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Toyota Highlander, SUV
#3048 of 5207 Highlander Hybrid - lack of inventory
Feb 07, 2008 (11:53 am)
I am in the Los Angeles area and over the last couple of months (Dec. and Jan) have visited two of what are considered the highest volume Toyota dealers in the county.
What is with the lack of inventory of the HL Hybrid? Searching the online inventory today only 10 HL Hybrids. The flipside - today 110 HL gassers. Hybrids are only 8% of the total Highlander inventory. Inventory around on the HL Hybrid has been basically this way for the last 2 1/2 months.
Some of the dealer sales manager and salesperson responses -
1) Early shipping delays of the Hybrids due to unknown reason.
2) High demand by all dealers for HL Hybrid.
3) Fewer are manufactured thus fewer available.
Well, okay maybe plausible to some degree. This is February 2008. Not September 2007. What gives here?
#3049 of 5207 Re: Highlander Hybrid - lack of inventory [1headlight]
Feb 07, 2008 (5:33 pm)
Disappointing planning by Toyota. I am also on the same boat. 2 months and still waiting for the right vehicle at the right price. If Toyota wishes to keep "moving forward" with the hybrid drive as a viable transportation mode, they better re-invent their supply chain. I also truly hope that detroit does a good job to be a viable competitor to Toyota in this niche category just so that Toyota do their homework to meet consumer demands and to bring the cost down.
#3050 of 5207 Re: Highlander Hybrid - lack of inventory [boston26]
Feb 08, 2008 (9:44 am)
I am waiting here in the bay area and watched in dismay yesterday the
Carsdirect.com price go back up to MSRP from 2000 below on the HH.
I think due to the weak dollar and as HHs are exclusively made in Japan,
Toyota is not making much money on the HH. So the idea is to keep the
price high by restricting supply but still keep their green image going.
They are moving production this year to the US. I think supply will only increase after that.
Cant wait much longer. Might have to go for the base model instead of Limited.
#3051 of 5207 Re: Highlander Hybrid - lack of inventory [igh]
Feb 08, 2008 (1:17 pm)
I was not aware of the manufacturing location of Highlander which for the 2008 model is the plant in Ikeda, Osaka exclusively. As a curious note the Highlander goes by its Kluger model name in Japan and other parts of the world.
As for your comment about moving production of the Highlander to the US, this will take place at the Mississipi plant which broke ground in April 2007. Delivery of the Highlander from this plant will not occur until 2010.
I searched most of the online resources of Toyota, but I could not find any information or comments in regards to production numbers of the gasser and/or hybrid models of the Highlander for 2007 or 2008. Nor delivery timelines
This could be sensitive and competitive industry information?
Wish there were more Kluger Hybrids comin' to town
#3052 of 5207 Re: Highlander Hybrid - lack of inventory [1headlight]
Feb 08, 2008 (3:58 pm)
Google cleanmpg slaes number
You will go to a forum in cleanmpg.com that displays slaes number of the HH
for Sept to Jan and before.
The sales only picked up from Nov (delivery issues before that) and are much better than last year maybe because the 2007 HH was the last model year.
Sales are hovering around 2500 per month with a slight dip in Jan.
I think Toyota is comfortable with that.
#3053 of 5207 Invoice Higher than Edmunds ?
Feb 08, 2008 (5:31 pm)
I just met with a sales person at Landers Toyota in Little Rock, AR and it looks like I am going to have to do a special order to get my color combination and options I want. They are in the Gulf South region and a resarch in 5 states show zip on what I want. They said the next step was to put out feelers in a national pool to see if there is a HL like I want. The salesman said the in the worst case I might be looking at 90 days to get my HL by special order. He did a print out and the MSRP comes out $34,304 and invoice $31316. Edmunds invoice shows the invoice to be about $900 less than Lander's printout. What gives? Would advertisement fees be this high? This would be about 2.6 % of the MSRP. Normal?
#3054 of 5207 Re: 2008 HH Limited Option C Price Check [boston26]
Feb 09, 2008 (5:02 am)
Seems quite a bit of money for a non luxury vehicle. Why not buy a Acura MDX pay less $ for comparably equipment and get more resale. Yes it takes premium gas but for 15K miles a years works out to be about $400. Yet has a better ride and a kick-butt sound system.
My mind is made up could you tell.
#3055 of 5207 Toyota "Special Orders"
Feb 09, 2008 (9:22 am)
Keep in mind that Toyota really has no such thing as a "special order" in the sense that American makes do. What Toyota dealers call a "special order" does not trigger the factory to build a particular car that otherwise would not have been built. All it does is enter a request to allocate a vehicle matching your spec from the future production stream. How soon the dealer will receive that car depends on when, and how many, examples of that configuration are scheduled to be built, whether or not they are already allocated to other dealers and how many other "orders" your dealer has already placed for specific cars. That's why Toyota dealers are often so vague about when a "special ordered" vehicle will actually be delivered and why their delivery estimates are so often wrong. When they are candid they talk about "preferencing" a car, because that's what really occurs. The car you want might show up in the production schedule and allocated to your dealer next week, next month, three months from now, or never. And if the configuration you want isn't in the production plan, even if it is a "valid" configuration, you'll never get it. Some unscrupulous dealers will accept an "order" and quote a reasonable delivery time for a configuration they know full well is very rare in the production plan, or never built at all -- they figure after enough time goes by you'll tire of the wait and accept a vehicle with "close enough" specs.
It's ironic that the car company that is known for its advanced production system offers much less flexibility in special orders than the American makes, but that's the way it is. With so much Toyota manufacturing moving to U.S. plants I thought they would have adapted a true "special order" system by now, but it hasn't happened.
#3056 of 5207 90 days for special order
Feb 09, 2008 (5:37 pm)
While I have been trying to find a Highlander with the color/options I want I also have been looking at the Lexus RX350. After hitting a stone wall with the local Toyota people, Lexus can get what I want but of course I am looking at about $7K more but also a few more options and definitely more luxiourious. I think smith1 has hit the nail on the head. I got the feeling when the salesman said 90 days worse case, I was thinking 6 months if I am lucky. I also just felt like I was in a zoo at the large Toyota/Scion dealer. They have a bunch of young adults working the lot like fire ants swarming when you drive up. When the salesman wanted to crunch some numbers he had me have a seat in an open cafeteria like setting. Kids were playing video games and other people were eating. Absolutely no privacy when he brought out his computer generated paper showing MSRP and the inflated invoice that was $930 higher than Edmunds and KBB. He also wanted me to give him a $500 deposit but I told him no way without my wife being able to see the Highlanders in person. I got up and left and told him I would call him in a few days.
#3057 of 5207 Re: 90 days for special order [catdaddylong]
Feb 09, 2008 (9:31 pm)
A word of advice on deposits. Nothing wrong with a "good faith" deposit of $500 or so, but if you ever do, just put on a credit card, that way you can dispute the charge if anything goes wrong. I've done special orders in the past and have had vehicles traded on me, or sold right out from under my nose.
I never really understood why dealer's asked for deposits anyway, since they are non-binding. Well actually, I do understand, but they prey on consumer ignorance. Just some 411 to help you along with your purchase should you have to order.