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I'd like to see a show of hands of all those Prius owners who have taken delivery of an '04 who were not "Pioneers" and got the color and accessory package they originally asked for as first choice.
 

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You may never hear from anyone. :wink:

I, for one, was not a pioneer and did not receive the package I ordered.
 

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Pardon my asking, but what is a pioneer? I received my '04 about 2 months after placing my deposit and it was the color and package I wanted.

BTW, I love the car and am happy with the mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Could be but hope springs eternal from the human breast.

A low number of responses is expected as I don't think there is much of a high percentage of owners who got what they originaly requested. It is a variant on the theme... If they don't deliver the one you love, love the one they deliver. Yeah, sure, we are the good ole boys Blues brother's band!

The cars being delivered aren't configured entirely randomly, they are what Toyota has the parts/subassemblys to build from. Color is beyond my ken.

We have the luxury of waiting for what we want. It isn't all that less frustrating for us than someone in ACTUAL NEED of a car but no real damage is caused by waiting. If Toyota forces me to wait long enough I might be attracted to a different Synergy System model or defect entirely. Defection is not a preferred option but a likely response if the price gouging fever starts to spread to all the dealers. The cachet of having a new and highly desired car in great demand is not a stong motivator for me. I'll wait or leave but I won't pay a bribe.

Recall the BUZZ for the PT Cruiser? There certainly is no premium paid for them now as they are as common as dirt. Synergy system hybrids will get there too.

:D Pat :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
blackbalsam said:
Pardon my asking, but what is a pioneer?
A Pioneer is a Toyota appelation for owners of the original Prius that they allowed to order (pre-order) '04 Prii ahead of the masses. A reward for loyalty and were they ever surprised! Toyota expected a rather low % to take them up but the response was literally overwhelming as was the percentage of cars ordered with Nav.

Congratulations on getting it your way. Probably not a #9. Was it white?

:D pat :D
 

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blackbalsam said:
Pardon my asking, but what is a pioneer? I received my '04 about 2 months after placing my deposit and it was the color and package I wanted.

BTW, I love the car and am happy with the mileage.
blackbalsam,
I believe 'Pioneer" is the term used for those who purchased a classic Prius. Toyota invited pioneers to request an '04 model early in the process and tried to deliver their vehicles in the first shipments. I'm not eligible for your poll. I purchased a vehicle that a pioneer had decided not to buy.
Glad you are as happy with your Prius as I am with mine.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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I guess I was a pioneer, but didn't know it with an 03 Prius. I don't recall getting any contact to pre-order an 04. I just got lucky last week seeing an 04 in the color I liked. Person ordering the car only minutes before I saw it turned it down cause he wanted Pkg 9, vehcile came with Pkg 8.

Is it true that Japan is only allocating 35,000 04's to the U.S... That number has to change now that the vehicle has been awarded MT Car of the Year!!

Geno
 

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Pioneer orders

blackbalsam said:
Pardon my asking, but what is a pioneer? I received my '04 about 2 months after placing my deposit and it was the color and package I wanted.

BTW, I love the car and am happy with the mileage.
The 2001 and most of the 2002 Prius
were ordered (actual *orders*, not
this fluky allocation stuff now) via
an internet ordering system that
Toyota had set up. Toyota knew how
many cars to make of what type, and
knew at what dealerships that there
were orders and shipped them accordingly.
The internet ordering system stopped
in Jan/Feb. of 2002 to be switched
over to the Rav4 EV rollout (no longer
produced), and 2002-2003 Prius were
then bought off of dealer lots as
early as April 2002 under the regular
dealer allocation system like all other
Toyotas.

In June, 2003, Toyota sent an email
and/or a snail mail to owners of a
classic Prius that had been ordered
through the internet ordering system,
to allow them to "pre-order" a new
2004, again using the internet ordering
system. Toyota called these people
"Pioneers" and their orders are
"Pioneer orders."

Then Toyota decided to only use the
Pioneer internet orders just for PR
purposes ("look at how many prior
Prius owners want a new 2004!"), and
ignore their ordering system. Toyota
just shipped 2004s willy-nilly to
the regions, who allocated the 2004s
however they saw fit. Dealerships
that had no 2004 orders and knew
nothing of the car had cars on the
lot to sell to someone off the street,
while dealerships that had oodles of
2004 Pioneer orders didn't receive
cars or recieved cars that they
didn't have orders for... The whole
point of the internet ordering system
was so that cars went to where there
was a waiting buyer, mostly in order,
but Toyota ignored their own data.

I had a Pioneer order, placed July 4th
weekend, but it was over a month
after release (mid Nov.) before my car came in,
whereas some people who had not
heard of a Prius before they walked
into a dealership in mid-October had
walked off of the lot with a new 2004.

Toyota peeved off us Pioneers, and
now are doing the same with all the
other "orders" with folks on dealer
waiting lists, with their silly
allocation system. They have this
really nice internet ordering
system, with REAL factory orders,
but they didn't pay attention to it
for the Pioneers, and probably won't
re-start it for the non-Pioneers.
 

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patrickg said:
Could be but hope springs eternal from the human breast.

A low number of responses is expected as I don't think there is much of a high percentage of owners who got what they originaly requested. It is a variant on the theme... If they don't deliver the one you love, love the one they deliver. Yeah, sure, we are the good ole boys Blues brother's band!

The cars being delivered aren't configured entirely randomly, they are what Toyota has the parts/subassemblys to build from. Color is beyond my ken.

We have the luxury of waiting for what we want. It isn't all that less frustrating for us than someone in ACTUAL NEED of a car but no real damage is caused by waiting. If Toyota forces me to wait long enough I might be attracted to a different Synergy System model or defect entirely. Defection is not a preferred option but a likely response if the price gouging fever starts to spread to all the dealers. The cachet of having a new and highly desired car in great demand is not a stong motivator for me. I'll wait or leave but I won't pay a bribe.

Recall the BUZZ for the PT Cruiser? There certainly is no premium paid for them now as they are as common as dirt. Synergy system hybrids will get there too.

:D Pat :D
um, the only car on the road with
the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD = THS II) right
now is the 2004 Prius. You'll have
to wait about a year before there's
another one, the Lexus RX400H (hybrid 330 SUV).

If you mean look for another hybrid,
there are deals to be had for used
classic (2001-2003) Prius (THS). The
Honda Civic hybrid is also another
good choice (and is even available
as a AT-PZEV), but it only has the
assist-type of hybrid system, the
Honda IMA (nice system, but you don't have
stealth driving). The Honda Insight
is much more of a niche car and
doesn't fit most people (again, the
Honda IMA = Integrated Motor Assist
hybrid system).

If you do decide to bail on the 2004
Prius, at least pick the cleanest
car out there that you can. Take a
look at the green vehicle guide from
the EPA (sorted first by emissions,
then by MPG): http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicle/
 

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US allocation going up

gene godefroid said:
I guess I was a pioneer, but didn't know it with an 03 Prius. I don't recall getting any contact to pre-order an 04. I just got lucky last week seeing an 04 in the color I liked. Person ordering the car only minutes before I saw it turned it down cause he wanted Pkg 9, vehcile came with Pkg 8.

Is it true that Japan is only allocating 35,000 04's to the U.S... That number has to change now that the vehicle has been awarded MT Car of the Year!!

Geno

Production up 31%, from 36,000/year
to 47,000/year.

http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_libra ... =12082003a
 

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I got what I wanted as ordered as a non-Pioneer, but it took some 'doing'.
--evan
 

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Thanks for the answers on the meaning of Pioneer. No, I am not a pioneer. I put a deposit on the car in late september sight unseen. I wanted the package 7 and wanted either the driftwood/beigey color or silver. I got the package 7 in silver on Nov 29.
 

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I've given up on my preferenced 'order'. I'll either wait till 05's come out or check out the Lexus 330 hybrid next spring. Better luck to all those still left high and dry.
 

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I'm not a pioneer and I placed my order in early September and On October 24th my dealer called to tell me my car was in, exactly what I ordered.
 

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Not a Pioneer, but ordered on Oct. 20 and had exactly what I ordered on Nov.8, thanks to the work of Mike at Palmiero Toyota in Meadville, PA. I did not realize how lucky I was until I got on some of these forums! Silver, Pkg. #7 (AM)
 

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Ok ... I get half credit on this one. I wanted an '04 with the AM package, and I wasn't exactly sure which color I wanted (no strong preference).

When I test drove, the dealer told me there was a seaside pearl with the package I wanted already on the boat heading for port in NYC. I quickly fell in love with this color (test drove a white, but saw the blue on the lot just delivered for another customer).

So I package I wanted, wanted the color I got, and waited less than three weeks for delivery. Perhaps the gods were smiling and the stars were aligned. Other dealers in the same metro area (Washington DC) couldn't promise anything before the first of January '04, and some still haven't received any '04 cars yet.

Smiling all the way to the pump. :lol:

Jay in Northern Virginia
Hybridizing since 11/18/03
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks y'all for the response. I note a lot of referrences to luck, smilin' gods, allignment of the stars and the like with regards to actually getting what you wanted in a "reasonable" period of time. Enjoy your good fortune. It seems that the majority of recent Prius owners and most of us who are trying to become Prius owners have been or will be subject to a near random process.

Toyota just keeps churning out whatever color and package and shipping them to wherever and sometimes, by chance, this is a "fit" to a customers request, sometimes the customer mods his request to fit what is available, and all too often, especially if you want package #9, you are quite likely just left to one side of the action with nothing but ill founded hope that maybe one day you will "get lucky" and you'll get a #9.

Great frustration and anxiety on the part of would be customers but Toyota is whimpering all the way to the bank. There would be exactly precisely zero increased sales if Toyota did anything whatsoever to improve the "matchup" and reduce our frustration and anxiety. They are selling all they can produce as fast as they can produce them so there is zero economic incentive to expend any effort to improve the situation. It doesn't serve their short term goals to "waste" effort trying to coddle us. As long as they can sell all they make and since each car sold is a car not sold by their competition, how could they improve their short term situation by spending any time, effort, or money making Americans happy. They are already making Americans happy by selling them all the Prii that Toyota will divert to the US, just not the Americans who want a specific color or package.

So, you see there are two vastly diferent points of view regarding the Prius supply/demand siituation. Toyota is in a great position, possibly with some regret at not having divined the demand in general or #9 demand in particullar as maybe, only maybe, they could have sold a few more units (we don't know that for sure) if they could have done it without negative impact on other manufacturing.

American customers, used to a different way of doing business and tending toward wanting instant gratification, are anxious and frustrated. When will prices go up at the hands of Toyota? Some dealers are already trying to cash in on the demand for a short supply commmodity. Will this turn into a wide spread or universal practice? Why wouldn't Toyota want to get their share? Will you get a car this year before the tax thingy dwindles?

Thanks for the advice regarding Honda etc. I want a Prius with #9. If I can't get that enough in advance of the availability of the Synergy SUV then that could be an option. Imagine this whole allocation fiasco repeated with an even larger customer base being treated like sheep and totally taken for granted only in geting the SUV instead of the Prius.

If it drags on long enough, I could just defect. I have tried to remain focussed on the outcome. I try not to consider what the other guy(Toyota) is doing or getting and just consider what I get and the conditions under which I get it. That is supposed to be tha adult businesslike approach. I still couldn't make it past the seventh day of December without a few very black thoughts.

Pat
 

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I too wanted package #9 and was "not going to budge" because "I want what I ordered". Since then I re-evaluated just what package #9 included. Could I do without some of those techno-gadgets?

I determined that I really did not need the Navigation system. Most of my driving is right here near home where I know all the side streets, restaurants, etc. Next, I determined that I really did not need the 6-CD changer. After all, I can only listen to one CD at a time. As for the Bluetooth technology, I passed for now because my provider does not support it and to change my family plan over is not an option. However, I did want the auto dimming mirror and side air bags to protect my family in the unlikely event of an accident.

This left me with package #7, with the dealer installed auto dimming mirror with Homelink. I called my dealer to express my interest in a #9 or #7 (with mirror) in the color I wanted (Silver). I received a call the very next day and will be receiving my car (Silver with package #7 and Homelink mirror) in a couple of weeks - it's on the ship as I write this. :D

What I am getting at is this: Really weigh what you need in this car. Don't go for all the bells and whistles if only a few will be utilized on a regular basis. If you must have package #9 then realize there may be a considerable waiting period. I am happy with my decisions and will be driving mine by year's end. :wink:
 
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