Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

A note fromt he dealer: - Page 2

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Posted by Bill on January 25, 2005, 6:23 pm
No law require.  If John asks for the MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail
Price), the dealer is obligated to answer truthfully.  Apparently, John's
research paid off.

Over the months I've waited for my Prius, I've come to understand how the
distribution system works in my region:

Dealer is allocated X units per month.  That allocation doesn't specify
color or option level.

The dealer maintains a chronological list of orders.  The delivery time can
be roughly determined by dividing the number of names on that list by the
number of units allocated each month.

When my name was at the top of the list, and when the next allocation was
made, the dealer asked the regional distributor to fill that allocation with
a black level 6 with gray fabric.

The allocation was instead filled with a black level 6 with ivory fabric,
the gray fabric not being available to the distributor at that moment.

I was given the option of taking the non-conforming unit or waiting for the
correct unit while maintaining my position on the top of the list.  At the
point in time where I had to choose, the next month's allocation was made
and the dealer was then able to confirm a conforming unit.  I decided to
wait a month.

The non-conforming unit was then offered to each person on the waiting list
in chronological order.  It was sold to someone on that list six hours after
I turned it down.

Over the past 3 months, because I was near the top of the list, I was
offered a non-conforming unit each month which tells me that few units
precisely match the customer's order.

I'm under the impression that Toyota builds cars with colors and option
levels in anticipation of what will sell, not to conform to specific orders.
I believe regional distributors are allocated an array roughly matching the
manufacturer's production array.  In other words, it's a crap shoot.

Posted by Michelle Steiner on January 26, 2005, 2:45 am

Yup, just like with most other foreign cars.  Even with American-made
cars, it's a crap shoot unless you're willing to wait until a car that
you order is built and shipped to the dealer--and most likely, you won't
get the discounts and rebates that are available for cars already on the
dealer's lot.

The only foreign car I know of off hand where you can order the car to
your specifications is the Mini Cooper--and now that supply has caught
up with demand, I don't know whether that's still an option.

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Impeach the son of a Bush.

Posted by John J. DeGrazia on January 28, 2005, 5:18 am
 Hi again everyone,

I was given the opportunity to test drive a Package 6 yesterday. I was
substantially under-impressed with the power. (I don't need power in a
hybrid. But this one was lacking measurable spunk). I found the displays
confusing, though I could probably overcome that with some training, and
experience. I found the rear seat space exceptional, and the rear visibility
better than I assumed.

I was disappointed with the management and any motivation toward dealing on
a price. Apparently the 3K bonus charge is expected in this neighborhood
(San Diego, CA) and I have no reason to compare this price with the price I
could find in Phoenix. (For $K, I could fly to Phoenix, buy a Prius and
save a lot of money.) I guess they don't need my business.


Posted by Michelle Steiner on January 28, 2005, 8:25 am

I've found the power to be more than adequate; I can accelerate to
freeway speeds safely, and have enough power to pass safely.

How many dealers did you check with?  I went from Phoenix to Fresno to
buy mine because the Phoenix dealers had massive waiting lists (this was
six months ago); I paid MRSP for it.  The dealer in Fresno was Michael

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease:  Impeach the son of a Bush.

Posted by mrv@kluge.net on January 28, 2005, 6:38 pm
 John J. DeGrazia wrote:


Seems to me that you're someone who drives by sound, and isn't used to
a CVT.  A number of people new to the CVT seem to think that there is
no power...  They hear the engine rev up to provide the acceleration
that they ask for, get scared by the sound of the engine thinking that
they're hurting it (but they're not; 2004/5 Prius rev limits at
5000rpm), and instinctively take their foot off of the accelerator (so
the car subsequently goes slower, and the new driver thinks the car is
underpowered)...  The sound of the engine is proportional to the
load/power being asked of it (so the engine will rev up if you're
accelerating or going up a hill, and the engine may even turn
off/you're driving on electric if you're coasting or going downhill)
and does not relate to the speed that you're going or the "gear" that
you're in.

Displays - odd that the dealer didn't show you how to turn them off, as
it's quite easy to do if you find them distracting.  Most owners just
get used to the steering wheel buttons, leave the climate control on

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