TOKYO, Japan: Toyota, the world's largest carmaker, has warned Japanese buyers of its new Land Cruiser SUV that they will have to wait up to four years to receive delivery.
The company refused to comment on the reasons behind the long delivery time, but stressed that the delay is not due to the global chip shortage or supply chain crisis.
Toyota took note of rising COVID-19 infections among its workers and at parts suppliers, as well as slowing production at up to 11 Japanese plants.
On its website, Toyota said, "As Land Cruiser is very popular, not just in Japan but around the world, we apologise because it is expected to take a long time before we can deliver the product."
"There is a possibility it could take up to four years if you order now. We will continue to shorten the delivery time and we appreciate your understanding," it added.
According to the BBC, there has been strong demand for the new model of the Land Cruiser, which was first launched in 1951 and is the company's longest-selling vehicle, with a total of 10.6 million being sold as of August last year.
Toyota is is considering increasing production, said officials.
Last month, the company announced it would extend stoppages at some of its factories in Japan, as it continued to be affected by supply chain issues. Also, its components factories in South East Asia had faced disruptions due to the pandemic.
Earlier last year, Toyota said because of the chip shortage it would cut its worldwide vehicle production by 40 percent in September.
The latest announcement came after a surge in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Japan since the start of the year.