Toyota has just celebrated another dominant year in Australia, recording its greatest number of deliveries in 14 years and experiencing all-time high demand levels.
However, it also remains a victim of its own success, with said demand and ongoing production headaches yielding years-long wait times on some of its most popular nameplates.
“We expect the volatile situation with supply will continue in 2023,” Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley told us.
“We have advised RAV4 hybrid, Camry hybrid, and LandCruiser 300 do have the longest wait times,” he said.
Expect to wait at least 12-24 months for your RAV4 hybrid, and at bare minimum just as long for a petrol-electric Camry. LandCruiser 300 wait times are slightly better, at 12-18 months, according to Mr Hanley.
“Whilst I don’t see these altering much for the first half [of 2023], I’m hopeful for the second half we will see some upside. I want to reassure customers we are doing everything possible.”
Different dealers report different wait times depending on their inventories and order banks, so your best bet is still to try a few.
Mr Hanley went on to say that enquiry levels for Toyota vehicles were getting back towards pre-COVID levels which, perhaps counter-intuitively, means a reduction.
Toyota’s well-publicised supply shortages and subsequent wait lists prompted many people who weren’t ready to buy for a year or more to order their car regardless, just to get into the queue.
“We, like many other people in the industry, have had unprecedented levels of demand. I’ve never seen it so high, [and] the reality is we talk about enquiry levels dropping to pre-COVID levels,” Mr Hanley said, once again apologising to affected customers.
“To the very many customers that are waiting, we say thank you very much. Are we celebrating [the 2022 sales results]? We’re happy, but number one is a privilege, not a right.”
Mr Hanley predicted another year of 200,000-plus sales in 2023, equal to a retention of around 20 per cent market share or greater.
“We go into 2023 with a very healthy order bank. We aren’t complacent, in the end the final result will depend on ongoing supply.”