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Australia gobbles up 10,000 Toyota 86 coupes

Raging success: Greater supply than first expected has driven the Toyota 86 to massive sales highs in Australia since its June 2012 launch.

Ten per cent of all Toyota 86s sold around the globe are here in Australia

26 May 2014

AUSTRALIA has well-and-truly punched above its weight in keeping demand for Toyota’s sprightly 86 coupe on a high, with a remarkable one-in-ten of the total worldwide production finding a home here since launch.

The rear-drive performance bargain co-developed with Subaru this week eclipsed 100,000 global sales, 10,000 units of which have found homes on Australian driveways since the local launch in June 2012.

Only in its home market of Japan (39,000 sales) and the United States, where it is sold as a Scion (35,000), has the car proved more popular.

The success in Australia wildly exceeds the expectations canvassed at launch, with runaway demand stoked along by lower-than-expected pricing, which two years after launch remains at $29,990 plus on-road costs.

At the same time, Toyota’s loss from less-than-illustrious demand in some other world markets has been Australia’s gain, with significantly greater supply available to its local arm than first expected.

At the launch of the 86, Toyota expected it would only have 1200 cars available in 2012 and about 1800 units in 2013. One month after launch, some variants already had waiting lists projected to be in excess of 18 months.

But in the end, it sold 2047 units during 2012, and a massive 6706 units in 2013. The last time a Toyota sports car sold more than 6700 in a year was in 1980 with the Celica.

Reflecting the typical softening in demand found on most performance cars, where the enthusiasts get in early, Toyota has experienced a 34.8 per cent reduction in 86 sales so far in 2014, moving 1610 units.

This still makes it Australia’s top-selling sportscar, with Hyundai’s budget Veloster next with 1112 sales. The 86’s Subaru BRZ twin has managed 329 sales, with its maker still hampered by supply thanks to a small global production quota.

Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the 86 had become a “halo car” that had boosted the brand’s image as well as its sales charts.

“The Toyota 86 has become a halo car that demonstrates Toyota's commitment to designing and engineering cars that really get your heart pumping,” he said.

“Importantly, the passion inside Toyota that led to the 86 is also resulting in more emotional styling and greater driving enjoyment in other Toyota vehicles such as the latest generations of RAV4, Corolla and Kluger.” Mr Cramb also said 80 per cent of Australian 86 sales were to private buyers, a significant proportion of whom were new to Toyota including first-time car buyers.

About two-thirds of all 86 sales have been of the upmarket GTS, belying the base car’s much-publicised sub-$30k price.

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