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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In response to this thread, here is a letter we can send to Toyota to try and sway them to open up a build-to-order option for the GR Corolla.

Modify it as you wish! The online support max character count is 5000 and the standard letter has 3,572 characters.

Here’s where it can be sent to:

TOYOTA SUPPORT REQUEST (ONLINE)

Postal Mail
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
P.O. Box 259001
Plano, TX 75025-9001

You can also attempt to message Regional officers on LinkedIn.

You can also try forwarding to your dealership so they can forward to their regional/district manager.

Letter template:

To my Regional Distribution Officers of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.,

My name is [INSERT NAME]. I am a prospective buyer waiting for the retail launch of the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla. I am currently [waitlist/reservation situation @ name of dealership].

I am aware of the current industry challenges due to parts and labor shortages, as well as in logistic operations. However, I question if Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc. is aware of the fallout of these industry challenges as its aftermath is passed down to the consumer experience—particularly in the purchase process for a vehicle.

As a prospective GR Corolla buyer who is a member of multiple online forums and groups, I can sense the immense enthusiasm for the car. I am positive Toyota Motor North America is proud of the demand the car is generating…but the outlook is that the demand far outweighs potential supply. I’ve been waiting for this car for over 2 years, and it deeply worries me that this vehicle will be incredibly frustrating to obtain with TMNA’s traditional allocation system. TMNA’s frustrating allocation system is a hot topic on forums and Facebook groups—particularly those pertaining to the GR86, GR Corolla, and RAV4 Prime.

TMNA’s traditional allocation system makes it difficult to locate the preferred configuration we want. It also encourages us to shop multiple dealerships, sometimes to the point of going out-of-state. This system does not take the customers’ best interests into account, which is why I—along with the thousands of prospective GR Corolla buyers-am asking to please consider the option of a build-to-order approach when it comes to the distribution of the GR Corolla.

The build-to-order process is no secret in the automotive industry. Toyota’s very own GR Yaris (and other Toyotas) is distributed this way overseas. In North America, Volkswagen has established a brilliant experience with their build-to-order procedure for their 2022 Golf R. Subaru of America uses it for the 2022 WRX as well as its other cars. They’ve even gone as far as adapting an enhanced system for the launch of the Toyota bZ4X’s twin, the Subaru Solterra, wherein the customer reserves an allocation spot at a dealer of their choice with a $250 refundable deposit to the manufacturer. The said allocation spot converts to a factory order when production is ready, and a pre-configured car (color, trim, options) is officially submitted as an order. Excess reservations are placed into a waitlist if the dealership exceeds their allocation count.

In fact, Toyota used a build-to-order process, albeit with a small count, for the launch of the Scion FR-S—I am referring to the First86 program from 2012 where the first 86 people who signed up were able to configure the car color and transmission.

I have a lot of respect for the people who work together to make Toyota successful. As an enthusiast, I can’t express how thankful I am that the GR Corolla is being brought to our market. However, because of limited production (reportedly 6,600 for the first year) and current industry challenges, I am asking for a build-to-order option to please be adapted for the GR Corolla’s distribution instead solely relying on the traditional allocation system with pre-configured units. If there will only be a small number (6,600) available, this is going to be the best way to optimize the low production count and to enhance the consumer experience.

You listened to us and brought us a beloved Toyota Hot Hatch, the GR Corolla. Please listen to us again and consider a build-to-order option for the GR Corolla.

Sincerely,

[INSERT NAME]
 

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I doubt Toyota is going to change their system on this because a couple hundred people send a letter asking for a build to order program instead of allocations.

Toyota is always 10 steps ahead. They already knew how they were planning on selling the GRC well, well, well before the official announcement. Not only that, it's not Porsche levels of customization. The GRC only has 4 colors, 2(maybe 3) option packages(and we don't even know if the tech and performance packages can be specced together), and one apparently fully loaded special edition.

I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this, but there's no real point in making a build to order with the paltry amount of options and colors available. Toyota knows this. Toyota is just going to make the GRC to check boxes on a spreadsheet, and it's easier for them to just push out stock to meet demand as quickly as possible.

I'd argue that writing a letter to instead sell the GRC only as fully loaded(like the Golf R and CTR) without options and just one trim(excluding special editions) would yield better results. Sometimes, changing the way one does business and the processes is impossible, especially for huge companies. But pushing to change WHAT is in the product or what the product is could be more fruitful. I.E., how the US got the GRC and rumors of a potential manual Supra. A fully loaded, one trim, no options GRC would lead to just picking a color and being done with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Toyota’s allocation system is somewhat build-to-order. This is why they give a 3-6+ month timeframe. If the car someone configured (there’s only 24 configurations for the core edition) is not in the allocation pool then they have to wait until future allocations.

Some dealerships don’t extend the preferencing to the customer though.

Just don’t be upset when the GR Corolla you get has 10+ port installed accessories like front clear ppf, a $100 phone charger kit, a black plastic rear bumper cover, a $700 subwoofer, and the dreaded body side moldings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another benefit of Build-to-order is that the dealership charging $10k mark up over MSRP can’t say “oh well this is the only white one with performance package in the area”

well if you can just order one at a competing dealership for a lower price and wait 2-3 months, that’s not a problem.

I’ve seen this firsthand because at the dealership company I’m from, Subarus are sold at or close to MSRP and Toyota sell on average $4000-$6000 over MSRP.

Subaru customers have more power as a buyer because if a dealer is asking $5k over MSRP on a car in stock, but the other dealer across town is offering MSRP IF they order the car, that’s negotiating power and a win-win for the customer.
 

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Toyota’s allocation system is somewhat build-to-order. This is why they give a 3-6+ month timeframe. If the car someone configured (there’s only 24 configurations for the core edition) is not in the allocation pool then they have to wait until future allocations.

Some dealerships don’t extend the preferencing to the customer though.

Just don’t be upset when the GR Corolla you get has 10+ port installed accessories like front clear ppf, a $100 phone charger kit, a black plastic rear bumper cover, a $700 subwoofer, and the dreaded body side moldings.
We don't know if the tech package and performance package will come in the same car. I say this because that's how it is overseas for the GRY. Anecdotal evidence with the GRY suggests that the GRC may also follow this route. Based on what was presented in the reveal, I'm just going to assume that the GRC will follow how the GRY is sold. At least until more information is revealed. If it does follow the GRY path, we're looking at a mere 9 different color and package combinations for the Core. Red, white, or black. No options, performance package, OR tech package. I don't count the cold weather package because I assume it's just an add on to any of the Core packages.

Out of all the dealers I've spoken to, preference is something they just submit to big Toyota. There's absolutely zero guarantee that any one of us in line will get the color and package we want. Toyota just sends cars out. Maybe dealers in good standing will be able to acquire what preferences they send up. Maybe not.

Dealer installed accessories for these kinds of cars are mostly unavoidable. There are some dealers out there who don't dabble in the bullshit. But I don't have the time, nor want to put forth the effort to find 10 out of the 1500 USA dealers that sell without bullshit. Especially in these times. It is what it is. Play the game, or don't at this point.

Another benefit of Build-to-order is that the dealership charging $10k mark up over MSRP can’t say “oh well this is the only white one with performance package in the area”

well if you can just order one and wait 2-3 months, that’s not a problem.

I’ve seen this firsthand because at the dealership company I’m from, Subarus are sold at or close to MSRP and Toyota sell on average $4000-$6000 over MSRP.

Subaru customers have more power as a buyer because if a dealer is asking $5k over MSRP on a car in stock, but the other dealer across town is offering MSRP IF they order the car, that’s negotiating power and a win-win for the customer.
Except wait times aren't 2-3 months. And you can't just go to a dealer to build your own car, because there are dozens or hundreds of people ahead of you and the wait is actually 1-2 years. And what's to stop a dealer from adding accessories or markup during the build to order process? What's to stop them from not letting you build your car unless they add their own bullshit? Imagine waiting 1 1/2 years for a car you just had built to order. Only to face dealer installed accessories they refuse to remove anyway. So you're back at square one.

If markups are what you're truly worried about, write a letter addressing markups for the GRC and any of their products, really, rather than how they choose to deliver their products.

I don't mean to sound like an ass, but these are the times we live in right now. And I hate it just as much as you. But playing these stupid dealer games means I can get a car I want. So I'll play until I get tired of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Except wait times aren't 2-3 months. And you can't just go to a dealer to build your own car, because there are dozens or hundreds of people ahead of you and the wait is actually 1-2 years. And what's to stop a dealer from adding accessories or markup during the build to order process? What's to stop them from not letting you build your car unless they add their own bullshit? Imagine waiting 1 1/2 years for a car you just had built to order. Only to face dealer installed accessories they refuse to remove anyway. So you're back at square one.

If markups are what you're truly worried about, write a letter addressing markups for the GRC and any of their products, really, rather than how they choose to deliver their products.

I don't mean to sound like an ass, but these are the times we live in right now. And I hate it just as much as you. But playing these stupid dealer games means I can get a car I want. So I'll play until I get tired of it.
I quoted 2-3 months because that’s how long it takes to get a Subaru Crosstrek through a sold order right now. I’m the internet sales manager at my Subaru store and 80% of my sales are build-to-order. It is a better approach for both salespeople and customers.

When the 22’ BRZ first launched, it took 2-3 months too. I personally ordered one under my name and it took 2 months.

Ask anyone who wanted a GR86 but got a 22 BRZ instead how their experience was compared to finding a 22 GR86. So many 22 BRZ owners preferred the GR86 but gave up because of Toyota’s allocation system. BRZ sold orders were so popular that it closed 5 months after it opened.

I’m just trying to take what I know about the industry, as well as experience from the BRZ/GR86 buyers, and spread awareness because 6-7 months from now the hot topic is going to be how difficult it is to get one of these, and that everyone wishes we could just order one.
 

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I quoted 2-3 months because that’s how long it takes to get a Subaru Crosstrek through a sold order right now. I’m the internet sales manager at my Subaru store and 80% of my sales are build-to-order. It is a better approach for both salespeople and customers.

When the 22’ BRZ first launched, it took 2-3 months too. I personally ordered one under my name and it took 2 months.

Ask anyone who wanted a GR86 but got a 22 BRZ instead how their experience was compared to finding a 22 GR86. So many 22 BRZ owners preferred the GR86 but gave up because of Toyota’s allocation system. BRZ sold orders were so popular that it closed 5 months after it opened.

I’m just trying to take what I know about the industry, as well as experience from the BRZ/GR86 buyers, and spread awareness because 6-7 months from now the hot topic is going to be how difficult it is to get one of these, and that everyone wishes we could just order one.
That actually sounds awesome even if it's working just like that during these times. I guess the Bronco launch has muddied my eyes about BTO. I think it's too late for Toyota to go BTO with the GRC production being so close. But it would be great in the future. If they can get cars to people quickly and efficiently like Subaru can.
 

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I agree with the folks saying they’re not sure that this is necessary. Unless they plan on doing something like VW did with the Golf R where they offer a ton of different colors made to order during specific model years (which doesn’t seem very Toyota to me to begin with), there are only 3 colors and 3 option packages on offer in addition to the CE which comes fully loaded. Other than super high end manufacturers like Porsche and Ferrari, almost no one offers options a la carte anymore.

It’s much easier to for companies to nickel and dime you if they tie certain options to full packages. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing, just that it is a thing. I don’t see why Toyota would change the way they do things for a specific and very niche car they aren’t planning on selling in big numbers to begin with.

If you really want something specific get a deposit in with a dealership. I’m under the impression that they get somewhat of a say in how their allocations are kitted out, or at least that’s what my salesman led me to believe. He took down the specs that I wanted (sonic red, performance package). But if you really want one of these as soon as you can get one, I’d come to terms with the idea of driving a fully loaded Core model off the lot because I’d imagine that’s what most of the cars will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with the folks saying they’re not sure that this is necessary. Unless they plan on doing something like VW did with the Golf R where they offer a ton of different colors made to order during specific model years (which doesn’t seem very Toyota to me to begin with), there are only 3 colors and 3 option packages on offer in addition to the CE which comes fully loaded. Other than super high end manufacturers like Porsche and Ferrari, almost no one offers options a la carte anymore.

It’s much easier to for companies to nickel and dime you if they tie certain options to full packages. I’m not saying that it’s a good thing, just that it is a thing. I don’t see why Toyota would change the way they do things for a specific and very niche car they aren’t planning on selling in big numbers to begin with.

If you really want something specific get a deposit in with a dealership. I’m under the impression that they get somewhat of a say in how their allocations are kitted out, or at least that’s what my salesman led me to believe. He took down the specs that I wanted (sonic red, performance package). But if you really want one of these as soon as you can get one, I’d come to terms with the idea of driving a fully loaded Core model off the lot because I’d imagine that’s what most of the cars will be.
True, but take this situation into account:
Say someone is looking for core model with PP in black or white. The dealership they have 1st deposit with gets red one and they pass on it.

So they passed on 1 out of the 4 GR Corollas that dealer is supposed to get for the year so now they have to cross their fingers that the next 3 will be at least a black or white with PP.

What if the 2nd one is another red with PP orone without?

This also means if the dealership has 10 deposits for a white or black with PP, theres no progress through the waitlist and it stalls.

I completely understand that someone who is most flexible on color would be indifferent towards a BTO option.

Unfortunately we don’t know the split of how many cars would come with the Performance Package. This is why they do allocations in waves and phases, so that Toyota can see which options have the most demand and which sit on the lot. The dealer preferences reported to the Regional distribution officers contribute to the changes of future allocations and as a result, configurations of the units ordered from the factory.

At launch of the car what if only 50% of Cores have the Performance package but 85% of people want it?

Since for the first year there are only 5,100 core models planned, wouldn’t it be more efficient to have at least some of them exact to the spec the customer wants since the production is so finite?
 

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At launch of the car what if only 50% of Cores have the Performance package but 85% of people want it?

Since for the first year there are only 5,100 core models planned, wouldn’t it be more efficient to have at least some of them exact to the spec the customer wants since the production is so finite?
I think it only matters to them if they don't sell all 5100 core which isn't likely to happen.
 
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