Toyota delivers record breaking start to 2020 with hybrid sales

Toyota Australia’s decision to focus its attention on the hybrid market has proven to be the right call, with sales of hybrid versions of popular models surging ahead while new car sales as a whole continue to splutter.

Through the first two months of 2020, Toyota has already sold 7,957 hybrid vehicles in Australia, 166 per cent more than they sold through the same period in 2019. This equates to 25 per cent of Toyota’s total sales for the year so far coming from hybrid vehicles.

The hybrid movement has been led by the RAV4, with Toyota claiming 62 per cent of all RAV4s sold for February came from the hybrid version. This newfound popularity has seen the RAV4 overtake the Ford Ranger to become the second most popular vehicle in Australia.

Two of Toyota’s other hybrid models, the Camry and Corolla, have also experienced accelerated growth to start 2020, with 61 per cent of the 1,445 Camrys sold for the month coming from the hybrid model, and 52 per cent of the 2,520 Corollas sold claiming the same.

The significant growth in popularity of hybrid vehicles over the past 12 months has shocked everyone, including decision makers at Toyota, who have had to reassess their 2020 hybrid goals.

Toyota had originally set a target of 40,000 hybrid sales in 2020 but based on current figures they are on track to reach closer to 50,000.

The one obstacle in the way of Toyota breaking through the 50,000 sales figure, however, appears to be available supply.

Due to the popularity of the RAV4 hybrid, Toyota announced in February that current wait times for delivery sit at approximately four to six months.

“The truth is, the highest (the delay got to) was around eight months, and that was late last year. We think by the end of this month [February], we will be able to get that down to around six months,” said Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley last month.

However, irate customers have since taken to Facebook to vent their frustration at reportedly being told delivery delays have been extended to nine months or longer.

Toyota Australia is in the process of securing additional shipments of vehicles to minimise delays, but with sales continuing to come in, this is proving difficult.

“We successfully negotiated additional shipments of hybrid vehicles that will arrive throughout 2020, but even these higher supplies are under pressure due to the unprecedented popularity,” said Hanley.

“… It means that delivery times for some variants will not improve as quickly as we had anticipated. While this is clearly not desirable, we will keep negotiating for an even greater share of global production.”

While long delays are expected to continue for the SUV sized RAV4, supply for Toyotas other hybrid options, the Camry, Corolla, Prius C hatch and Prius V seven-seater is expected to remain readily available.

Source: Caradvice | Toyota’s hybrid cars breaking Australian sales records

12 March 2020

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