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Local interest high for flagship Toyota Supra

Toyota Australia working on new ordering process to handle new Supra’s high demand

4 Feb 2019

TOYOTA Australia is working on new sales procedures to handle the flood of orders expected for its strictly limited new-generation Supra sportscar, which was officially revealed last month ahead of launch in Australia in the third quarter.


With only around 300 units allocated to the Australian market in the first 12 months, demand for the new Supra – which has not had local pricing or specification confirmed, leaving the order books closed for the time being – is expected to easily outstrip supply.


This was the same situation Toyota found itself in with the 86 sportscar in 2012, waiting times for which quickly blew out to 18 months.


Speaking to GoAuto at Toyota’s Australian headquarters in Melbourne last Friday, where the Supra was on display after making its world debut at the Detroit motor show a few weeks earlier, Toyota Australia public affairs manager Brodie Bott was unable confirm figures such as firm expressions of interest in the sportscar.


“I can’t mention numbers yet, but I’ll just say there has been a lot of interest,” he said.


“As you can imagine, it’s one of those cars that we haven’t had in a really long time, so it’s not surprising when you take that into account and then you look at the car and how beautiful it is – it’s not surprising we’ve had that much interest.”


While local pricing and specification remain under wraps, BMW’s Z4 M40i roadster – which shares the same platform and engine as the Supra – is confirmed as starting at $124,900 plus on-road costs.


Toyota’s fixed-roof Supra is expected to sit below this mark.


As pressure builds ahead of the order books officially opening, Mr Bott revealed that the company is working on new sales procedures to better “manage the ordering process”.


Whether this includes a strictly online sales process is still to be confirmed.


“We’re still working through that allocation process, and we should have some details on that later in the year,” he said.


“We’ve never really had a car like this before, I think probably the closest thing was the 86 – that was a very, very popular car – so when you look at that, and then look at this – the Supra – we’ve got to do a bit of work on how we allocate that and how we manage the ordering process.


“This is quite a unique car, it’s coming from Europe, limited production numbers, so much hype around it, everyone’s clamouring to get their hands on one, and for us we’re just asking for patience as we work through that process.”


The Supra is built in Graz, Austria, on the same production line as the Z4. The one BMW facility will produce Supras for all markets around the world.


With larger markets such as North America, Europe and Japan likely having a stronger voice than Australia in terms of allocation, local stock of the Supra is not expected to last long.


Mr Bott said the Supra’s distinctive exterior styling and the connection with BMW had not deterred its customer base.


“Overwhelmingly, I think the majority of feedback has been positive, but there will always be people who have an opinion,” Mr Bott said.


“If you look at the history of the Supra, it is such a beloved model … so the Supra in 2019 will be very different model, it’s come a long way since then.


“We’ve heard that criticism, but at the end of the day, I still think it’s going to be a very popular car.”

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