Barely more than a week after the Toyota Mirai’s worldwide debut at the 2014 LA Auto Show, the Japanese automaker has already received 200 advanced orders for their all-new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Not only that, they’ve also revealed that the Mirai will be built in the same factory that built the limited edition Lexus LFA supercar.
Toyota Mirai Already Selling Out
Toyota only intends to sell a meager 3,000 Mirai units in the US units by the end of 2017, and only 700 of those will hit dealership floors in 2016 (the model’s first full year in the US). Toyota’s VP of domestic sales, Masamoto Maekawa, told Automotive News that most of those orders are going to government and corporate fleets, but a few commercial orders have been placed too.
There are two big reasons that Toyota is slow-rolling their commercial FCV:
First, they’d rather err on the side of over-demand than over-supply. This is a very big venture for them, and in situations like this, a little bit of exclusivity is a powerful long-term marketing tactic.
Second, Toyota intends to manufacture only a maximum of 10 units per day through 2017, and each will be built completely by hand in the most advanced manufacturing plant at the Japanese titan’s disposal. Which nicely brings us to…
Toyota Mirai to Be Built at LFA Works
Lexus would tell you that their specialty LFA Works facility is where dream cars are made, and in the case of the Toyota Mirai, they’re absolutely right.
The plant originated in 2010 when Lexus first began manufacture of their limited-edition LFA supercar, which was built completely by hand. Only 500 of the carbon fiber, V10-powered sports cars were manufactured over 2 years, which is a rate of less than one per day. Since the LFA project’s expiration in 2012, the plant has been mostly used for hand-built Lexus F Sport Roadbikes, which took advantage of the facility’s advanced carbon fiber capabilities.
Now, the advanced craftsmen at LFA Works have a new task: to build every single Toyota Mirai by hand. Eventually, Toyota hopes that their LFA Works engineers will be able to output a steady 10 units per day, but in the meantime, some production delays are expected.
If you were to order a Toyota Mirai today, you wouldn’t get it until mid-summer of 2016 at the earliest. And that date is only moving backwards as they get more and more fleet sales. Remember, 200 units might not sound like much, but that’s over the span of one week since the car’s LA debut, and two weeks since Akio Toyoda introduced us to the Mirai via video.
Honestly, though, we are perfectly happy with some production delays. The Lexus LFA was one of the best cars – and one of the coolest – that Toyota ever built. If those same masters of the automotive craft are to build every single Toyota Mirai for the next three years, all the more reason to get on-board now!