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I have been looking at replacing my 2000 Insight with an 04/05 Prius (as we have a baby due in December and need a back seat) and I have been asking at the dealers I have access to. So far this is the 4 or so around San Jose CA and 2 in the Valencia/North Los Angeles area.

All seem to have the same story; "if you want it, you have to wait" (and pay markup). In Valencia they said they could get me the option package (9), but not the color (red) in 10 days or less, they had about 10 cars coming in, 2 were already sold, but they had a non-negotiable $3K markup. However they had 2 on the lot they could sell today (option 8 in silver and option 9 in blue), that was about 4 weeks ago. A friend of my wife just got a car from a Los Angeles dealer after a 2 month wait, so the quoted 6-9 months I've been told by the N.California dealers seems a little hard to believe these days (and that was what the Sunnyvale dealer quoted me 3 weeks ago).

So 2 weeks ago I was in Denver, CO and saw at least 5 new Prius on the lot of the local dealer, they had pretty much every color including red! I was driving by and didn't check to see what options but I was surprised they had so many. I'll be back there in a few weeks so I'm planning on stopping in to see what the story is (markup, options etc, pre-sold).

My question is this: Is there only a supply problem on the coasts where these cars are perhaps more accepted? Do the buyers in the snow belt and central states have an easier time (less wait and no markup) getting them? I want to believe that the local dealers are creating the demand to their financial benefit and that there isn't really a shortage if you're willing to import the car from a different state, but I don't have any evidence of this (yet). The car's a 50 state model so bringing it into California (or any other state) should just be a matter of registering it and paying local road taxes and registration fees.

thanks in advance

-Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #2
:bump:

I guess the supply issue is all across the US then? No one from the mid-west care to respond if they had a 9 month wait for the car?

-R
 

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We live in VA and got on the list in May and got our car in July after 5 weeks on the list. At the same time we got on a list in Cheyenne WY and have stayed on it in case we dicide to trade in the 2003. We were in Cheyenne last weekend and stopped in to see the Toyota Dealer and were shown the list, (they have it on a glass wall) and we are #4 and they get 2 a month. We had them move us to the end of the list so in about 6 mo. we may still decide to get a 2005.

Jill
 

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I live in Denver and can tell you I just spoke to all the dealers and they all have a 6 mo list at least. One told me that it would probably be a year but they would not guarantee delivery for 2 yrs! Try rural areas, I had a better response but am still waiting
 

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We'll see if it's true

Went to a Massachusetts dealer and was quoted 9-12 months. Called another dealer who called back an hour later and said they had a 2004 with #9 that was a "bonus" car and I could have it on the 28th at MSRP. Waiting for the gotcha on this but will post if it is as advertised.
 

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I live in Denver and I know that John Elway Toyota has five on the lot, but all are package #1's and have around 10k miles on them. They are asking appx. 30k for each one. There are a lot of scratches and dings in the bodies and one of the front bumpers was even broken!
I placed my order with them on March 8, '04 and was told that I had a 10-14 week wait. I still don't have my package #9 (in silver or white), but I got the call last Wednesday and was told that my name is now showing on the September allocation. I assume this means that it has been shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok, thanks everyone for your feedback. Sounds like I was wrong and that everyone is backlogged on their orders. The people who get their car after a short wait are just lucky if they payed MSRP (or less).

I'm going to wait this out since my Insight is still working great and getting 84mpg on the 23 mile (one way) drive to work. We'll just use the BMW 540 with the baby when she arrives and wait until the pricing returns to normal from the Prius before we replace the Insight. When this happened 4 years ago with the gen 1 Prius (and the Insight), it took about 15 months here in California for supply to equal demand).

-R
 

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RSouthern said:
:bump:

I guess the supply issue is all across the US then? No one from the mid-west care to respond if they had a 9 month wait for the car?

-R
In in Germany, and was quoted a 10 month wait, so its a world wide thing not just local to you.

However, I got lucky as there was a spare car on the ship in the scpec and colour I ordered, which has cut my wait down to "just" 4 months. I get the car end of next week (Supposedly).
 

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I don't think it's so much the coasts as highly populated areas. If you're willing to drive a couple hours out from a large urban area, you'll probably find a dealer who will tell you they have a 2-3 month wait and still sell it to you at MSRP. Just do a search for "Asif" here if Stockon isn't too far for you.

Louie

P.S. Yes, I did get lucky with a 4 week wait because 5 other people in front of me passed up on my car color+package.
 

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I'm on a 6-month waiting list (due feb-05), but a friend of mine went to a showroom and was told he could have one in a month. Right place right time. he picks it up tomorrow!

howie
 

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I'm still on a 12-month waiting list (since April 2004) for a 2005 Prius at a Chicago area dealer. I will get off that list tomorrow.

Last Saturday I got my first choice 2004 Prius from a rural dealer after a 22-day wait for it to come ashore. This was also Midwest but far north.

It was a pleasant 350-mile drive home from the dealer.
 

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I got my Prius in Helena MT. I waited 5 1/2 weeks. Some rural dealers get more cars than they can sell on arrival. I got mine for MRSP. I would not pay more. I drove mine home because my son lives in Helena but they can arrange shipping. I have read about people picking up cars in rural areas with short waits in other parts of the country and even in my own state Washington. I am very happy and it went as well as you could ask.
 
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