The Global Financial Crisis has claimed it’s first genuine scalp in the local motor industry. The falling value of the Australian dollar against the Yen has seen Toyota Australia announce pricing increases on all of its imported models, with the exception of the Prius. The average increase on affected models is about 2.4 per cent. The new pricing regime will take effect on 1 January 2009.
Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner commented, “The Australian dollar has weakened against the yen by more than 35 per cent in the past three months.
“In the past year, there have also been steep increases in the prices of raw materials, such as steel. In the light of all these pressures, we believe the increase of 2.4 per cent from the start of the new year is extremely modest.”
Volume sellers such as the Yaris and Corolla will be affected by as much as $800 and $750 per model respectively. While the Kluger (up to $1500) and Prado (up to $2000) are at the higher end of the increases.
Pricing of Australian built Camry and Aurion models will not be affected. Toyota’s full press statement can be read below.
TOYOTA TO INCREASE PRICES FROM 1 JANUARY
Toyota Australia has advised its dealers that new-vehicle recommended retail prices will increase from 1 January 2009 due to adverse currency movements.
Price increases will average 2.4 per cent or about $900 across the range with variations by model and by grade.
The recommended retail prices of Toyota’s smallest car, Yaris, will rise by up to $800 with most models increasing $500.
On the top-selling Corolla, the increases will range up to $750, on Prado up to $2000, while a top-of-the-line LandCruiser Sahara petrol model will rise by $3,773.
Recommended retail prices for locally manufactured four-cylinder Camry and V6 Aurion models will not change.
The metallic paint option on these models will rise $25 to $400; on most imported models, metallic paint will rise to $350 or $400 (or higher on models affected by the luxury-car tax).
Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the price increases were due to a dramatic fall in the value of the Australian dollar.
“The Australian dollar has weakened against the yen by more than 35 per cent in the past three months,” Mr Buttner said.
“The current rate is more than 20 per cent below the long-term average of around 79 yen – and we do not expect it to recover to any great degree in the near future.
“In the past year, there have also been steep increases in the prices of raw materials, such as steel.
“In the light of all these pressures, we believe the increase of 2.4 per cent from the start of the new year is extremely modest.”
Mr Buttner said the company’s Australian manufactured models had been protected from this round of price increases.
“That is a significant indication of our parent company’s support for our local operations and for the sale of these cars in the domestic and export markets.”
Mr Buttner said Toyota wanted to send a message to customers that financing remains available from Toyota dealers despite the troubles in the credit markets.
“We want to get consumers to visit their Toyota dealership and to understand consumer financing and leasing is certainly available through Toyota.
“Almost 85 per cent of Toyota dealers source credit through Toyota Finance, whose debt is rated Triple A by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
“The rest of our network also has solid arrangements in place with large Australian or global institutions,” he said.
MODEL / PRICE INCREASES
Yaris – Up to $800
Corolla – Up to $750
Prius – Nil
Camry – Nil
Aurion – Nil
RAV4 – $500
Kluger – $1,051 to $1,500
Prado – $592 to $2,000
LC200 – $2,662 to $3,773
Avensis – $1,000
Tarago – $616 to $1,750 (from 9 February)
LC70 – $1,100 to $1,500
HiLux 4×2 – Up to $750
HiLux 4×4 – Up to $1,700
HiAce commuter – $2000
HiAce van – $700 to $1,000
Coaster bus – $2,500