AutoFun Philippines has extensively covered the depths that dealers and resellers would go to make big bucks off a hot, new car.
Irate buyers of the recently launched Honda Civic Type R FL5 approached us after Honda Cars Philippines dealers were reportedly asking for up to ₱800,000 over the car’s ₱3,880,000 price tag.
Some dealers were even disallowing straight-cash purchases and pushing for financing packages with huge interest, which the Department of Trade and Industry is punishable with jail time.
Honda Cars Philippines Inc. told AutoFun Philippines said it does not condone these underhanded practices and reminded its dealers to stick to the Civic Type R’s retail price.
In Australia, Toyota is going even further by implementing an “unprecedented” screening process to root out potential resellers of the high-performance 2023 Toyota GR Corolla.
Racers, enthusiasts first
Australian motoring publication Drive reported that Toyota dealers will ask customers about their motoring history before they can order a car.
This includes their racing background, memberships in car clubs and the number of performance cars they’ve owned, including non-Toyota vehicles. The process is similar to the one implemented by high-end car brands like Ferrari.
Australia is set to receive 725 units of the GR Corolla in 2023, which will be spread out across Toyota’s 232 dealers.
“We decided in November  to ask dealers to complete an expression of interest [form] providing additional information about every person wanting to purchase a GR Corolla before a contract was signed or a deposit taken,” said Toyota Australia sales chief Sean Hanley.
“This approach is intended to ensure that as far as possible, these cars end up in the hands of enthusiasts and loyal customers who truly want to enjoy their GR ownership,” he added.
Hanley also said 4,900 people have submitted expressions of interest for the hot Corolla hatch since September 2022. The company’s dealers will have the final discretion to allocate the cars.
“It’s not a perfect system,” he said. “It won’t eliminate all of what I would call ‘re-sellers,’ but we are trying our best within the laws of this country to get these [cars into] the right hands.”
WRX, Civic Type R rival
The Toyota GR Corolla is the latest model to come out of the company’s GAZOO Racing motorsports division, debuting on March 2022.
It is based on the five-door hatchback version of the Corolla and is powered by an uprated version of the turbocharged 1.6-liter, twin-cam, 12-valve inline-3 gasoline engine from the Toyota GR Yaris.
The bigger GR Corolla gets 304 PS and 370 Nm of torque, coursed through all four wheels with the aid of a 6-speed manual gearbox. It takes on other turbocharged performance compacts like the Civic Type R and the Subaru WRX.
The GR Corolla is also being sold in Thailand. There is no word yet if Toyota Motor Philippines will bring the model in.
Do you think local carmakers should implement screening processes for their hotter models?
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