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I have been on the waiting list now for about four months.
Last week I spoke with a good friend who is high-up on the Toyota line of command here in Torrance, California (Toyota Headquaters) and he told me, quite honestly, to simply wait until mid year 2005. My friend works with the Prius product only. For a few reasons -- He claims that the waiting list by next year should be defunct. Toyota has increased production ten fold so in the near future, the Prius will be as common as the VW Beetle. Yay! Also, in the next few years, the Prius, along with the highlander will be built on U.S. soil so there will be very little transit lag.
Options:
There are supposedly a few new colors, though he did not speculate whether these new colors were interior or exterior but in discussion, he made it sound like the grey interior was what was going to be available on many of the other current colors.
Price and Availabilty:
Who's going to pay over MSRP for a car that I can find if I simply shop around? (Speaking in terms of next year + a few months, of course). Don't forget, Toyota will have their Toyota US bank at the end of next year too. Let the hype simmer down -- even though the Prius is an extremely EXCELLENT automobile that WILL change the automotive industry, as it has already, when availability increases, demand will decrease. Remember, Toyota's goal is to sell as many as possible.

A few minor changes in this model over the next two years:
I am told that the Prius will certainly have the autodoor locking (when shifted into drive, doors lock) and conversly for shifting into Park, doors unlock -- this feature will be "activated" in the next 24 months or so. The "Sport" Prius (upcomming model) will have seating that has Neoprene centers with sides done in suede. Heated seats are not going to be an option and should never be available on the Prius - as well as power seats and leather.

After speaking to my Toyota friend last week, I got the call from one of the dealerships that I am wait listed at. A silver #9 Prius has come in - my color- my car - but I TURNED IT DOWN. They said that I HAD to buy the extended warranty and the car would remain at MSRP. Regardless of the fact that I would have purchased the warranty anyhow, I don't like to be forced to purchase anything.

I will simply wait until next year - time always changes things and after speaking with my Totota friend, I feel confident that "All good things do come to he who waits..."
 

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RE your post

You should mention the name of the dealer. I bet there are those who would love to get their hands on your Prius!! Good luck next year. I may trade my 2004 in if they make a lot of improvements. Until then, I will enjoy my #7 Silver.
 

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I got a lot of pressure to buy the extended warranty, but I had made up my mind not to buy it and also made up my mind not to let them get away with pushing me into it. (I had bought from this dealer before -- excellent sales staff, great service -- really pushy finance people). I told them they can't have it both ways -- a car that needs an extended warranty because of its complex electronics is also a car that is wonderful, reliable, excellent, worth MSRP, and a perfect vehicle for the sales people to sell? One or the other.

Ellen
 

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Don't kill the messenger. Those who are not guilty have nothing to fear from the grammar police. But they are watching....
 
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