Toyota has heard the calls from your GR Corolla and wants you to calm down. For those of you who have already contacted local dealers to queue, congratulations for arriving early. The sad reality is that even if you select the options and colors you want, you probably won’t get that exact GR corolla, if at all.
the GR Corolla will likely remain one of the most anticipated cars announced this year. After years of seeing the rest of the world, enjoy the GR Yaris and a few more years of wondering if they’ll give the US a GR hot hatch, apparently Toyota said, “good here!” and shocked us with the marvelous GR Corolla. The spec sheet reads like a dream: 300-hp turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, standard six-speed manual transmission, all wrapped in a beautiful hatchback body. Too bad that not many of us experience it.
It all comes down to two things: how many Toyotas will build and how these vehicles are allocated to dealerships. Toyota took a different approach than the GR Yaris. the GR Yaris was initially a special homologation for Toyota Gazoo racing’s WRC effort. Toyota committed to building 25,000by FIA rules, (For those of you who are not in the United States and you want a GR Yaris, damn it. It is out of print until 2023.).
Toyota is not so generous with the United States. At least not initially. The company only builds 6,500 to begin with, with no more than 8,000 per year planned for the future. While 8,000 per year isn’t bad, those initial 6,500 are going to be a problem, of which 1,250 will be the Circut edition. Talk to Road & Track, Toyota’s vice president of automotive operations for North America, Jack Hollis, said there were simply too many orders being taken at dealerships for the GR Corolla. “We have places right now, and parts of the country where there are so many orders, we have to stop,” he said.
Toyota limits production on purpose
In reality, everything is done on purpose by Toyota. Mike Tripp, the company’s vice president of marketing, called it “too few.”” He explained it to Road & Track:
I wouldn’t say the limiting factor for these vehicles is our ability to produce them. It’s being very careful to make sure we maintain the credibility of the niche.
It’s a strategy that is oddly understandable. Too bad Toyota’s award process is nott generous to this kind of business idea. I spoke with a person whoI’s familiar with Toyota’s award process. From what he told me, combined with the interest in this car, things are going to go wrong at the dealership level.
Toyota’s strange attribution process
Unlike some automakers, which run a build-to-order process or allocate vehicles to dealers based on need, Toyota’s process is in left field. Toyota decides on the allocation of dealerships based on a the whole region sales and market performance. Thus, dealers who are doing well are grouped with those who are not. This means that vehicles are assigned to regions, not dealers.
You may be wondering “So? What’s the problem?” Say you place an order for a silver Heavy Metal Corolla GR with some sort of option package (Toyota hasn’t yet released options or pricing for the Corolla GR) and you’re third on your dealer’s list. It’s going to be a piece of cake if you actually get this exact vehicle because the dealerships have no control over the vehicle they will actually receive. Your dealer may end up calling and saying, “Hey, we have a red GR Corolla with no options. Do you want it?” You take it or you leave it. If you leave it, they will simply call the next person on the list.
This is what my informant is currently experiencing with his GR 86 order from a local dealership. He told me he had a preference allocation (meaning the dealer let him select the options he wanted) at one dealership and placed deposits at two others for Thanksgiving 2021. He was fourth on one list and eighth on another. He still hasn’t heard of his “order”.”
“They still haven’t contacted me, which means they don’t have cars to cross people off the list,” he says. “So they probably don’t prefer cars for the waiting list and for some reason just accept what Toyota gives them.”
An escape that might lead nowhere
Maybe there is a way around it, he says, bbut that will probably only make things worse. Dealers may prefer an allowance. This means the dealer can tell Toyota they want a model-specific trim and color whenever the next allocation is released. He says that’s why a Toyota dealer gives you a time limit when you place an “order”.” Those six to eight months are not the time it will take Toyota to make the car; this is the dealer time frame hope they will receive what you preferred.
This is because Toyota cannot guarantee that there will be enough vehicle in the configuration that you or the preferred dealer. He broke it down pretty well on the GR Corolle Forums, showing how this will most likely play out using the example of someone who wanted a GR Corolla in white, Core trim with a performance package and a cold weather package:
San Francisco area
Allocation pool size: 100 cars
100 GR Corollas
Of the Corolla 100 GRs, only 10 of them are white with the performance pack and the cold weather pack.
Let’s say there are 50 dealerships in the San Franssico area. If there are 10 white GRs with these two packages, the region (Toyota allocations) will send it to 10 dealers or possibly one dealer will get two.
Let’s sit down, they preferred it and didn’t understand it. It’s probably because another dealer preferred it first.
So the region recognizes that and says, “Sorry ABC Toyota, we’ll see if a White Core with the performance package and the cold weather package is in the pool next time and we’ll prioritize your preference if so. .
A few weeks later, ABC Toyota calls you and says they finally have a White Core with a performance package and a cold weather package for you! Think about that process and think about the long waiting lists, especially at stores promising an MSRP.
It’ll probably be worse than that at dealerships that make markups. Seeing the process down gives me no hope. Those of you who have “ordered” from your local dealer should be prepared for the worst. With Toyota’s system as it is, some buyers may get discouraged and give up. But given that hot hatches are an endangered species, some may just be hoping they’ll be lucky enough to own something we’ll probably never see again from Toyota.