Speaking Thursday during the Automotive Press Association event, Hollis — who succeeded Bob Carter in the top sales role in June — said demand continues to outpace automakers’ capabilities to produce enough cars to fill sales segments.
“We’ll deal with this for another year,” Hollis said. “I don’t think we’ll see dealer stock growth for another year. I think we’ll be in a situation, speaking for Toyota and Lexus, where whatever we wholesale is what we’re going to retail.”
Hollis said dealer stocks are likely to remain tight — he noted that Toyota dealers have been reduced to 36 hours of supply at certain points recently — for the foreseeable future, but said he doubted any automaker would return to its previously common stock practices. . for the epidemic.
“They won’t,” Hollis declared, adding that the rise of digital retail tools on a large scale has given consumers a level of comfort in ordering or purchasing vehicles that are still on the road or waiting to be assembled.
“It all comes down to what the customer wants and needs, and they are very accustomed to the internet experience,” Hollis said. “The car buying process is different, even the price. Some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the entire industry are happening now and everyone is buying a car on an MSRP.”
In other comments, Hollis reiterated Toyota’s belief in offering a wide range of electrified vehicles — hybrids, plug-in hybrids, BEVs and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells — as the best way to reduce overall carbon emissions. He expressed doubts that consumers would adopt battery electric cars anywhere near the pace suggested by the government’s goals.
“In my experience over the course of 31 years in the industry, when government and others start telling consumers what to have, consumers start to back off,” Hollis said, adding that Toyota “may not move first, but it will move better.”
Toyota’s longtime CEO has said the recalled 2023 Toyota bZ4X compact BEV crossover that Toyota issued a stop-sale order after reports from Japan that its wheels could pay off will be back on sale soon.
“We worked on it every week,” Hollis said. “I expect we will bring them back to market here very soon,” though he did not say when exactly. Toyota offered a series of off-the-shelf products, including a buyback, after 260 bZ4Xs sold in the US in June were recalled.
Hollis was also asked about his former co-worker, Jim Farley, who is now CEO of Ford Motor Co. Hollis and Farley worked closely during the Toyota Scion trial.
“Jim is one of the smartest auto guys I’ve ever had the chance to work with; really, the guy is awesome,” Hollis said. “He definitely took a page from Elon Musk’s school to create conversations and create information there that may or may not come true and may or may not come true in the same timeline as there.”
“But I’ll tell you: the guy is cool, the guy is a cool car guy, he’s a cool guy,” Hollis continued, “but let me tell you: some of the things that were said? We’re still questioning them as well.”