Usually it’s bespoke hypercars or supercars with exotic badges that incur an extensive waiting period, not a high-spec Toyota RAV4 hybrid.
Such is the demand for the RAV4 Cruiser hybrid that, at its peak, customers were told that they wouldn’t receive their vehicles for eight months after signing on the dotted line.
Speaking with Wheels, Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, said that waiting times are reducing and that everything is being done to aid supply as quickly as possible.
“It was at a peak of around eight months, and by the end of the year that’ll drop down to six months.
“Hopefully in the foreseeable six months we’ll get it down to around three months – which would be acceptable. This has been driven only by incredible demand for this car.”
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Sales of the RAV4 in October were up 34.8 percent on the same month in 2018 (2132 versus 1582), while the year-to-date is also up 6.7 percent (19,732 versus 18,500 in 2018).
When asked if Toyota has been caught off guard by the interest in the RAV4 Cruiser hybrid, particularly given the increased interest from private buyers and not fleet sales, Hanley said “not entirely”.
“I’m surprised by the magnitude of the demand, but I’m not surprised there is higher demand. I always knew that the RAV4 Cruiser hybrid was going to be a superstar,” Hanley said.
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Buyers of the popular hybrid-electric model left waiting for their car won’t be stuck without wheels – if they’re willing to pay for them.
“We have a program which allows them [RAV4 Cruiser hybrid customers] to rent a vehicle off Toyota at a very competitive price,” Hanley said.
That subsidised rental program is called ‘While You Wait’ with pricing to be determined in correlation with what car you choose from the Toyota line-up.
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Currently 34 Toyota dealerships countrywide offer the service, with the program to be rolled out nationally if there is significant customer take-up.