The Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition is certainly the raciest and most focused Corolla in history, but is it worth almost $140,000?
One Texas-based user on the Toyota GR Corolla Owners page on Facebook shared a photo of paperwork from North Park Toyota of San Antonio listing an out-the-door price of US$92,707 (A$138,779).
That’s almost twice as much as the recommend retail price listed on Toyota’s US website of US$51,520 (A$77,072) for a Morizo Edition with standard paint and no accessories, with a $1195 delivery, processing and handling fee.
It’s unclear why the selling price on the paperwork was around $30,000 higher than Toyota’s own RRP. Another dealer was recently seen charging around $20,000 over the list price, so this isn’t an isolated occurrence.
For context, the Morizo Edition costs $77,800 before on-roads in Australia.
Huge dealer markups are a fairly common occurrence in the US for hotly anticipated new vehicles.
While markups on new vehicles are typically limited to higher-than-usual delivery fees in Australia, dealers can theoretically classify a vehicle as a demonstrator and tack on a massive markup.
Toyota Australia has previously said it has the means to step in if dealers cross the line by charging over RRP on new vehicles, though there’s little to stop anyone selling a low-mileage demo with an inflated price.
It has cautioned, however, that the greater problem is with resellers of vehicles and not its dealers.
The GR Corolla is in hot demand in Australia, but supply is limited: the initial allocation for Australia comprises just 700 GTS models and 25 examples of the Morizo Edition.
Toyota Australia has taken the unprecedented step of screening potential buyers of the GR Corolla to ensure the cars find legitimate enthusiast owners and to circumvent the onslaught of price-gouging profiteers.
Toyota Australia sales, marketing and franchise operations manager, Sean Hanley, told CarExpert earlier this year the brand is asking dealers to be more active in ensuring the right buyer gets the car they deserve.
Mr Hanley also said that if buyers do happen to slip through its system and work to flip a highly desirable model for a profit, there will be no direct repercussions like blacklisting the buyer.
“There are no repercussions, we just hope that we get them in the right hands,” he said, before going on to say that dealers have their part to play in this game, too.
“We remind [Toyota dealers] of their obligations and the standards at which we operate, very quickly,” he said when asked what happens if the brand finds out about a dealer asking overs for a new car. “We don’t publicise it. If anything we believe is damaging our brand, we jump on it straight away.”
Mr Hanley said that while all the measures put in place to try and allocate orders to the right customers have the best intentions behind them, he also said there is no such thing as a perfect way to do it.
“[For GR models] we are making every effort to get them to enthusiasts. We’re trying our best – it’s not a perfect solution, but we’re trying our best within the laws of the country we operate in,” he said.
He had a strong message to potential buyers who may miss out on the first run of allocations in Australia, and for any Toyota customer who can’t get what they want when they want it.
“My simple message, and Toyota’s simple message to its customers, is ‘don’t pay!’. Don’t do it. Wait,” he said. “Don’t pay over retail for a Toyota.”