Toyota says sorry, details wait time on models
Toyota says sorry to customers waiting for cars and resets pre-orders on the new Landcruiser 300 Series.
Toyota has addressed the elephant in the room of the auto industry and said sorry to Australian car buyers waiting in long lines for cars to be delivered.
Enjoying a boost in sales year-on-year but with deliveries at the mercy of semiconductors shortages and plant slowdowns, Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief Sean Hanley addressed media today to explain the situation and get the message out to customers that it is “doing everything we can to get you behind the wheel of your new Toyota just as soon as possible.”
“Toyota understands your frustration and I sincerely apologise for these delays,” said Hanley. “I want to thank you for your patience.”
Toyota paused some of its production in Japan and other plants around the world from September into October. It affects models differently, but the end result is some seriously long delays for customers – some up to almost a year, including for the big, new Landcruiser 300 Series.
Average Toyota Australia wait times:
Wait times vary by model and by grade.
The wait time for one-third of models is four months or less.
The wait time for three-quarters of models is six months or less.
However, the wait time for LandCruiser 70 Series and the Rav4 Hybrid is 9-10 months.
Toyota Hilux wait times:
Hilux production is being reduced in October and Toyota says it “plans to recover volume in subsequent months,” without giving a definitive statement on wait times.
“Quoted wait times will vary between dealers depending on their individual stock situation, which is why you may hear differing wait times being advised to customers around the country,” suggested Hanley.
Toyota Landcruiser 300 Series wait times:
There is contention about LC 300 Series wait times, with some media previously suggesting four years. Hanley dismissed this but does admit there is a bit of an unknown in terms of timing. “Understandably media attention has focused on the new Landcruiser 300 Series,” he said. “It’s a mark of excitement and the anticipation surrounding the new generation.”
However, the good news is that there are 500 units in Australia already.
“We have around 500 vehicles in the country and we’re distributing most of them to dealerships as demonstrator models next week, giving our valued customers an opportunity to experience the new Landcruiser first-hand, including through test drives.”
The extended stoppage in the Japanese plant that produces the LandCruiser means that the model will, however, have the longest wait times. And in a further blow, all pre-orders are being ‘reset’, by way of putting all orders back into the ordering system and allocating customers a delivery date estimate later this month. It will be controlled by individual dealerships and that can include the order that customers will be put in.
“Deliveries have been delayed because the factory is unable to produce right-hand-drive Landcruisers in September or October. Right now we’re expecting production for our market to resume in November. Because this is an evolving situation and to support our customers and dealers we will not be confirming orders until they can be matched to a specific production month.”
Toyota’s sales and deliveries so far in 2021
While this might be doom and gloom for customers looking forward to a hauling holiday this Christmas, Toyota is not the only manufacturer experiencing extreme delays that are out of control for the local arm. In addressing its delays and providing transparency on the wait times it is seeing, it at least gives buyers at least some realistic expectation on when they can get their hands on their purchased vehicle.
“I think there is a level of understanding by our dealers and our customers – it does not in any way dampen the level of frustration that can occur, especially when the situation continues to move and evolve,” said Hanley.
“Our philosophy is pretty clear to be quite honest: How we treat customers today, the experience they have with our brand today, will determine how well we do tomorrow. It’s as simple as that.
“We understand very clearly that we’ve got to go to extraordinary lengths – even if the news isn’t great – to explain to our customers our situation.”
Toyota’s total sales year-to-date is 176,000 (end September 2021), its best YTD over the same period since 2008. That’s a huge improvement and a rebound from last year’s COVID-led disaster for the entire industry. Toyota says it had also delivered 156,000 vehicles to customers by the end of August and had “delivered a further 20,000 vehicles for the month [September]”. It is aiming to reach 220,000 sales for the year.