New-car buyers in most states in Australia are being asked to pay more for a Toyota Corolla than those in NSW and Queensland – and Toyota says there is nothing it can do to stop the practice.
Toyota dealers in NSW and Queensland have been advertising the superseded Toyota Corolla hatch for $18,990 drive-away to clear old stock and make way for the new model which goes on sale today. But the advertised price for the exact same car in other states in $1000 more: $19,990 plus on-road costs.
The executive director of sales and marketing for Toyota Australia Matthew Callachor told News.com.au: “They’re dealer prices, you’re always going to find variation in dealer prices all around Australia. It’s a group of dealers who want to move them before the new model arrives.”
“When you hit a run-out some dealers have a few extra units left and they want to move them on.” Callachor said it would be against Federal consumer laws to prevent price variation between states. “They’ve [the dealers] got their own trading policies and … Toyota can’t [influence prices] under ACCC rules."
When asked what Toyota customers should do about the $1000 price gap, Callachor said: “The [profit] margins are the same for every dealer, it’s up to individual [dealers] how much they discount by. To our knowledge the only two dealer groups advertising $18,990 drive-away for Corolla were NSW and Queensland,” he said.
The $18,990 drive-away offer has been revoked in NSW after running for four days last week – but is still active in Queensland. Toyota dealers in other states told News.com.au that the car was likely being sold at a loss at $18,990 – but none would say that on the record. Toyota Australia’s Callachor said dealers were not making a loss selling the car at $18,990 drive-away.