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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I ordered my Prius on December 31, 2003. My neighbor ordered her Prius five weeks later, and from the same dealer. She got hers first, last week in fact! And it was apparently the package she wanted!

I was ahead of her on the list, put down my deposit first, and she got her car already I was told at least one more month!

Is this illegal? Do I have any recourse at all?

Thanks,

WaitingforPrius in NC
 

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I think part of the problem comes from dealers not being able to place orders for specific cars. I've ordered new cars in the past and and have received exactly what I've ordered, but those cars were built in the USA.

Last October when I put a deposit down on a 2004 Prius I requested a salsa red package 4. Eventually my dealer told us that they would only be getting cars with package number 6,7, or 9. At that time I let the dealer know that what was important to us was the color. Since no package 4s would be coming in I wanted him to contact us with ANY salsa red that came in and give us the option of taking it or passing on it. If a package 7 came in, I didn't want him looking at his list, seeing someone had ordered a red #7 and filling their order when we had been waiting longer. Good guy that he is, he did just that. He knew we were second on his list just after someone who had requested a different color.

What is important to you? I think the more flexible you can be the better chance you have of getting a car earlier. Some colors are more popular than others and someone who wants a red may wait longer than someone who would be just as happy with a Seaside Pearl. In addition, my dealer seems to be getting almost all cars with package 9 on it. If you've specified to your dealer that you want a less expensive Prius he may be contacting others on the list when he gets a loaded vehicle in.

I would contact your dealer and see how matters stand. I hope your neighbor isn't rubbing it in that he got his car before you.
 

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I think you have to be a pest, too. I called my dealer three weeks after I got on their list with no money down.

They didn't return my call, so I called again. And again, leaving messages each time. Then I went and called my credit union's "auto advisor" and told him they weren't returning my calls.

The auto advisor shook a few trees and rattled a few cages. The dealer called me back. "What?" she wanted to know...

I said, "Well, it's been almost a month, and I just wanted to confirm that you still work there, and that I'm still on the list. I know you're busy, but really, as I mentioned in my voicemails, all you had to do was take 30 seconds to call me back." She said, "Oh. Well, yes you're still on the list!" I said, "Great, when do you get your April allocation?" "Tomorrow," she said. "Okay, give me a call if a #5 or a #9 come in," I said, before bidding her a good day.

The next day, she called with my #9's three-week delivery date!

My point is that if you keep yourself at the forefront of their minds, they might be less likely to forget that you are waiting. Sales people are like any other people. They forget things. They get distracted by family problems, money matters, medical issues, or maybe even a pretty skirt or handsome suit.

That's all I wanted, was to talk to her, and make sure that she still worked for them, and that my name was still on the list. Nothing big, nothing earth-shattering. But by making that call, I was also making sure that she would remember my name.

Well, it's just a thought. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My flexibility...

...I told my sales rep in December to call me when my number came up, when anything came available. I didn't specify a color or package. He told me that when someone's number comes up, they will give that person a call and tell them what they have available. They can refuse as many cars as they want, as they'll be sold no matter what. On May 6 they told me I was #23 (from 85 in December). Yesterday, almost seven weeks later, they told me I was #16 and this from a dealership that has been getting 10+ cars a month.

So, flexibility is not the problem. I have also been to the dealer once a month (it's on my way home from work) to say hello and check my place. In fact, I always bring a check with me and tell them I can't wait to give them my money.

Another problem is that this dealer is engaging in a number of slimy tactics, including a bait-and-switch whereby they add a whole host of "port options" that allow them to mark-up the price semi-legitimately. Their #9s are now over $30,000, and a #7 costs $27,000.

No, I'm being royally screwed. My sales rep originally told me 6-8 weeks, which I thought was optimistic. In the meantime, the car I was driving broke, and I needed to buy another one. It's a Civic and gets close to 40 MPG, so I might just forget the whole thing. Still, I wanted to get the Prius for my fianc�

This is just so frustrating I wish I had chosen my dealer more carefully, as now I've wasted six months. Ugghhh!
 

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Re: My flexibility...

WaitingforPrius said:
...This is just so frustrating I wish I had chosen my dealer more carefully, as now I've wasted six months. Ugghhh!
WaitingforPrius,
Your frustration is understandable. Personally, I would do everything I could to avoid buying from such a dealer. Look back through posts here and you'll find lots of stories about people in your situation who have decided that waiting was too hard; people who went out to find a vehicle on their own--and succeeded. You'll have to work the phones and you may have to cross a state line or two, but there are cars available.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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I think it is a dealer problem.

The fact of the matter is that Toyota is taking orders for the exact car you want. They are handling the allocation of cars produced by region. There are 10 regions in the US. The dealer sends your order to the regional HQ and they send it on to Toyota. When the cars are being manufactured at the factory in Toyota they notify the US HQ. Then US HQ then tells each region what cars from their order is being made at the factory that month. The regional HQ then allocates the cars to the dealers in that region.....As you can see that means that the regional HQ can send your ordered car to another dealer in the region, but only if there is another car on order that matches your car. Your dealer then gets the car in, which some will try to claim they don't know what is coming in until it arrives on the truck. How can you possibly believe this??? The regional HQ is notified when your car is being produced at the factory, do you think they do not notify the dealer?

Here is the problem.
Toyota is manufacturing 10,000 cars a month at this time for the US/North American market. With over 1600 North American dealers (1200 US) it is easy to see that dealers are ordering Prius even before they sell them (The production could supply each dealer with 5 a month). Some dealers have chosen to just order Prius and then sell what ever they have ordered. Those dealers ask for as many as their Regional HQ will allow, the dealer chooses the colors and options then sells it for whatever they want. Some dealers only order a Prius after they have taken the order from their customers. When dealers order Prius without a customer order they sometimes get their cars faster than the other dealers due to the Regional HQ giving them preference. (The regional HQ wants to keep the high volume dealers happy. They both make money on each sale.)
 

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Re: I think it is a dealer problem.

Tigkoly said:
Here is the problem.
Toyota is manufacturing 10,000 cars a month at this time for the US/North American market.
You are implying this is the Prius build quantity. It is not. Total production, when fully ramped up to 48,000 units annually for the USA market, yields 4,000 per month. This is much less than your 120,000 unit annual proction volume above, which is inaccurate.
 

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Here is the current production rate: http://www.newsday.com/mynews/ny-swpri3 ... 2775.story

Yes the total anual production is 120,000 but you are correct that the US market only gets 40% of that which is 4000 a month. Still if you take into account that there are 1200 US Toyota dealers it still comes to 3.333 cars per dealer per month. My 5 cars per dealer a month comes from the fact that not all US Toyota dealers are offering the Prius. Taking that into account comes to 5 cars per Prius Dealer per month. These figures come directly from Toyota. I guess I should have broken it down into finite detail the first post, but I thought it would be too long winded.
 
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