While the Toyota 86 has been relegated to a special order-only model by UMW Toyota (with an unspecified price), the Aussies are getting a better deal.
Toyota Australia has recently announced that it has slashed prices of the 86 by up to AU800, along with a higher level of features - thanks to import duty reductions under the Japan-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
The base model 86 GT manual now gets additional reverse camera and a 6.1-inch touch-screen display audio system, while maintaining its base price of AUD29,900 - similar price as top-level specifications 1.8-litre Corolla Altis sedan (Corolla ZR sedan in Australia). Prices for the 86 GT automatic has been slashed by AUD300 to AUD32,490.
The higher range 86 GTS models has seen prices dropping by AUD500 for the manual model, now AUD35,990, while the automatic model has been slashed by AUD800 to AUD38,490.
Customers can also order a full-size space wheel with a urethane cover at no extra cost.
The 86 is Australia's best-selling sports car, with over 13,000 units sold since June 2012. Australia is also the third biggest market for Toyota's 'back-to-basics' affordable, rear wheel drive, normally aspirated sports car.
Malaysia also has a free trade agreement with Japan, but import duty reductions for Japan-made passenger cars below 2,000cc will only be abolished in 2016.
However don't expect any major changes to prices of Japan-made cars as the current import duty rate is already at a marginal 4.6 percent. The biggest component of our inflated car prices is not import duty but excise duty, which is not within the scope of any free trade agreement. The current excise duty for vehicles below 2,000cc is 80 percent.
Toyota Australia also announced that it will be introducing a one-make race series next year. Known as the Toyota 86 Pro-Am, which Toyota describes as an "affordable, grassroots motorsport series," the races will be held at 2016 V8 Supercars series events.
The one-make race series will be run by Toyota Racing Australia. Up to five selected professional drivers will mentor and compete against a larger field of amateur drivers who will have to qualify to get onto the starting grid at each round.
The 86 race cars will be based on the GT manual model, with key specifications controlled to ensure their suitability and reliability while keeping costs as low as possible.