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I have an order in at two dealers in NJ for about two weeks now. Both called me yesterday. The first one said that because of a shortage of batteries I can expect to wait one year. I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn't. The other dealer told me that if I wanted package #9 it would be four to six months. But, if I changed to package #6 it would be one to two months. So, I changed my package. Is this crazy or what?
 

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long wait plus you may not even get what you ordered!

So much for market research and build capacity. Just be forewarned that your order means nothing to Toyota. My Prius was ordered in August with package #7 in silver or black. It's coming in white with package #6. Package 7 isn't even available in my area and the dealer did not know this. I had to tell him after I researched further. Dealers don't care because they have a list a mile long of customers willing to buy whatever is in their allocation. What a way to buy a car!! Good luck.
 

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Confusion!?

I placed my order in Southern Illinois on November 7th for a Driftwood Pearl / #9. I was called by my salesman yesterday and told my vehicle was built and scheduled to go to port. I realize there are limits on the packages but I think there must be something else going on in the "larger" markets that would keep you from receiving the exact vehicle you ordered so long ago.
 

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dbiltcli said:
I have an order in at two dealers in NJ for about two weeks now. Both called me yesterday. The first one said that because of a shortage of batteries I can expect to wait one year. I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn't. The other dealer told me that if I wanted package #9 it would be four to six months. But, if I changed to package #6 it would be one to two months. So, I changed my package. Is this crazy or what?
I, for one, was told that I would receive my Prius in December (this month) and was later told that it would be six more months or more. As I mentioned in another thread, Toyota is manufacturing the cars fast enough, however, the transmission and battery manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.

I don't know about you, but I expect to receive exactly what I ordered in a reasonable amount of time. If you were at a fine dining establishment would you accept a Happy Meal in place of the Steak and Lobster you ordered!? I would think not. NOT to compare the Prius to food. Rather I am wondering why one would accept a lesser option package when he/she can always wait for what was originally ordered.

What happened to the American consumer? Why are we changing the orders promised to us just to get any car the manufacturer feels like delivering? Will you be happy with your decision once the newness wears off? I bet not.

Though I adore the Prius, I do not agree with how Toyota is handling the pre-existing orders.

I am hoping that the 2004 Prius is not plagued with mechanical problems, due in part to the new technology and in part to the hurried building process as a result of the huge popularity.
 

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Behmon said:
Though I adore the Prius, I do not agree with how Toyota is handling the pre-existing orders and have canceled mine. I feel much better for it! [/b]Instead, I plan to purchase another car for now and see what technology exists five years from now (I am considering the Civic Hybrid among others).

I am willing to bet that the 2004 Prius is plagued with mechanical problems, due in part to the new technology and in part to the hurried building process as a result of the cult following.

Good luck to you.
Behmon,
I'm sorry that your experience has been so frustrating. Had I not been fortunate enough to "luck" into my new Prius I would be faced with making a decision similar to yours. I've owned two Hondas in the past and considered them both to be fine automobiles. I'm sure their Civic hybrid would serve your needs well.

Obviously, I hope your prediction of mechanical defects plaguing the '04 Prius proves inaccurate. Also, even though I may trigger the wrath of Patrick, I feel compelled to add that "cult" is a word loaded with dangerous baggage and, IMO, should be used cautiously and judiciously. As anyone following this relatively small newsgroup can surely tell, hybrid owners are anything but uniform in their beliefs or practices and would prove very difficult to line up for a communal dose of, well... anything at all. :)

I'm sure that Toyota is just as unhappy with the current situation as you are and hates to find eager customers walking away from their dealerships angry and empty handed. Here's hoping they can overcome the current obstacles quickly and are able to increase their vehicle deliveries without compromising their high quality standards. Good luck to you in your search for an alternative to the new Prius.

Moo :)
 

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Behmon said:
I, for one, was told that I would receive my Prius in December (this month) and was later told that it would be six more months or more. As I mentioned in another thread, Toyota is manufacturing the cars fast enough, however, the transmission and battery manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.
Please post the exact reference for that information. You are the only one I've heard mention this and I'd like further evidence that it is correct.

I don't know about you, but I expect to receive exactly what I ordered in a reasonable amount of time. If you were at a fine dining establishment would you accept a Happy Meal in place of the Steak and Lobster you ordered!? I would think not.
In some ways I agree with your general sentiment, but the Prius is not a steak and lobster meal. If you want to use that metaphor then let's imagine that the restraunt in question was having a deal on Steak and lobster but did not want to order too many lobsters and have them go to waste b/c they weren't sure if the townfolk would like lobster (it's the first time it's been served in that town). Turns out it IS very popular and they run out. They realized, at some point, that they were going to run out and began scrambling to get more shipped in, but there will be a lag. And some customers will gladly wait knowing just how great lobster is, others will not feel that it is worth it. It all comes down to what's most important to you. This is not some evil plot by Toyota to piss off customers you know, I'm sure they'd love to get a Prius in the hands of everyone who has one pre-ordered and then some, but the response to this car is totally overwhelming. There were nearly as many Pre-orders before this car hit the dealerships as there were 2003 models total!! How, exactly, would you expect them to anticipate and respond to that?

It seems to me they're trying to streamline the production process by limiting the models they're making and getting them out as fast as possible. Remember, also, that the demand in Japan and worldwide has been similar to the US market and puts further demands on the production capacity.

What happened to the American consumer? Why are we changing the orders promised to us just to get any car the manufacturer feels like delivering? Will you be happy with your decision once the novelty wears off? I bet not.
"Novelty"?? Man, either you're looking at this car for the totally wrong reason or you fail to grasp it's genious. You're clearly bitter and upset, but I think you're really getting off base with your reasoning.

Though I adore the Prius, I do not agree with how Toyota is handling the pre-existing orders and have canceled mine. I feel much better for it! Instead, I plan to purchase another car for now and see what technology exists five years from now (I am considering the Civic Hybrid among others).
I'm glad you feel better, and it's probably best that you cancelled your order b/c with the attitude you display you almost certainly would have found unacceptable fault with the Prius and not have been happy. I am thrilled with my decision, with 2000 miles and 6+ weeks under my belt in the car my satisfaction is growing daily.

I am willing to bet that the 2004 Prius is plagued with mechanical problems, due in part to the new technology and in part to the hurried building process as a result of the cult following.
I'll take that bet...are you interested in money or what? My build is tight, no problems at 2000 miles, the reports of problems are negligilble thus far. Toyota has a great reputation for building great vehicles with minimal problems and long life. I forsee no reason that would change with this vehicle. I refuse to believe they'd lower their standards to meet demand, and, in fact, if your prior arguments about the delays are true it seems that they're not just cranking out vehicles to meet the demand but are maintaining production and putting out vehicles one at a time and getting them to the customers when the vehicle is ready.

I'm sorry, I don't understand your bitterness. I do understand your frustration. I do respect your right to cancel your order and to do what makes you happy. But stomping your foot and sticking our your lower lip serves no good purpose nor does spreading your ill feelings on this board. I don't think your bitterness is shared nor representative of most other people. Making statements that the car will be shodily built based on zero facts is just not reasonable.

I wish you well, I hope you find a nice car that satisfies your needs and I'm sorry that the Prius isn't that vehicle for you, but please keep your ill will to yourself. If you must then share your frustration with Toyota. I certainly did in the survey I recieved yesterday. The specificly asked about the ordering and allocation process and I waxed on for a couple paragraphs about the frustration and confusion created by the process and how 'un-modern' it is and how little communication goes on b/w Toyota the manufacturer, the regional Toyota dealers and the individual dealers and ultimately to the customer. I think they're listening, or they wouldn't ask.

Best wishes.
--evan

Good luck to you.[/quote]
 

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"Shortage of batteries and transmissions"

As if a lot vulture ("sales consultant") would be privy to that info!
There's a massive shortage of gray matter in the cranium.

Has anyone caught in the 6 months to 1 year waiting trap employed a competant auto broker to do the legwork?
 

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Dear Friends: I've been reading the mail and I'm beginning to detect a serious strain of angst among us. Let me add a few things I've learned simply by reading news stories during the past few weeks. First, Toyota and its Prius are one of the greatest success stories in automotive history. Prius sales are exceeding Toyota's wildest hopes. While there are many Toyota factories located outside of Japan (thereis one right here in Fremont California; a former GM plant) the Prius is manufactured only in Japan. Announcements indicate the Prius factory there is producing 24/7 and several more plants to manufacture hybrids are planned in Japan and elsewhere. According to press releases by Toyota its entire line of cars and models will be converted to the hybrid principle year by year. A small SUV is planned for '05 which is only ten months away. Toyota is now the largest selling automobile in the world recently displacing Ford from that distinction. Perhaps others haven't noticed, but not much is being said about the fuel cell which American manufacturers occasionally mention, but seem to do very little about. If our manufacturers don't soon wake up, Toyota and its soon to be line of hybrids will become the largest selling vehicles in this country as well, displacing GM.
 

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I feel bad for the people who are waiting for such a long time for their cars. I think Toyota GREATLY under-estimated the consumer response to the Prius but I have read that the Prius is being produced in 3 plants in Japan on the same lines as Corollas and Camrys. The 'flexible manufacturing' model of Toyota is the finest in the world, and I really believe that they can switch the lines over quickly. There may be an issue with battery supply. These batteries use a lot of nickel, and I know for a fact (working in the metals industry) that nickel is currently in short supply and the price is soaring. All you need to hurt a production line is one item in shortage. As far as the quality issue, I do not think Toyota would jeapordize the reputation of the Prius, and subsequently ALL of the future hybrid vehicles they plan to produce, by resorting to less than perfect quality control procedures. The build-quality of Toyota vehicles assembled in Japan is #1 in the world. Corollas that were assembled in Japan when the Gen#9 was released were of better quality than those assembled in North America, according to most Corolla-fan websites.
 

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Toyota's November sales of the Prius were TWICE the best ever single month for the Classic Prius. 10,000 have gone out since October. If one can't see or understand that demand is far exceeding the supply their not trying. I'm just sad that some can't see the positive side of this and what it means for hybrid technology in general and the Prius in particular.
--evan
http://tinyurl.com/xf99
 

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In some ways I agree with your general sentiment, but the Prius is not a steak and lobster meal. If you want to use that metaphor then let's imagine that the restraunt in question was having a deal on Steak and lobster but did not want to order too many lobsters and have them go to waste b/c they weren't sure if the townfolk would like lobster (it's the first time it's been served in that town). Turns out it IS very popular and they run out. They realized, at some point, that they were going to run out and began scrambling to get more shipped in, but there will be a lag. And some customers will gladly wait knowing just how great lobster is, others will not feel that it is worth it. It all comes down to what's most important to you.
Your comments run true. However, folks who "just want to own one now" are accepting less than what they originally ordered just to have a Prius. That is all I was saying.

It seems to me they're trying to streamline the production process by limiting the models they're making and getting them out as fast as possible. Remember, also, that the demand in Japan and worldwide has been similar to the US market and puts further demands on the production capacity.
Toyota has not limited the models that are produced. The availability is based on what Toyota's vendors can deliver to Toyota.

What happened to the American consumer? Why are we changing the orders promised to us just to get any car the manufacturer feels like delivering? Will you be happy with your decision once the novelty wears off? I bet not.
"Novelty"?? Man, either you're looking at this car for the totally wrong reason or you fail to grasp it's genious. You're clearly bitter and upset, but I think you're really getting off base with your reasoning.

I'm sorry, I don't understand your bitterness. I do understand your frustration. I do respect your right to cancel your order and to do what makes you happy. But stomping your foot and sticking our your lower lip serves no good purpose nor does spreading your ill feelings on this board. I don't think your bitterness is shared nor representative of most other people. Making statements that the car will be shodily built based on zero facts is just not reasonable.
You are completely mistaken to think that I am bitter. On the contrary, I have always thought the Prius was genius in car form. Fabulous!? YOU BET! However, even Prius has a novelty phase that all owners go through. Not to mean the Prius is a novelty. True the owners will always be thrilled to own the greatest and most advanced automobile in history. However, how many will kick them selves for accepting less options than what they originally wanted, just to own one sooner? I can guarantee there will be some.

I'm glad you feel better, and it's probably best that you cancelled your order b/c with the attitude you display you almost certainly would have found unacceptable fault with the Prius and not have been happy. I am thrilled with my decision, with 2000 miles and 6+ weeks under my belt in the car my satisfaction is growing daily.
Spoken from the position of an owner, not one who is waiting like most of us out here. I can see your view point, as a satisfied owner, however, I am not looking for fault in any automobile, especially Prius! I am merely pointing out something that I think is quite possible in the rush to build, namely increased mechanical problems. Yes, even Toyota has a history of this!

I'll take that bet...are you interested in money or what? My build is tight, no problems at 2000 miles, the reports of problems are negligilble thus far. Toyota has a great reputation for building great vehicles with minimal problems and long life. I forsee no reason that would change with this vehicle. I refuse to believe they'd lower their standards to meet demand, and, in fact, if your prior arguments about the delays are true it seems that they're not just cranking out vehicles to meet the demand but are maintaining production and putting out vehicles one at a time and getting them to the customers when the vehicle is ready.
Clearly you speak from the perspective of one who is already enjoying Prius ownership. I doubt yours will have any problems because it comes from an early batch ... before the rush and massive back log. My concern is with the later vehicles built to beat the production of the 2005 models.

It is not Toyota that I fear will reduce quality. No. Rather it is the battery and transmission vendor I am most concerned with. Hopefully Toyota manages thier vendors well and avoids any problems. I don't think anyone will intentionally reduce quality but at the same time I would be wary of the sudden rush to manufacture anything. It is a known fact that man made objects fail, and that is without the pressure of deadlines and back logs!

I updated my original post to reduce the "harshness". Sorry.
 

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I think your follow-up is good. I still don't see eye to eye on all your points but you did a good job of clarifying your position. I think there was a lot of passion (if not bitterness) in the original post.

I'll just say that I hope that flaws do not show up in the 'rush to get more out'--that could certainly bode poorly for the Prius and Hybrids in general if the impression came to pass that the vehicle had "problems".

Lastly, Toyota has limited the packages they're putting out. There are only 3 packages available in the largest market in the US (California), I don't know the details of the package availability in other markets, but I do know that they are limited.

Thanks for your reasoned response...I hope you change your mind and decide to wait on a Prius. As you say, I'm a satisfied customer and I think, ultimately, you'll regret not getting a Prius when you had the chance.
--evan
 

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re: 1 year wait

i (who am also still waiting) have read this thread, and see legitimate points on both side. i will wait for exactly what i ordered (or my second color choice). even though i have to kick-start my rodeo, i will wait (as long as i can). i refuse to spend this kind of money on anything less than what i have ordered.
i read that toyota initially allocated 30,000 unit for the US, and later bumped it to 40,000. they obviously blew it, and somebody in toyota city should be fired!

they should fire the bum that keeps crowing about the "upcomming advertising campaign"... for the life of me i can't see why they would waste a dime on advertising the 04.

one of the problems i see is how somebody can "order" a specific option package and wait only to learn that that particular package won't be available in that region??????

there has got to be a better system of distribution whenit comes to "ordered vehicles".

i am sure toyota is embarrassed by this... they were not ready for the 04, much less mt car of the year. this would have been a coup that would bring detroit and europe to their knees, but they blew it (unless they can find a way to avoid what will surely become a public relations nightmare by march)


sid

expecting delivery in 2 weeks
 

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Truly a good news bad news story. The good news is they have more orders than they ever imagined possible to fill. The bad new is that they have more orders than it is possible to fill.

Some prospective buyers will just suck it up and wait and some will defect but it doesn't mean squat to Toyota management (consumate pragmatists). They can't really sell more than they can make. They are selling all they can make as fast as they can make them. At some point they would hit diminishing returns trying to produce more.

There is another market place regulator that can be employed to control demand and keep it within a reasonable margin of sustainable production and that is price. If this feeding frenzy continues without respite for a suficient time, price increases are likely.

I have been somewhat surprised that dealers haven't started taking a little something extra due to the shortage you know. It is the standard automotive dealership response to opportunity.

Interesting how many divergent "stories" there are to explain the shortage in manufacturing. Ask different folks and get different answers, plausible perhaps but factual? I heard it was lack of nav systems which is supported by the scarcity of package #9. All Prii have trasmissions but only some packages are being supplied in good number.

My dealer gets 1 or 2 Prii per month, just no #9 units. If I wanted ANY PRIUS I would have had one for a while.

Psychological theories relating to humans and queues is quite interesting. How long will you wait in queue for what you want before you jump out of line and buy what you can get. At Disneyland clever queues are employed to significanly mask the length of a line by folding it and obscuring much of it to the person coming up and deciding whether or not to get in line. Once time is invested "in line" there is resistance to "losing that investment" and go elsewhere. This is partly what controls checkout counter availability at the super market or Wally World or the bank.

To even conjecture for a moment that Toyota intergalactic headquarters doesn't have an idea of how many of those with orders will wait, how many may switch to other Synergy system Toyotas when available, etc is to be naive in the extreme. The only error they made was in not anticipating the number of folks getting into the queue to buy a Prius.

To repeat the obvious, again... we can be happy or sad or in between but Toyota is sellig all the PRII it can build as fast as they can build them. Until or unless their manufacturing capacity is capable of exceeding demand they couldn't care less how many unsatisfied orders there are in excess of manufacturing capacity since it has zero effect on their sales. So you can wait or not wait. Toyota really doesn't care just now. You can complain any way you want and might even get a shoulder to cry on for a while but that has nothing to do whith getting a Prius.

For those who "FEEL" they just have to do something, practice Tai Chi or yoga. It will help pass the time much more productively than whining.

For the would be zealot initiates, use this waiting time to try to lose some weight so you will get better gas mileage when you finally do get a Prius.

:lol: Pat :lol:
 
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