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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(Feel free to move sub forum but I think everyone should know this).

So…

Getting a car these days is really difficult. Before you can just find the car online or pass by a dealership and find it on the lot. Today, you’d be lucky to find the exact car you want on the lot. With how limited and popular the GR Corolla will be, I think people need to understand the ugly system they’ll be experiencing when it comes to getting their car.

Personal Experience:

I took delivery of a 2022 GR86 after reaching out to almost every dealership in Northern California. As a frequent member and moderator of the ‘22 BRZ/GR86 Facebook Group, I’ve seen and personally experienced the painful task of buying a Toyota. I work in the car industry and Toyota has one of the worse approach to distributing cars.

The Toyota Distribution and Allocation Process:

I’ve been in the auto industry for 7 years alongside a Toyota dealership. I have a glimpse of their allocation/distribution system but might need some clarification/correction from experienced Toyota salespeople. I’ll try my best to describe it as simple as can be:

Know these terms:

Region
Dealership
Allocation Pool
Allocation
Preferencing

Region: Toyota’s division of markets based on different geographic areas and population density.

Dealership: The physical location where you purchase the car from.

Easy so far right? Not so fast.

Allocation Pool: The allocation pool is the region’s incoming inventory. Toyota decides allocation pool size based on the whole region’s sales performance and market needs. A majority, if not all, of this allocation pool are cars that have already been built at the factory and are now entering transit. We don’t need to go in to how the factory decides which region the cars go to before they’re built. Just know completed and built cars from factory get assigned to region, not specific dealers.

Allocation: The allocation is when the region select cars from the allocation pool and distributes/assigns them to their respective dealerships.

The ugly thing about the allocation system: Ready? This one is for the ones who are number 1 on their dealer’s list.

Because of the region’s control on the allocation pool, the dealership technically has no control on what color, trim, and options they’re getting…This means even if you’re first in line for a car you told them you wanted…for example, White Core with Performance Package and Cold Weather Package, your dealership MIGHT get that or they MIGHT not.

This is where the lack of clarity comes in. You tell them 5 months early you want White Core, PP, and CWP, then they call you and say they got the Red Core PP and CWP. Or worse,
they say they got a White Core with no options.

Preferencing

So what can you do about it? You can work with a dealership you can trust and willing to work with you. Why? Because in the system, the dealerships do have a way to get a specific configuration.

It’s called preferencing.

The dealership can “preference” their allocations (before it happens). Basically the dealership can tell their region “hey we want a White Core Model with Performance Package and Cold Weather Package in our next allocation”

^^^This privilege to the dealership is the reason why some dealerships will tell you that you can “order” a car. And they will usually give you a wide timeframe, like 4-6 months. It does not take 4-6 months to build a car so what’s the deal?

The deal is that the dealership HOPES to get it in that timeframe. Why do they have to hope? Because sometimes, Toyota does not accept or cannot fulfill the allocation preference. The reason why? There wasn’t enough of that configuration in the allocation pool.

However, fear not…the allocation preference isn’t deleted or erased! Once next allocation comes, Toyota Region will still see it and try again to fulfill it if there’s availability in the allocation pool. This is again why the dealership would give you a timeframe—to be able to account for this situation.

Applying what we know…

So for example, let’s say you want the White Core with Performance Package and Cold Weather Package. Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes:

(Going to make up numbers and names here)

San Francisco Region
50 dealerships
Allocation Pool Size: 1000 cars
100 GR Corollas

Out of the 100 GR Corollas, only 10 of them are White with Performance Package AND Cold Weather Package.

(Again making this up) Let’s say there’s 50 dealerships in the San Francisco Region. If there are 10 White+PP+CWP the Region will send it to 10 dealerships or possibly 1 dealer would get 2.

Let’s say you’re first in line at ABC Toyota. If you were in this make-believe region, your dealership has a very low chance of getting this car during this allocation unless they preferenced it.

Let’s say they DID preference it and didn’t get it. This is probably because another dealership preferenced it first.

So Region recognizes that and says, sorry ABC Toyota…we’ll see if a white core with pp and CWP is in the pool next time and we will prioritize your preference if it is.

And a few weeks later, ABC Toyota calls you and says they finally have a White Core, PP, CWP coming in for you!

Think about this process and think about the long waiting lists especially at stores promising MSRP.

Technically every store is getting 1 Circuit Edition and 4 Core editions—for the year! Think of all the possible combinations a dealership can AND can’t get. And if you want the Circuit Edition in a specific color from your dealer? Ouch.

And this is why this is why this launch of this car will be ugly.

Unless Toyota distributes the GR Corolla in a completely different way, like a build-to-order process (just like what Subaru uses), be prepared to be frustrated.

Or let’s just all write emails to Toyota Corporate to distribute the GR Corolla via build-to-order process?
 

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I mean, people getting their hands on any in-demand car nowadays is pretty ugly. But the hype of the GRC makes it extra ugly, I suppose. Have you been keeping up with the Bronco release? Those were made to order and people have been waiting over a year to get theirs.

For me, I don't particularly care which trim or color I get. But I do require LSDs front and rear. I feel bad for people who want a specific color with a certain trim or option because they might be waiting a little while to get what exactly they want. But this could be good for others if these discerning buyers pass on an upcoming allocation that isn't the exact color and trim combination they want.
 

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I mean, people getting their hands on any in-demand car nowadays is pretty ugly. But the hype of the GRC makes it extra ugly, I suppose. Have you been keeping up with the Bronco release? Those were made to order and people have been waiting over a year to get theirs.

For me, I don't particularly care which trim or color I get. But I do require LSDs front and rear. I feel bad for people who want a specific color with a certain trim or option because they might be waiting a little while to get what exactly they want. But this could be good for others if these discerning buyers pass on an upcoming allocation that isn't the exact color and trim combination they want.
At this point my hopes for a circut are getting lower and lower, but a fully optioned core will be the only way I get this car, otherwise I will wait until I can.

Going to be tough, there is going to be SO much demand
 

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For anyone wanting a GRC early, you're going to need to be 1st or 2nd in line and just deal with settling for the options and colour you get. I'm personally fine waiting it out as I have a killer deal at my main dealer and am fine waiting for a custom order
 

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At this point my hopes for a circut are getting lower and lower, but a fully optioned core will be the only way I get this car, otherwise I will wait until I can.

Going to be tough, there is going to be SO much demand
Depends on your place in line. If you're number 1, you can probably pass on all the Core trims, but you gotta make sure that the dealer is for sure getting the CE some time in early 2023. If you're not 1st in line, chances of you getting the CE is probably low, unless the people in front of you just choose to buy Core trims when they arrive. Ideally, you'd probably want to be in the top 5 of a dealer waitlist to even get your hands on a MY23 GRC. Otherwise, you're waiting on a 2024.
 

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Depends on your place in line. If you're number 1, you can probably pass on all the Core trims, but you gotta make sure that the dealer is for sure getting the CE some time in early 2023. If you're not 1st in line, chances of you getting the CE is probably low, unless the people in front of you just choose to buy Core trims when they arrive. Ideally, you'd probably want to be in the top 5 of a dealer waitlist to even get your hands on a MY23 GRC. Otherwise, you're waiting on a 2024.
Well put, I agree with you.

I am 6th in line. I live in the twin cities, MN. None of the big dealers here are taking deposits, the small ones are already saying they are over sticker and non refundable deposits....NO THANKS!

I am 6th in line and I even put a deposit down before the actual release of the car, lol.

The other major dealers in the cities here are not taking deposits.

I am hoping that some of the people in front of me will change their mind:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I mean, people getting their hands on any in-demand car nowadays is pretty ugly. But the hype of the GRC makes it extra ugly, I suppose. Have you been keeping up with the Bronco release? Those were made to order and people have been waiting over a year to get theirs.

For me, I don't particularly care which trim or color I get. But I do require LSDs front and rear. I feel bad for people who want a specific color with a certain trim or option because they might be waiting a little while to get what exactly they want. But this could be good for others if these discerning buyers pass on an upcoming allocation that isn't the exact color and trim combination they want.
Crazy to hear Broncos are build to order and still crazy. Although, I know dealers put fake orders to get desirable colors and options. Problem is Ford has to divide how many are build to order vs normal inventory and that’s what creates the backlog.

Regarding combos, I haven’t done math like this in over 10 years but if you include colors and the fact you can mix and match packages how many available combinations is that?

3 colors

8 configurations:
  • No package
  • Performance Package (PP)
  • Cold Weather Package (CWP)
  • Tech Package (TP)
  • PP + CWP
  • PP + TP
  • PP + CWP + TP
  • CWP + TP

3 x 8 = 24?

The only blessing is we don’t need to worry about transmission choice 😮‍💨
 

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Should I be calling my sales rep with my preferences? I was lucky to get in early in February, but not sure if I should be following up.
That's what I did. The paperwork states which trim I want, and preferred color order.

As the cars get closer to delivery, and options are known, you can specify further what you want. At least that's how it went with my Supra. All we knew was color at first, and as we came closer to "locking in" the order, I added the options I wanted, and the car came delivered exactly as specced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Should I be calling my sales rep with my preferences? I was lucky to get in early in February, but not sure if I should be following up.
I would consider it a red flag if your dealership doesn’t ask about your preferred configuration. Right now it is still pretty early, but once pricing is released I think everyone should have told the dealer their preferred configuration.
 

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Should I be calling my sales rep with my preferences? I was lucky to get in early in February, but not sure if I should be following up.
You may want to ask how they handle waitlists and allocations. My dealer for instance, just has one list. When they have a known allocation, they’ll call the first person in line to see if that’s something they want to buy. Yes, it’s theirs. No, they wait for the next one and the allocation goes to the second in line. My sales rep told me they take down your preferences as far as color or trim simply so that they may be able to submit your preferences to Toyota. Obviously, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll get anything you prefer.

But due to the overall lack of options, colors, and how simple the trims and options are on the GRC, I don’t think it’d be long for people high up in line to get what they want. Even if it might mean a different color.
 

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You may want to ask how they handle waitlists and allocations. My dealer for instance, just has one list. When they have a known allocation, they’ll call the first person in line to see if that’s something they want to buy. Yes, it’s theirs. No, they wait for the next one and the allocation goes to the second in line. My sales rep told me they take down your preferences as far as color or trim simply so that they may be able to submit your preferences to Toyota. Obviously, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll get anything you prefer.

But due to the overall lack of options, colors, and how simple the trims and options are on the GRC, I don’t think it’d be long for people high up in line to get what they want. Even if it might mean a different color.
This is how my dealership is handling this as well
 

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I would consider it a red flag if your dealership doesn’t ask about your preferred configuration. Right now it is still pretty early, but once pricing is released I think everyone should have told the dealer their preferred configuration.
When I put down my deposit in late February, they didn't really have anything to go by, so they just asked about color preferences. Not knowing what the colors were I didn't bother to share any preferences. I am still a bit torn if I have to choose a single color and trim.

I was hoping the Red would be a bit brighter like the Supra, to me the Core in red looks like an econobox. Being #6, I will likely need to wait until the 2024MY anyways, such a tough decision
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
But due to the overall lack of options, colors, and how simple the trims and options are on the GRC, I don’t think it’d be long for people high up in line to get what they want. Even if it might mean a different color.
If people can settle with what’s available then this is absolutely true. It seems like people who are ok with Core edition at least want the performance package.

This means if a car comes in the color that the customer wanted AND performance package, they’ll probably settle for it if it also had the tech package and cold weather package and a bunch of accessories they didn’t really want or need. This is how a lot of MSRP-only stores make more money.
 

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Crazy to hear Broncos are build to order and still crazy. Although, I know dealers put fake orders to get desirable colors and options. Problem is Ford has to divide how many are build to order vs normal inventory and that’s what creates the backlog.

Regarding combos, I haven’t done math like this in over 10 years but if you include colors and the fact you can mix and match packages how many available combinations is that?

3 colors

8 configurations:
  • No package
  • Performance Package (PP)
  • Cold Weather Package (CWP)
  • Tech Package (TP)
  • PP + CWP
  • PP + TP
  • PP + CWP + TP
  • CWP + TP

3 x 8 = 24?

The only blessing is we don’t need to worry about transmission choice 😮‍💨

You work in the industry so maybe you can answer this. Based on your experience, Is there generally an equal distribution between all different trims and packages and colors? Like, would a base, no options trim have the same numbers as say, a mid trim with some options? I’ve always been under the impression that a pure base model with zero options is the rarest of all. While higher level trims are more plentiful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You work in the industry so maybe you can answer this. Based on your experience, Is there generally an equal distribution between all different trims and packages and colors? Like, would a base, no options trim have the same numbers as say, a mid trim with some options? I’ve always been under the impression that a pure base model with zero options is the rarest of all. While higher level trims are more plentiful.
Yup Toyota almost never makes the completely stripped base model. There’s no equal distribution of package combos. What we’ll see is a dominant configuration (let’s say Core: PP+CWP) that gets sold quickly and so we’ll think they don’t make enough of them. But we could also see ones that stay on the lot longer (Core: Tech Package only) and think that they’re making a lot of those.

The first allocation is a toss up though, especially if dealers aren’t given the chance to preference.
 

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I really want to know if there's someone who genuinely wants a completely base core model. I'm going to have to get the PP minimum, but I'd probably want it fully loaded. Wife will want the heated seats, I want the tech package because why not, I'm already spending about 40k for the car, might as well come as well optioned as I can get it.
 
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