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Toyota 86 price reviewed soon

Bargain: Toyota surprised the market with its pricing for the new 86 sportscar, but will review it again within months.

High demand and exchange rates could push base Toyota sportscar over $30K

8 Jun 2012

TOYOTA’S hot new 86 sportscar could struggle to maintain its sub-$30,000 entry price in the face of the fluctuating exchange rates and rising global demand.

Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Matthew Callachor said the price of the 2+2-seater rear-drive coupe – on sale from June 18 and twinned with the Subaru BRZ to be launched in August – is therefore likely to be reviewed in as little as three months.

However, Mr Callachor claims the company will stick to the 86’s value pricing strategy, since the Subaru-built sportscar was designed and engineered in the first place to be an inexpensive proposition.

“Nobody can ever give you an iron-clad guarantee,” said Mr Callachor of potential price rises, “but if the Australian dollar’s value all of a sudden plunged then we would have to reconsider our position.

“But we will hold this price for a period of time – (certainly) in the first three-month period.” Until the 86 was officially unveiled to the Australian media on June 4 with a starting price of $29,990 plus on-road costs, it had been widely speculated that the base GT six-speed manual would cost upwards of $36,000.

8 center imageLeft: Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Matthew Callachor.

Even the top-line GTS automatic version remains well below $40,000, massively undercutting most of the models that Toyota name-checks as the 86’s closest competitors – the Volkswagen Golf GTI ($38,990), Mazda MX-5 ($42,460), Mini Coupe ($42,990), Peugeot RCZ ($54,990), BMW 125i Coupe ($55,600) and Audi TT ($65,450).

Demand is consequently expected to greatly exceed the 250 units per month that Toyota Australia will be allocated, particularly as other global markets also receive the car in the coming weeks, starting with Germany.

“I would expect demand to be quite brisk,” said Mr Callachor.

“In the first few months we’re getting 250 each month, and moving forward … I’d like to get more, but global demand for the 86 has been quite large.

“Certainly the Australian dollar helps … we try not to change prices, but there are currency fluctuations so we try to take that into account as well.

“(Toyota) has designed (the 86) to be a very affordable sportscar.

“We want people to have fun in the car. We’ve priced the car to gain a wider audience and engender a passion for the car, so we’re expecting a whole series of people (to get into the 86).” While Mr Callachor conceded that Toyota did not rank highly with younger enthusiasts, he said: “Frankly, at those kinds of prices, it is not beyond their potential to be able to wiggle their way into (an 86).” Nevertheless, because of its significantly higher specification level at only a modest premium, Toyota expects the more expensive GTS to account for about 60 per cent of sales in the first year.

Australia is expected to be the fourth-largest market for the 86, behind the United States, Japan and Europe.

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