Toyota Australia has had some of the longest wait times in the industry, but it says stronger supply will see these come down in 2024.
“In 2024, wait times for most models will be 4-6 months by mid-year, if not sooner, so we’re expecting to see incredibly reduced wait times on Toyota vehicles,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing, to CarExpert.
He specifically noted the RAV4 Hybrid, which has had wait times of up to 24 months during the COVID era and is still sitting at around 12 months, will also be down to a 4-6 month wait by mid-year.
Mr Hanley says it will have an “incredibly strong supply” of the mid-sized hybrid SUV in the first quarter.
Toyota has also confirmed the LandCruiser 300 Series and Camry Hybrid should also have similar wait times by mid-2024. As of mid-December, these were sitting at around nine months and 12 months, respectively.
Mr Hanley says customers’ expectations on wait times have changed following the rise of COVID, which interfered with supply chains.
“We believe that on some cars, people will wait six months, we believe on some other cars people will wait three months so therefore there’s a new post-COVID tolerance to normal, 3-6 months would be a normal wait time I think moving forward,” he said.
“Extraordinary demand” saw Toyota pause orders of its Camry Hybrid in October 2023, with the electrified sedan having reached wait times of around 24 months. A new generation is due in the second half of 2024.
LandCruiser 70 Series orders have been paused for even longer – since July 2022. Toyota dealers are reaching out to customers with their name down for a LC70 and asking if they’d like one of the new four-cylinder variants instead.
Toyota says stronger supply and a “healthy” order bank will see it increase its sales in 2024, even as it projects the market overall will be down.
It’s also expecting hybrid and electric vehicles will account for a new high of over 40 per cent of its sales.
Toyota sold 92,235 vehicles in the first half of 2023, but achieved a record 123,005 sales in the second half of 2023 for a total of 215,240 for the calendar year. That figure was still down 15,810 units on 2022’s tally, however.
The company says it aspires to get back to 20 per cent market share in Australia. Toyotas accounted for 17.68 per cent of all new vehicles delivered in 2023.
Toyota has been the market leader in Australia for 21 consecutive years, and boasts that in 19 of the past 20 years its annual sales have exceeded 200,000 vehicles.
In 2023, it sold more than twice as many vehicles as the second best-selling brand, Mazda.