Australia’s best-selling new vehicle, the Toyota HiLux ute, naturally has the longest waiting list of any model on sale, but its delivery wait times are all but confirmed to blow out soon.
Last week, Toyota indefinitely suspended production at three of its manufacturing plants in Thailand, where the HiLux and related Fortuner large SUV are sourced from for Australia.
Why? Well, the ongoing global pandemic has caused a parts shortage, which has not only forced Toyota’s hand, but many others in the past 18 months.
Read more about the Toyota Hilux
And the potential impact on Australia could’ve been worse if local Corolla sedan sourcing hadn’t switched to Japan with the release of the 12th-generation model in November 2019.
Speaking of which, a Toyota Australia spokesperson told CarsGuide the “company is currently assessing any impact that the current COVID-19 restrictions in Thailand will have on the HiLux and Fortuner lines”, adding that it “will provide an update in due course”.
Given Toyota’s annual manufacturing capacity in Thailand is 550,000 vehicles, the first week of the shutdown has seemingly come at the cost of more than 10,000 production slots.
Toyota’s Thai plants also export to Southeast Asia and some other markets, so the impact is likely to shared, but to what to degree is, of course, dependent on how long the situation continues for.
For reference, in the first half of 2021, Toyota Australia sold 28,076 HiLux utes and 1866 Fortuner SUVs, or an average of 4679 and 311 examples per month respectively.
Needless to say, the HiLux and Fortuner’s delivery wait times stand to be increased in the short term, with certain variants, including the most popular, likely to be more impacted than others. Stay tuned.