New 2010 Toyota Prius In High Demand
We got a lot of guff for stating that the Toyota Tundra was in high demand last week, so let’s be clear this time when we say “high demand.” Toyota can sell the new 2010 Toyota Prius as fast as they can make them. That’s called “demand” – we think this demand is “high” because most Toyota dealers have few or no Prius in stock.
This is the same rationale that we used to state that Tundra demand was high…hopefully it won’t be confusing this time. Check out the stories below:
Some U.S. Toyota dealers are marking up new Prius over sticker. This is a crazy story – the new Prius is so hot right now (largely as a result of a Cash for Clunkers inspired rush) that some metro Detroit Toyota dealers are demanding “market adjustments” of $2k to $10k dollars above sticker. There are reports of other dealers across the country doing the same thing on some popular Prius forums.
While Toyota doesn’t specifically “ban” this practice, they do often withhold inventory from dealers that engage in this practice. Here’s to hoping that dealers who mark-up cars above sticker lose their allocations.
Many Toyota dealers have pre-sold Priuses for months out. A quick informal survey of Denver metro Toyota dealers reveals that most incoming Toyota Prius have been pre-sold. According to one local dealership employee, “the best chance at a Prius is to hope someone is stupid enough to cancel their order.” We were told the current wait time for a new 2010 Prius was 2 weeks to 5 months, depending on the package and features we wanted.
Toyota is selling the Prius like crazy in Japan. The Japanese market can’t get enough of the Prius either. According to a Rueters report:
[Toyota's] Prius hybrid was Japan’s best-selling car in July for the second straight month, but customers placing orders have to wait about eight months before getting their cars due to strong demand and a shortage of batteries
Toyota’s sales in Japan are up so much that they’ve decided to temporarily increase production.
Toyota is searching high and low for battery manufacturers. Evidently, the bottleneck in Prius production is batteries. With the model selling so well in North America and Japan, Toyota is trying hard to find new sources of battery production. Despite Toyota’s joint-venture relationship with Panasonic, they’ve asked Sanyo for help producing batteries.
Bottom Line: If you managed to buy a 2010 Prius since the model debuted, count yourself lucky. While it’s likely true that Prius demand would cool if Toyota managed to increase production, there’s no denying that consumers want the new Prius.
Of course, that’s what we said about the Tundra last week, so let the nay-saying begin!
Filed Under: Auto News