2024 Toyota Prado wait times won’t blow out to two years like RAV4 Hybrid, company says - SUV VEHICLE

2024 Toyota Prado wait times won’t blow out to two years like RAV4 Hybrid, company says

Toyota is wary of wait-time dissatisfaction and has implemented new measures to ensure potential Prado buyers are not put through what many RAV4 Hybrid customers experienced during the pandemic.

Toyota Australia is aware it has lost sales to rival brands due to extended wait times for models such as the RAV4, and has implemented a solution to ensure the upcoming in-demand Prado won’t suffer the same fate.

Speaking to Drive at the launch of the second-generation C-HR, Toyota Australia sales and marketing boss Sean Hanley said the brand has taken on board feedback about its long wait times, and won’t over-sell its allocation of vehicles.

“Particularly as we launch Prado in the second half of the year – it’s about what you learn, and we learned a lot through that period,” he said.

“And whilst it sounds impressive to say you had a long wait list and you’ve got a big order bank; it comes with its own challenges. We don’t believe that’s in the best interests of our customers going forward.

“We’re trying to put in place for Prado in the second half of the year … we’re going to say to our dealers, this is your allocation for the year, that’s it.

“Please don’t oversell that allocation, by all means, take expressions of interest beyond that if you’ve got customers, but don’t promise. This is your allocation for the year, so it’s finite.”

While Mr Hanley would not be drawn on the exact number of new-generation Prados due to launch in Australia in the second half of the year – believed to be closer to the middle of the year, than the end – he said supply would be “healthy”.

Last year, Toyota sold 20,710 examples of the outgoing Prado, making it the most popular vehicle in the ‘large SUV under $70,000’ category, beating the Isuzu MU-X, Ford Everest, and Subaru Outback.

Mr Hanley also pointed to the local appetite for all things LandCruiser, including the Prado, 300 Series, and 70 Series, which gives Toyota Australia a stronger voice when negotiating for a share of global production.

Toyota Australia says the worst of the stock shortages are behind it, with the two-year wait on the RAV4 Hybrid after the worst of the pandemic now down to about 12 months – and planned to drop to just four to six months soon.

“You’ll always have variables in any supply chain, even in a normal year, things happen,” Mr Hanley said.

“You can never predict what could happen next week, but based on what we know today, supply is quite good.

“We’ve had a hard run in the last couple of years. I think there’ll be a lot of happy RAV4 Hybrid customers over the next few months.

“Certainly, we’re seeing that order bank come down quite quickly. We said March, onwards, that would come into effect, so I think you’ll see strength in RAV4 numbers.

“Here’s the interesting thing on that RAV4 Hybrid, you’d think that after two or three years after [orders], you’d have massive cancellations.

“Well, we’ve had cancellations, that’s true, but nowhere near what people would have thought. People have stayed loyal to that car; it just shows you the strength of that hybrid technology.”

Again, Mr Hanley would not be drawn on how many RAV4 buyers have cancelled their orders, but nearly 30,000 examples of the family SUV were sold in 2023 and it continues to be the most popular model in the mid-size SUV category to the end of February 2024.

Tung Nguyen

Tung Nguyen has been in the automotive journalism industry for over a decade, cutting his teeth at various publications before finding himself at Drive in 2024. With experience in news, feature, review, and advice writing, as well as video presentation skills, Tung is a do-it-all content creator. Tung’s love of cars first started as a child watching Transformers on Saturday mornings, as well as countless hours on PlayStation’s Gran Turismo, meaning his dream car is a Nissan GT-R, with a Liberty Walk widebody kit, of course.

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