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Discussion Starter #1
We have been sitting at #1 on the waiting list for a few months now. Our dealer is no longer taking deposits or adding folks to "the list." Why keep a longer list of dissatisfied folks who by being on the list think they need to keep contacting the dealer when there is absolutely nothing that can be done to help them?

General manager tells me if and when a Prius to our liking comes in, we can have it. In the interim, to be sure we aren't waiting a looooong time for something that may not really be "just the ticket" for us, he has, without being asked or prompted, volunteered to loan us a Prius for a while.

We are to pick it up this coming Monday and return it Saturday. His thoughts are that we might want to be really really sure before we continue to wait.

The car in question came to him unannounced, marked "NOT FOR SALE" and was to be used at an auto show and then as a loaner/demo to fleet buyers to develop fleet sales. The GM commented that he doesn't understand why anyone would want to do a promo for fleet buyers when they can't supply cars to retail buyers with cash deposits down waiting in line to pay MSRP. So, creative and independent thinker he is, he decided to loan the car to me for a week and then waste time loaning it to fleet buyers after that.

Ths is the dealership where I was told they are legally free to charge whatever they please for a car but in the last 14 years of my source's experience they have never exceeded MSRP as the price base.

I quess I'll be getting a little "stick time" in a Prius a bit ahead of expectations.

:D Pat :D
 

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It's good to hear about the nice things that car dealers do. We hear the bad stories, but not the good ones. Thank you for posting this, and I hope you like the car.
 

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Know what's even crazier?

Last August, when we all had a chance as delaerships to order our rental units (TRAC cars) -- I jumped at the chance to grab every single Prius we were allowed. I took 9 of them. Package 8 and 9 -- in a variety of colors but no black, as that's too hard to keep clean! The first car showed up on October 17th (silver package 8 ) and it was my very first demo car for us in fleet. In December and into January, the others started dropping like crazy... all of the 8 cars came in over the course of a few weeks... while I had buyers for new cars, they were dropping my TRACS on us. Sure made for a lot of frustrated salespeople and for me too -- trying to explain why I have 10 TRAC cars and nothing to sell. It was a hard thing, renting them and having folks fall deeper in love with them but still have nothing to sell them for months!

I just sold the first one we are allowed to sell (on Feb 17th, it goes) and the others will sell when I am allowed to sell them, in April and May... so anyone reading this might want to send me an email if a TRAC car in April or May sounds interesting. Folks already on my list get first priority -- and of course, who knows what may happen a few months form now with allocations, but we so many people deep into waiting lists, the TRAC cars are a sure bet! Most of mine have around 800-1000 miles on them, and will possibly have a few more miles at that point, but we are not marking them up (or down) and license is included. They are plated.

I have a list at my office, so anyone wondering what I have to offer for TRAC cars in a few months, email me at [email protected] and I will send you a list! I am in Southern CA, by the way - http://www.carsontoyota.com and if you reside out of state - no sales tax for CA due to me -- you have to pay sales tax in your own state when you get the car home!

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Di, Ever hear the one where a lady is asked if she would bed a guy for

$5 million dollars

and she allowed as to how all the good she could do with the $ would allow her to do it and then when asked if she would do it for

$5

she got all offended and demanded to know why she was thought to be a *****.

The reply was that her being a ***** was established with her answer to the first question and now they were only haggling over price!

So selling used cars with only a thousand miles for full price is so much more noble than if they had 2 or 3 thousand or you were still asking for a market adjustment. Yeah right! You have established your level of integrity/morality, you are just haggling price.

Not to worry, there are plenty of Johns out there, you'll find someone who wants to party at your price.

,,!,, Pat ,,!,, (think stereo!)
 

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Patrick
I suggest you do a little homework before you start calling people whores. Dianne has probably done more for the 2004 Prius community than anyone else. She has shared all of the information that she gets as a dealer with the online community. She has listed unique Prius nik-naks on E-bay, and donated the proceeds to charity.
Licensing a car in California is not cheap, so since these cars are delivered with license, they are, in effect, discounted.
I believe in supporting my local community, so I purchased my Prius locally. It was a tough choice. I really wanted to buy my car from Dianne, because she has been good to the Prius community.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
David, I suggest you reread my post before you claim, erroneously, that I called anyone a name. I gave an analogy that indicated an issue with DEGREE as regards morality/integrity. Good works are just great, Al Capone, to name one gave generously to charity. The discussion is not giving blood or having your lisc marked to indicate you are a organ donor.

It is the morality/initegrity issue of selling used cars for full price. You're often known for the company you keep. She chooses to defend, Hoss and his actions. Standing up for what you believe in, even when in the minority is an admirable trait and I applaud her gumption to take his side. I would similarly appalud someones gumption to defend Osama or Sadam but not have to agree with them or the person they chose to defend or be identified with.

The issue wasn't good works. How much do you have to take advantage of people before it is wrong? Is stealing from the poor box OK if you only take a littte and you do GOOD WORKS in other venues?

Maybe our actual point of departure is situational ethics/morality and the concept of intrinsic right and wrong. I think there are things that are wrong, without respect to degree. I do not infringe on and would defend your right to disagree with me.

:D Pat :D
 

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"Not to worry, there are plenty of Johns out there, you'll find someone who wants to party at your price."

My mistake. You didn't call anyone a name.
 

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what I said...

Who said I defended Hoss? Where did I defend his actions?

I believe it's OK to explain the demand versus the supply and how the TRAC cars are viewed. I post to 4 different boards for Prius. I explained somewhere that the TRAC cars are actually a losing proposition for a dealership. They are horrendously expensive to "rent" monthly from Toyota, and we have to plate them, service them, and detail them continually! They cost a dealership an average of $1000 a month just to HAVE. If they rent for $30-40 a day, then we might break even if they are all rented every day, every month. But, of course you know that doesn't happen! I'm also expected to replace floor mats in every single one, because someone renting a car is never as mindful of their feet in a car that is not their own. Ya know, it adds up! The monthly costs, the tanks of gas... the miles.

It'd be one thing if I had to have all of the cars to sell new ones off of. But, I am pretty damn sold to the walls and trying to not encourage any more orders for the 2004 at this time... just orders for the Highlander hybrids which I PRAY they use the online ordering system to sell right out of the gate -- immediately -- to gauge the demand before it gets to be as stupid as the Prius process is.

I post at priuschat.com and use the chatroom there to respond to questions. I post at the three Yahoo Prius areas. I also post here. I run the internet/fleet department at Carson Toyota in Southern CA. I have been a very active Prius fan and provisder of information since 2000, when the 2001 was being introduced. The man I consider to be the top Prius guy in my area of the country, Dave, brought me a car for a morning last August 2003, before the press had their cars and when there was an embargo on information going out. Dave also brought me his own personal Prius in early October 2003 to use for 2 days and I made that car + my package 8 TRAC available to anyone who wanted to show up at the dealership and drive them. The Prius thing for 2004's been a real circus since. Not enough cars, too many orders, and tempers high with the wait. Toyota's aware but there are only so many NiMH batteries that can be had for this car... and it's a 12-month problem that started last October... we have months to go before the supply problem is really balanced.

Dianne
 

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What is MSRP?

The psychological argument works both ways. It's fascinating how paying less than MSRP is a good deal that accrues to the negotiating skills of the buyer, but paying more than MSRP is a raw deal that accrues to the ethics of the seller.

Like it or not, it's a market economy, and the automakers are generally clever in setting MSRP high so that everybody is proud of themselves for the hard bargain they drove relative to this artificial standard.

In this case, Toyota guessed wrong (or maybe not -- see below), and cars are selling for over MSRP. The market price is a simple supply/demand calculation from Econ 101. The dealer MSRP is acting as a brake on the market price, because a significant proportion of buyers are offended at paying over sticker.

Of course, were MSRP to have been set at (say) $26K for a basic model, in retrospect, then Motor Trend wouldn't have named it Car of the Year, instead clucking about its high price and lack of value. You can see how this would have changed the whole demand structure for the car. The few people who wanted one at that price would have gotten one, and their friends would have said they were idiots for paying that much for a car. There would have been no (or negative) buzz around the Prius, and while Toyota surely didn't anticipate the current demand, they also would have known they didn't want to manufacture a hybrid-electric Edsel.

It's all psychology.
 

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Re: What is MSRP?

But, being Motor Trend's Car of the Year is not all that makes Prius a desireable and popular car. They have chosen poorly before as well. And, they have also chosen cars (2003 Infiniti G35 coupe) that do not work for most people budget-wise or space wise!

Its popularity is more than being voted "Car of the year" in one magazine. :> I hope that you get what I am trying to share here.
 

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Re: What is MSRP?

dianne said:
But, being Motor Trend's Car of the Year is not all that makes Prius a desireable and popular car.
I absolutely agree -- don't mean to imply anything else.

It's true that the car sells itself, but you can't buy free exposure. Without all the media attention, I wonder if demand might have built more slowly, at a rate that Toyota could have more easily satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Motor Trend car of the year was not a plus for me. The only other time I was interested in a MT COTY, it was a rotary Mazda sedan. I don't know anyone who had their engine last over 60K miles and I know several who had engines replaced under waranty. When mine failed at 55K I donated it to the starvation army.

I certainly expect better from the Prius.

I am not aware of any dealers who are selling the '04 Prius at discount below MSRP which leaves AMPLE profit. There are always those who would seek to take advantage of an artificial situation and sell it for plenty more. How would you like to be in line to get a burger at a fast food outlet and get to the front of the line only to find that due to the extreme demand for burgers during the lunch rush there would be a $5 surcharge. How about a phone company $50 surcharge for 911 calls since YOU REALLY NEED the service unless you have an actual fire or police emergency where human life is endangered where the surcharge could be negotiated or set at say $500.

:) Pat :)
 

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line forms to the rear

Analogy bad: when you get in line for the Prius, you know what it costs. :> No one jacks the pricing up (here!) when you get to the front of the line.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm sorry, you need to explain it more to me, I don't get everything right off at first. Do you sell below, at or above MSRP?

Do you sell used cars at MSRP?

If the answer to the second question is YES then I think the analogy is close enough.

The analogy dcould be improved in the used car situation. You get to the head of the line and they offer you a used burger at full price.

:) Pat :)
 

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clarity

I sell at MSRP. The market bears higher pricing at this time. I also sell the TRAC cars at MSRP because that's what the market bears.

This is still a business. If they are standing in line to pay MSRP or more, then that's what I sell them for.


patrickg said:
I'm sorry, you need to explain it more to me, I don't get everything right off at first. Do you sell below, at or above MSRP?

Do you sell used cars at MSRP?

If the answer to the second question is YES then I think the analogy is close enough.

The analogy dcould be improved in the used car situation. You get to the head of the line and they offer you a used burger at full price.

:) Pat :)
 

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It is always the same, when something is in demand some people will take advantage of the situation and stick it to the buyer. I have to wonder why dealerships feel justified increasing the profit margins when their manufacture screwed up when they under estimated the demand for the car. Do you say to yourselves: Toyota messed up so lets take advantage of the situation by making more profit. Dianne you say the market bears higher pricing, that's hogwash. Its a false market caused by Toyota's inability to correctly asset the market for the car. If Toyota hadn't screwed there would be no shortage and no false higher pricing. You can candy coat you reasons all day, but in the end because your manufacture made a mistake you see a chance to put more money in your pocket by taking advantage of a situation.

I recommend that buyers avoid dealerships that think sticking it to the customer is ok, and find one that will sell the car at MSRP. I know for a fact that not all dealerships are taking advantage of the Toyota screw up. I got my car in January (2 weeks after I started looking) at MSRP and I live in an area where finding a Prius is considered difficult (Southern, CA). You just have to work a little harder to find a one at a fair dealership.
 

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Will you guys please stop insisting you have some God given right to buy a brand new Prius right this moment at no more than MSRP! It's not like it's necessary to sustain your life. Where were you a year ago when Pruis were backed up on the lots? Where will you be two years from now when the same thing happens for the same reason?

In general, you cannot buy a Prius right now! There aren't enough for everyone. There are some exceptions involving foresight, luck, persistence, having relatives who work at a Toyota dealership, or (horror of horrors) being willing to pay over MSRP.

There are plenty of car models out there that can be had for less than their MSRP. Where's the condemnation for all those buyers who are taking advantage of that situation? After all, those manufacturers failed to completely accurately predict the future (assess the market conditions) also.

Grow up, crybabies. Maybe it's just not your lot in life to have a shiny new Prius this year. That's hardly the end of your little world. Just because someone offers a Prius for $50K doesn't mean you have to buy it. It doesn't even mean anybody will buy it. If somebody does buy it, just pick your jaw up off the floor and quietly be amazed at the complexity of humanity. If an artist took two days and $500 in paint to put a really, really nice scene on it would you still scream bloody murder if someone paid $50K for it? Well, it's something to think about anyway.

On the other hand, if what you're really offended about is having to read ads for Prius on this board, petition the owner or start a poll to determine what the policy should be. For example, an ad which says "TRAC" without mentioning that means "somewhat used" is misleading (though there will quickly be replies reminding readers of this). A requirement to list mileage on all used car ads would be nice. Perhaps a separate forum list could be justified as a place for all ads.
 
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