Last post on Feb 03, 2013 at 1:20 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander, Toyota, SUV
#1106 of 2952 Looking at the '08
Jul 29, 2007 (10:59 am)
I'm getting ready to buy an 2008 Highlander and have been looking at dealers that post their selling price on the internet. I'm familiar with Fitzgeralds in MD.& Taylor Toyota in Va. but does anyone know of other Toyota dealers in the continental U.S. that publish selling prices on the internet? I bought our 2001 Highlander from King's in Ohio over the 'net/phone and it worked out very well. They posted their prices and it beat our locals (Arkansas) by over $2K, plus no dickering/stalling, "I'll have to ask my manager" etc. Thanks for any help.
#1107 of 2952 Re: Yes. [pablox]
Jul 29, 2007 (1:38 pm)
There is plenty of logic. The packages are assembled with two buyers in mind: (a) the cheapskate who only wants a model with the minimum and (2) everyone else who would really like the better bells and whistles. Trouble is we too don't want to pay too much, but we will on account of the packages as assembled which optimizes profitability. Sadly, optimizing profitability does not maximize customer happiness which is really what you are remarking about.
#1108 of 2952 Re: Yes. [sallen10]
Jul 29, 2007 (2:20 pm)
So they only want to sell to two buyers? I'd think they'd want to sell to many more. I see more than two option packages by region so your explanation falls down.
I don't want to pay for options I don't want, a sunroof forinstance. I also see little logic in how the option packages are assembled (in other words, why those combinations for package a, etc.).
#1109 of 2952 Re: Yes. [pablox]
Jul 29, 2007 (4:06 pm)
The best case scenario would be to have each Highlander custom-configured at the factory to each buyer's requirements. Want a sunroof but not the JBL audio? Sure. Want all options except the power rear door? No problem.
Obviously that can't be done for a high-volume automobile. They have to build them based on what each region thinks will satisfy the most buyers. It's the 80/20 rule. Not everyone is going to be happy, but hopefully you'll be able to satisfy a majority of your buyers (otherwise you will be left with a lot of unsold inventory).
Frankly, I'm not sure if there is a better, feasible alternative. Honda seems to release various model grades with no options. In the past, it was relatively simple -- DX, LX, EX. Now, when you look at their lineups, you have an EX with leather, EX with navigation, etc. That seems more confusing and even less flexible to me, IMHO.
Nissan uses option packages that are factory-mandated, as opposed to being ordered as a package by a region. This means that if a factory package includes seat heaters, for example, I'm going to get those heaters even if they are of no use to me in my region where the temperature never goes below 70 degrees. That seems very inflexible to me as well.
#1110 of 2952 Re: Yes. [pablox]
Jul 29, 2007 (4:47 pm)
I'm sure Toyota has released, and the dealership has sold, redesigned vehilces before, and there is a method to their madness.
The first 60 days have limited supply, so buyers who can't wait until a full compliment of vehicles is received tend to fall into those categories rather easily, or they can wait until more vehicles arrive.
The "I want NAV, but no moonroof" buyers can wait.
Since discounts are hard to come by, buyers who want the latest, but at a low price, can get a lightly equipped model. Those that can't buy a car without NAV and other doodads will usually go for the gusto models. Or at least test drive them, and get sold on the hair and make-up.
The model you really want is probably 60 days away. Dealers know you are weak. They're knida like women, although they aren't universally hated, but that's a story for another forum....
#1111 of 2952 Second test drive
Jul 29, 2007 (7:41 pm)
I had my second test drive today. I still think the steering is too light and lacks on center feel, but it's not a deal breaker. Overall I thought the ride was smooth and quiet, even over some rough pavement.
The big problem I have with the vehicle is the seating configuration. You are very limited with the number of passengers and cargo you can comfortably carry. I can't believe they didn't offer a 2nd row 60/40 split bench and a 50/50 split 3rd bench. The second row middle seat is a joke. I don't think I would ever use it because it is so uncomfortable.
On a positive note, the front seats and 2nd row captains seats are very comfortable.
IMO the seating configuration is going to limit sales somewhat. The dealership I was at had at least eight on the lot. My salesman said that they weren't dealing yet, but he didn't think it would be long before they would have to start.
My gut feeling is that Toyota missed the mark with the new Highlander because of the seating configuration. Don't get me wrong, the Highlander will sell just fine because of Toyota's reputation for quality. But I don't think the overall design is good enough to command a premium price for very long, given the competition.
#1112 of 2952 Re: Yes. [pablox]
Jul 29, 2007 (7:42 pm)
The you get into manufacturing productivity. This is where Toyota and Honda veer sharply away from the domestics. With the Big 3 you can order what you want and theyll build it ala carte.
With Honda you have NO OPTIONS.
With toyota you have combined packages.
Limiting the variations increases productivity during manufacturing, this increase the length of the runs which decreases downtime and potential processing errors...and increases profits.
Every time Honda and Toyota come out with a new model it's the same discussion over and over and over. Then in 3 months there are all the variations you might want.. Life goes on
#1113 of 2952 08 Highlander
Jul 29, 2007 (7:56 pm)
I have to say, the new 08 Highlander is quite an ugly looking, cost reduction vehicle. It looks just like another Mitsubishi Outlander!
#1114 of 2952 Re: Yes. [kdhspyder]
Jul 29, 2007 (8:27 pm)
I get the reason for option packages. I have a degree in operations analysis. I'm pretty familiar with manufacturing processes. Part of what I'm saying is if Toyota wants to have options packages, then do it. Don't imply on Toyota's corporate site that I can get certain options and then feed me off to a regional site that disagrees. I'm not asking for options that don't exist. The parts are in the factory. I'm asking for them to be combined slightly differently than they are usually. That just takes some typing into a computer.
Also, sure, Honda/Acura has option packages. No problem. The difference is those packages are nationwide and set by Honda, not some regional distributor.
It doesn't matter really. I have zero sympathy for Toyota in this case. I know what they can do as far as manufacturing and I know what kind of people tend to work at dealers and at the regional level.
It's pure stupidity that gets perpetuated because nobody thinks to try and do it better. The problems they've had with the Tundra launch bear out what I'm saying.
#1115 of 2952 Re: 08 Highlander [hvan3]
Jul 29, 2007 (8:35 pm)
So what in its class is better?