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Hi,

I have been waiting a few months for my Prius to arrive. I joined this community a few days ago and used the discovered information to ask some pointed questions to my sales rep since Toyota immediately cashed my $500 deposit!

The impression/answer I received to why I am still waiting (and will be for at least another month) was that Toyota is not allocating Prius according to when they were ordered? Additionally, Toyota was not allocating the Prius evenly or fairly among dealers (especially with respect to those with long waiting lists)?

Has anyone else heard, or can anyone confirm, this?

Somehow I feel if Toyota *cashed* my deposit I should have a firm place in the queue (yes, in this age I should be able to track it) and not be subject to some whim of an allocator thousands of miles away. Also, Toyota is making money off of our collective deposits and while we wait they increased the price of the car. That is tantamount to adding insult to injury in my book.

Yes, I know of some folks selling cars for ~$500 - $5,000 over MSRP, or I could drive a couple of hours ENE and possibly pick up one for msrp (with a free car cover!), but I am trying to stay loyal to a local business (Toyota 101 in Redwood City is normally a very professional anf fair company) so businesses like that can stay local! Toyota is making this hard though.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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One of the dealers can likely explain the fine print details of Toyota's (crappy) allocation process. But I'll tell you what I know.

For the most part allocation is based heavily on prior sales of the Prius without regard to the current wait list. It has been so since the beginning. For whatever reason there has been a relative surplus in some states like W.VA. despite a numerically low allocation and folks waiting for over a year in California despite some of the highest numbers of cars being allocated.

An aside: The Prius is a unique vehicle and Toyota should institute a unique internet ordering system. It worked successfully for the first generation Prius as well as for the Prius Pioneers who ordered second generation Prii...but they won't carry it over to the general population despite the chronic problems and abuse of the limited supply by the individual dealers.
 

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I don't see how your conclusion can be avoided. There are dealerships that are talking about getting 5-10 a week and Asif working wonders month after month in CA. In the meantime, elsewhere there are many waiting months and months. And I do not believe that being outside a big metro area explains very much of that. So the question is why are some dealerships getting so many more cars than others?? I have to agree with you that it does appear that Toyota is taking advantage of some people's patience and I am not very happy about that. :x
 

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I have heard that 50% of the Prii sent to the US are sent to California. That may explain why Asif can get you one much easier than anywhere else. I live in TX and waited 6 months, and I hear the wait has become much, much longer.
 

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Asif offered me one after 4 weeks, but my color, took 6 total to get what I wanted. Call Asif at Stockton Toyota....they are awesome...even gave me fair book on my trade!
 

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Unevenly allocating Prius

Immediately cashing your $500.00 is illegal. You probalby got a hype from a sales person saying you needed to put down "earnest money" in order to hold your car. While this is a marketing gimmick often used by car dealers to hold you to buy from that particular dealer, it is illegal for that dealer to cash check or charge your credit card for the money you put down. The response from the dealer as to why your check was cashed or your credit card charged is ususally "Oh, you can get your money back if you decide not to buy the car". Which means, you have to call your credit card company, or bank and dispute the charge, this often taking a month or so. Meanwhile the dealer has your money and is often investing it into an accout to gain interest making the dealer all that much richer at your expense.
Consumer beware
 

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Couple of points.

Toyota gets no benefit from down payments. That all goes to the
local dealer, who may or may not cash it.
It is not fair to expect Toyota the company to do something special for you
based on your negotiations with the privately owned dealer.

Saying that cashing a down payment is illegal indicates there is a law
against it. What law and in what state? Statute number would be great.

Robert
 

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efusco said:
For the most part allocation is based heavily on prior sales of the Prius without regard to the current wait list. It has been so since the beginning.
I ordered my '04 in November 2003 only a few days after my dealer got the first one to test-drive (and I received mine in June 2004...which was only about a month later than the original 6 month estimated wait time).

And, the above is precisely how he explained it to me: They were allocating the new ones to dealerships on the basis of how many they had sold of the previous model Prii. Unfortunately, the older ones didn't sell all that well up here in Rochester, NY but the demand for the new ones have been pretty strong. My dealer told me this summer that the waitlist is now up to an estimated 18 months and he doesn't even understand why they are still taking orders.
 
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