It's the fairest way to distribute the highly sought-after model.
As you might know, Toyota continues to struggle due to continuing COVID-19 infections and the semiconductor shortage, which means supply is short. Demand for what is arguably the hottest hatch launched this year is exceptionally high, so Toyota Japan had to develop a fair system to allocate units to customers.
The initial run of 570 models will be sold via a lottery. Toyota says additional sales will be available at a later date if there is enough demand. Looking at the current situation in the USA, there's a strong case for another batch to be manufactured.
The online lottery has already opened for the GR Corolla RZ, the only standard model available in Japan. The RZ specification is similar to the USA's Circuit trim, which offers the best blend between comfort, luxury, and performance. In Japan, only 500 RZs are available.
Only 70 Morizo Editions are for sale, and the process takes more effort. You must fill in an application at a GR Garage, a dedicated GR dealership. There are several GR products we don't get in the USA, like the GR Vios and the Hilux GR Sport, all sold through the platform.
After that, the process appears to be the same. Toyota doesn't say whether names will be pulled out of a hat, but the "winners" will be announced on January 6 for the Morizo and January 13 for the RZ. Only then can you negotiate the financing, but your price will be MSRP and not a cent more. The RZ costs roughly $39,000, while the Morizo sells for $53,000.
The RZ is slightly cheaper than the US-spec Circuit Edition, but Japan's Morizo is $3,000 more expensive than you'll pay locally. Or at least that would be the case if MSRP meant something in the USA. Even the base Core model is being sold with a 50% markup in the USA, which makes it a $60,000 car.
The US dealers appear to be the only Toyota arm globally relying on hefty markups and desperate customers. It seems most countries have had to develop a unique solution to the problem, which is why Canadian Morizo buyers had to undergo a careful selection process to ensure the car gets maximum exposure on social media.