Toyota's sales smash: new RAV4 Hybrid sold out until next year
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Last month was a pretty rough one for new-vehicle registrations, perhaps a sign of the market normalising after an extended period of growth. But, among the numbers and data was one interesting outlier; the newly launched Toyota RAV4.
Sceptics may have seen the RAV4's position on the charts (fourth, as the top passenger vehicle and poised just behind the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux, and Mitsubishi Triton) and attributed it to pre-registered models. However, the reality is that the new SUV is simply selling exceptionally well.
Driven understands that hybrid versions of the RAV4 are sold out. Not just for the rest of the 2019, but until approximately March 2020.
There are three hybrids in the RAV4 line-up; the GX Hybrid, the GXL Hybrid, and the Limited Hybrid that Driven road tested last month. Pricing sits at $39,990, $43,490, and $48,990 respectively — with the Limited Hybrid's price recently increasing by $1000.
But even with the rise, the RAV4 Hybrid remains one of the cheapest ways to get into an electrified SUV. Combined with the success of the Corolla Hybrid, it underlines a thirst in the market for sharply priced mainstream alternatives to 'pure' internal combustion vehicles.
“The demand for the new RAV4, has been unprecedented for Toyota in New Zealand,” says Toyota New Zealand general manager Neeraj Lala.
“Introducing the hybrid variants in particular are doing very well for us as customers look for fuel efficient and performance. We have also seen that customers are willing to wait because quite simply it is a great vehicle and represents exceptional value.
“It also helps that RAV4 is better than anything else in the small SUV market at the moment. For 25 years RAV4 has been pioneering the way, its New Zealand’s biggest selling volume SUV and it looks like that is not set to change any time soon.”
Toyota New Zealand wouldn't confirm to Driven whether any particular RAV4 variants (hybrid-based or otherwise) were sold out for the remainder of 2019; saying only that "there are some variants that you can get within a normal time-frame”.
"The waiting period [...] will vary between variants,” they added.
A similar plight is currently being felt by our friends in Australia, too. As confirmed earlier this week, Australian RAV4 Hybrid models are currently sold out for up to four months.
“On the one hand we’re stoked that there’s such strong demand and such strong acceptance of our hybrid technology, but on the other hand there’s concern that some customers won’t wait and will go off and buy something else,” one anonymous metropolitan dealer told Car Advice.
“Most people we’re dealing with are happy to wait because they understand the technology and they want the fuel savings”.
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