Toyota Australia wait times to be slashed in 2024, including RAV4 Hybrid

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Wait times for many top-selling Toyota models – including the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid family SUV – are due to limbo to less than six months after highs of two years or more during the pandemic.

Estimated wait times for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – among other top-selling and in-demand Toyota vehicles – are planned to fall to between four and six months by the middle of this year as production bottlenecks clear.

Despite ramping up, Toyota factories have not been able to keep up with record demand for the company’s vehicles – including its hybrids, which can cut fuel use by up to 50 per cent – in the wake of the pandemic.

It has seen wait times on models such as the RAV4 Hybrid – Australia’s top-selling SUV, and top-selling hybrid vehicle – and Camry Hybrid blow out to two years or more, exacerbated by production slowdowns this time last year.

In good news for customers in the queue, Toyota Australia says supply of its vehicles is improving quickly – and it expects to have most vehicles in its line-up down to a wait of “between four and six months” from mid 2024.

“Supply greatly improved from May last year, and this enabled us to substantially reduce customer wait times,” Toyota Australia sales and marketing boss Sean Hanley told Drive.

“The great news is the wait time for most Toyota models will be four to six months by mid-year, if not sooner.”

Wait times for the Toyota HiLux ute – which lost the title of Australia’s top-selling new vehicle to the Ford Ranger last year – are already down to about three months.

Mr Hanley said: “We had a two-year wait on RAV4 Hybrid [at one point], but I think we’re down to about 12 months, at the end of [2023].

“By the [end of the] first quarter [March 2024] that’ll be down to eight months, and by the midpoint [of 2024] that’ll be down to four to six months. So they’re coming down considerably.

“The message that I wish to send consumers is that our priority is to deliver vehicles to those customers who have been waiting a long time.

“We’re now working through that to prioritise those customers, so I want those customers to know that we are doing everything to prioritise their vehicles first and foremost – and then we’ll start taking fresh orders.

“The good news is for fresh orders, I think we’ll be down to four to six months by the middle of the year. So Toyota is open for business.”

However, Mr Hanley said order for the Camry Hybrid – which were paused earlier this year due to a two-year wait time – are “unlikely” to resume until after the new model arrives in the second half of this year.

As reported by Drive last year, Toyota has overhauled its ordering process – which would allocate different dealers different volumes of cars, giving customers little indication of where they sit in the national queue, beyond their place in line at that dealership – to prioritise RAV4 Hybrid buyers waiting the longest.

Such have been the wait times, that customers who have ordered a Toyota vehicle since May 2022 have been asked to sign a form acknowledging the vehicle they take delivery of may be a different specification – and at a different price – to that available when they placed their deposit.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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