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Toyota Nudges Dealerships Toward LEED Certification

May 19, 2008 - A Toyota dealership in Rockwall, Texas, has become the first car dealership to receive LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Toyota, whose dealership in McKinney, Texas, earned LEED Silver last year, expects four more locations to earn LEED certification this summer.

"Dealers are recognizing the advantages and opportunities presented by building green," says Michael Bevan, corporate manager of retail market development at Toyota. "Research shows that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of businesses in their community that are taking a leadership role in addressing environmental issues. It also makes good business sense to dealers who can re-coup their investment and start realizing savings in five years or less.

"We expect there will be six LEED certified Toyota dealerships by this summer," Bevan says. "We've also been working with other auto companies on the dynamics of building a LEED dealership and they are beginning to build facilities for LEED certification."

Both certified Toyota dealerships were built as part of the company's Eco-Image USA II initiative, which promotes environmental performance in dealership design. Under the program, panels used on building exteriors are made up of 90% recycled aluminum. An entry portal shades the showroom from direct sunlight, and LED lighting to further reduce energy use. Toyota says it is also working with dealers on alternative energy options, including solar, wind, and geothermal.

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