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Prius: doomed, the critics are doomed

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Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on June 14, 2009, 5:20 am

"Industry Slumps, but Prius Inspires Waiting List

TOYOTA CITY, Japan -- Throughout Toyota's global operations, managers
are scrambling to cut costs in the wake of record losses.

But at Toyota's Tsutsumi plant, managers have the opposite problem:
meeting demand for the third generation of the Prius, which has become
an instant hit in Japan and is rolling into American showrooms now.

The Prius plant has brought back overtime -- a rarity these days, given
Japan's weak economy -- and recruited workers from Toyota factories
across the country.
. . ."

What a nice problem to have.

Bob Wilson

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on June 14, 2009, 1:25 pm
 bwilson4use@hotmail.com (Bob & Holly Wilson) wrote:

That's no surprise--there's ALWAYS a list of people who HAVE to have the
latest and greatest of EVERYTHING right away.

The REAL question is, how soon will they fill that demand?  Back in the
day, Toyota was green with envy as Honda spent FIVE YEARS with
backlogged orders for the Odyssey minivan--selling every one of them at
LEAST at list price, and quite often above list.

Honda built up production and demand cooled, and now it's just another
car--but FIVE YEARS?  Why did Toyota not have similar demand for their
(probably equally good) Sienna?  Why did not more of those Honda buyers
just say "screw it, Toyota has vans in stock and I don't have to play
games" and buy a Sienna?

FIVE YEARS.  Now, THAT'S a car for the history books.

It's not that there's an initial demand; there will always be an initial
demand.  What counts is how quickly--or not--that initial demand fizzles
out and the car becomes just another car on the market.

Posted by Was Istoben on June 14, 2009, 1:31 pm

What does this mean for the mothballed Prius plant in Mississippi?


Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on June 16, 2009, 11:30 am

Nothing. I'm pretty sure the production limitation has been the traction
batteries and the Georgetown KY plant makes the Camry hybrid.

When we visited the Georgetown plant in October, 2008, they reported
that they would be providing the tooling for the Mississippi plant. But
I think it makes more sense for them to make the first USA Prius and
once they reach capacity, then look at opening the Mississippi plant.

Bob Wilson

Posted by Bob & Holly Wilson on June 16, 2009, 11:30 am

The one we saw wasn't equally good. The engine was located behind the
driver and front passenger, taking space in the cabin. We went with a
Dodge Caravan.

Bob Wilson

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