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Toyota RAV4 continues to buck sales downturn, despite wait times

By Cameron Kirby, 15 Apr 2020 News

Toyota RAV4

Customers are willing to wait months for one of the most popular vehicles in the country

Toyota Australia is expecting month-long wait times for RAV4 hybrids to continue as demand for the SUV continues unabated.

Customers are, on average, waiting nearly half a year to take delivery of their RAV4s, with demand continuing to outstrip supply.

Toyota says it is working on improving the extended wait times - which can blow out to almost a year in some rare circumstances - as RAV4 sales tip past 10 million globally since the vehicle’s inception in 1994.

Toyota RAV4 hybrid

“The average wait time is still hovering around the four to five month range,” a Toyota Australia spokesperson told Wheels. “But 90 percent of our orders since launch have been delivered within six months.

“We do know there are a 10 percent grouping of people who are waiting more than six months, and we are looking into the system to see how we can tweak it and make it more effective for those people who have been waiting for longer than that time.

“As of last month, the longest wait that we had for any one individual was 10 or 11 months.”

Read also: RAV4 demand outstrips supply despite huge sales spike

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected new car sales will take a significant hit in the coming months. Toyota is bracing for this eventual downturn, but is unsure how demand for RAV4 will be affected, if at all.

“It’s too early to call how much of an impact [COVID-19] is going to make to RAV4 average wait times,” the spokesperson said.

“We will have a better understanding of it towards the end of this month, just because we did have such a long wait for so many vehicles.”

Toyota RAV4 hybrid

Overall, Toyota is steeling itself for the loss of at least a quarter of its monthly sales as the growing impacts of Australia’s lockdown continue to be felt. This is despite actually increasing its sales in March, amid an industry-wide downturn.

Read also: How the judges rated the Toyota RAV4 at COTY

“We had a very strong result in March, but a lot of that was us fulfilling orders of vehicles that were on wait times, like RAV4, Corolla, and Camry hybrids. They all had an order bank sitting behind them,” the spokesperson said.

“We are not sure what this month [April] will look like, but we are estimating that there will probably be at least a 25 percent impact to sales.”