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Toyota RAV4 wait times remain long

Patience: The waiting list might be massive, but that isn’t stopping people from spending big on their Toyota RAV4s.

Customers still waiting 10 months for a Toyota RAV4 as supply crunch continues

10 Dec 2021

WITH many factories across Asia sitting idle due to pandemic-related delays, shutdowns or supply shortages of raw materials, the past year has been tough for those making cars – even Toyota, despite being the world’s biggest manufacturer of cars and a pioneer of hyper-efficient manufacturing, has not escaped unscathed.


Toyota assembly plants in Japan and Thailand were shut down earlier this year to deal with parts shortages – largely caused by the global shortage of semiconductor material for computer chips – slashing output by a massive 400,000 cars in September, and another 400,000 cars in October. 


Those who have had their name in the order book for a RAV4 or 300 Series LandCruiser are familiar with the delays; first deliveries of the new LandCruiser have only just begun, more than two months after the official launch, while wait times for a RAV4 stretch up to 10 months depending on variant.


The good news: In November Toyota announced that production output in Japan would return to normal levels in December, with 800,000 units forecast to be built and supply constraints on vehicles produced in that country – which includes the ultra-popular RAV4 and highly-anticipated LC300 – to be relieved. 


The bad news: Toyota has just announced that two plants in Japan will need to be idled again due to more parts shortage woes, likely caused by unexpected disruption to supply chains by the new Omicron COVID-19 variant. It is unclear whether more plants will need to be throttled back.


The two affected factories primarily produce vehicles for Lexus, effectively subtracting 3500 units off Toyota’s 900,000-unit target.


However, production of the LandCruiser is also impacted, according to the car-maker, which comes at a bad time for Toyota Australia as it struggles to find enough cars to fulfil outstanding LC300 orders. At time of publishing, the new factory shutdowns will impact around 9000 units of planned production. 


But while the LC300 situation remains tenuous, Toyota Australia has the most catching up to do to satisfy the huge demand for its SUV mainstay, the RAV4.


“RAV4 currently has an average wait time overall of six months, with some variants of RAV4 hybrid extending up to 10 months,” a Toyota spokesperson said to GoAuto when asked for an update on the company’s second most popular model.


According to Toyota, hybrid variants continue to be the RAV4 everyone wants, with around 80 per cent of orders being for petrol-electric variants. What’s more, just under 50 per cent of all RAV4 orders are for the top-shelf Cruiser grade – a vehicle that starts at $40,915 before on-roads in petrol 2WD form, stretching to $46,415 + ORC for the hybrid AWD. 


The fact that RAV4 buyers are willing to transact at such high dollar values was also a primary driver behind Toyota’s recent addition of the XSE grade to the RAV4 family, which slots in just below the Cruiser and above the mid-grade GXL.


Available only as a hybrid (in either 2WD or AWD), the XSE is clearly designed to go after the meatiest part of the RAV4’s customer base, and perhaps take some pressure off the Cruiser while also providing a more attainable upsell opportunity to GXL shoppers. 


Simultaneously, Toyota added a hybrid option for the adventure-focused RAV4 Edge that was previously only available with a 2.5-litre petrol engine. Priced at $52,320 before on-roads, the RAV4 Edge AWD hybrid is the most expensive member of the RAV4 line-up.


Despite having supply issues cramping its ability to deliver cars, year-to-date sales for the RAV4 are currently at 32,753 units – giving it comfortable leadership of the medium SUV segment (the Mazda CX-5 is second on 22,820 deliveries).


There is no word on precisely when supply will catch up on demand, but for now it is clear that those looking to put a RAV4 in their driveway as soon as possible should probably consider two things – forget the hybrid, and maybe consider the lower-grade GX or GXL variants.

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