Toyota has a announced a bold new initiative, teaming up with Salesforce.com to create its own social network site for Toyota owners. Called ‘Toyota Friend’ the private social network will connect Toyota customers with their cars, their dealership and even the factory.
Powered by Salesforce Chatter (a private social network used by businesses), it will launch next ear on Toyota’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles next year, with plans to expand it overseas.
Toyota Friend will deliver vehicle info, maintenance tips and more to owners, who can even choose to extend their network to family and friends through other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.
“Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication,” said TMC President Akio Toyoda in a statement. “The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation. I am always calling for Toyota to make ever-better cars. The alliance that we announce today is an important step forward in achieving that goal.”
In addition, Toyota has announced the creation of Toyota Media Services Co., which will spearhead the creation of a next generation telematics service for Toyota. The Japanese automaker is investing 442 million yen in the division, with an additional 223 million yen from Salesforce.com and 335 million yen from Microsoft.