The longest waiting time for customers to get their hands on a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Cruiser was up to eight months, Toyota Australia has confirmed to CarAdvice, after the company recently claimed the delay had been cut to three months.
The popularity of the range-topping RAV4 Hybrid caught Toyota Australia off guard. The brand expected the Hybrid would equate to 20 per cent of RAV4 sales but, in June last year, it revealed demand was closer to 60 per cent.
As a result, a month after the new RAV4 went on sale, a waiting period of up to four months was confirmed.
However Toyota vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, last week told CarAdvice’s Automotive Industry Insights Podcast the wait is now longer.
“The truth is, the highest it got to was around eight months, and that was late last year,” Hanley said.
We think by the end of this month (February), we will be able to get that down to around six months, and then by the second half, we think we might bring that down even further; maybe four months.”
There have been varying reports, with some customers being told they face a 12-month wait by dealerships, but Hanley denied it.
“This whole idea that there’s this 12-month wait … right now, there’s not. It’s around six months as we sit here today.”
Hanley admitted Toyota Australia could’ve handled the communication better, by keeping customers and dealerships up-to-date with the waiting period.
“What we got to do – and we understand we’ve got to do a better job of – is communicate to our customers those dates. But we’ve also got to open up the window of that communication to our dealer network, so we’ve recognised that."
We’ve looked at this over the last two weeks because it’s deeply important we get this right. We’ve now put a process in place that will enable our dealers to give more accurate information to the customer. We’ve been communicating with our customers in various ways to reassure them the car is coming," Hanley concluded.
Last month’s new car sales figures saw the RAV4 come out on top in the under $60,000 medium SUV segment with a 19 per cent share – a common occurrence since the all-new RAV4 was launched in the second quarter of 2019.