 4 EV, the Scion iQ’s batteries will be located underneath the vehicle for improved handling and so they will not interfere with the car’s 3+1 layout.

The rollout of all these new advanced technology vehicles next year realizes a large part of Toyota’s ambitious expansion of the ‘green car’ market.  That’s just the start of it, next year Toyota will introduce an all-new 2012 Camry Hybrid that has been re-designed inside and out with improved technology, performance and a more refined ride.

Within the next few years Toyota is planning to launch a hybrid version of the Venza and quite likely a hybrid sports car.  To celebrate the expansion of the Prius brand Toyota plans to launch the next-gen Prius sometime in 2014.  Toyota is committed to putting a fuel cell vehicle on the road by 2015.  Furthermore, the automaker is continuously researching next-generation batteries, as well as materials to help make vehicles lighter, safe, earth-friendly and more efficient.  The company that revolutionized the auto market with the introduction of the Prius hybrid 14 years ago will continue to do the same with electrics, fuel cells and beyond.

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Welcome to Think Smart, the Official Blog of Smart Motors Toyota/Scion – Madison, WI!

Posted by Smart Motors | Posted in News | Posted on 25-06-2011

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Welcome to our very first blog site. We will be posting lots of great information here about Smart Motors, Toyota, Madison, WI and much much more. Please take a moment to subscribe to the site or follow us on Twitter @smarttoyota or like us on Facebook. This blog will contain information for both our Toyota and Scion stores. If you are looking for Scion specific infomation you can follow us on Twitter @smartscion or Facebook.

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