Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

Question for anyone who ordered a RAV4 Hybrid

6743 Views 45 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  impetus19
I called the dealer that we bought our prius from a number of years back and he seemingly took an order for '23 RAV4 Hybrid LE + BSM. No deposit, MSRP pricing, and he said he would send a spec sheet when available. Also that is could take 9-12 months.
Question is, does Toyota take retail orders or is it mostly dealer stock?
From the sound of my "order" it sounds more as if they are putting me inline for dealer stock that matches what I am looking for.
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
When I purchased in March of this year it was explained to me that each 2 weeks the dealers gets an allocation. You get to pick from the allocations that aren't spoken for. So in your case, it sounds like when something comes up with your specs and isn't spoken for you will be in the queue. Once they give you a build date about a two months to get to dealer for KY builds and quicker for Canada builds.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I put a deposit down in July for a 2022 SE, being in New England there are a ton of Toyota dealers but I found one in Maine that had the lowest Market Value adjustment, so you get put inline as their dealer stock. (Some dealers were up charging between $3000 to $5000 extra)
I wasn't allocated one until October that met my specs, build date was end of October and the SE was just delivered this past Wednesday. So all in all took about 4 months.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Yes, the allocation system was how it was explained to me. Toyota does not build to customer orders, I was told; they churn out a bunch of vehicles, probably based on dealers' wish lists, what parts they want to get off the shelf, who knows? And then there is a mix and match game as they decide where to offer vehicles based on how close they are to the desired spec sheets from dealers. I was told to expect anything from 2-8 months. The salesman suggested that I do a barebones wish list and expect to have some unwanted items thrown in. This was drawn up on May 24, 2022.

I worked with a dealer in upstate New York. They did not make any 'market adjustment' or whatever other anodyne phrase they want to use for 'bend over and give us whatever we want or we go down the list.' I put a $1000 deposit down, fully refundable up to the point of final signing for ownership (they know they can sell it on quickly). On August 4, I got an email from the dealer with a spec sheet on a vehicle- do I want it or not? It was close; I wanted a bare bones XLE and the offered one had the heated seat package, a Homelink mirror, and those totally useless carpet pieces that I will always hate Toyota for. $1500 above the base. Oh, it was Lunar Rock, the color I really wanted, so...!!!

The dealer thinks that my car was actually supposed to go somewhere else but something fell through and it was offered to them. Something about the process was not typical.

I took it. Vehicle arrived in the US the last week of August (built in Japan). Was at the dealer and I picked it up the last day of August. So a couple of days over 3 months, and what I wanted plus a bit. No audio package, moonroof, auto liftgate, or other items that I very much did not want. The heated seats and steering wheel are actually supposed to be good with the hybrid- less demands on ICE when warming up if you use them instead of turning heater fan immediately.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
You should follow up with the salesperson asking the direct question: "Do I have a custom order or are you awaiting an allocation".

It doesn't sound like you have a custom order in the queue but I can't guess at that any more than you can.

What makes you think it IS an order? Did you specifically say "Hey buddy this is Mike, it's been a while, I'd like you to place a custom order car for me, great thanks!" Or was the salesman like "Mike who, never mind, I have your number and I'll let you know when something is available"
 

· Registered
2021 RAV4 XLE Premium Hybrid
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
I called the dealer that we bought our prius from a number of years back and he seemingly took an order for '23 RAV4 Hybrid LE + BSM. No deposit, MSRP pricing, and he said he would send a spec sheet when available. Also that is could take 9-12 months.
Question is, does Toyota take retail orders or is it mostly dealer stock?
From the sound of my "order" it sounds more as if they are putting me inline for dealer stock that matches what I am looking for.
There has been a lot of, sometimes heated, debate on this forum as to whether you can "custom order" a Toyota, or do you get on a list for an allocation. It sounds to me that you are on a list for a future allocation. When the dealer gets an allocation for a car that is close to what you want, he will contact you to see if you want that one. That is actually the fastest way to get something near what you want. My son and I just went through that process for a Toyota Prius, which will be delivered to us next Monday.

But it is possible to place a custom order depending on the dealer, the current state of supply, and some other factors. My dealer is seventh in the nation in fleet orders, placing orders for up to 100 vehicles at a time, so my dealer will take a custom order, which is what I did in '21 for my RAV4 XLE Premium hybrid. When a fleet customer wants 100 vehicles, mostly alike, there is no way in the allocation system to accommodate that, so factory custom orders are allowed.

In my case, I placed a custom order in May '21, specifying exactly what I wanted (trim level, colors, options, and accessories). About two weeks later, my dealer informed me that my order had been accepted by Toyota and my RAV4 would be built on July 25. It was built then, and I received it at the end of August. So, yes, custom orders are possible, depending --.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
We were at a Subaru dealer in October of 2021. Bad experience, they wanted full MSRP for a Demo Forester with 12,000 miles on the car, and a dent in the side ! I said, "I'm not paying full MSRP for a used car", and walked. With our certified check.
There was a Toyota dealer next door, and on a whim dropped in to talk about cars. The salesperson , said they had a RAV 4 Hybrid LE "allocated" to the dealership, MSRP to be built in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2 weeks. He showed the allocated car to me on his laptop.
Specs were fixed; special paint (Ruby Red) , floor mats, cross traffic/blind spot. That was it for extras. We drew up a contract to buy the car, at MSRP with the VIN number, selling price and any dealer doc fees, etc.
So we left a $500 deposit. Car was delivered Nov 17th 2021, 5 weeks later. I had never even sat in a RAV 4 Hybrid, (no demos available) so I told dealer I wanted a test drive before I handed over check. Drove the car, with 8 miles on the ODO, and bought it.
I think if you can find a car that has already been allocated to a dealer is a better way to go. You know the specs, get the price in writing. Ask the dealer for the monroney, to be sure you are getting a car at MSRP. The monroney is a legal document, the dealer can't fudge it with "Market adjustments".

What is a monroney ?
 

· Registered
2015 Prius
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
You should follow up with the salesperson asking the direct question: "Do I have a custom order or are you awaiting an allocation".

It doesn't sound like you have a custom order in the queue but I can't guess at that any more than you can.

What makes you think it IS an order? Did you specifically say "Hey buddy this is Mike, it's been a while, I'd like you to place a custom order car for me, great thanks!" Or was the salesman like "Mike who, never mind, I have your number and I'll let you know when something is available"
Thanks,
Yes, i reached out to the manager who I had worked with for our prius and asked to put an order in. From the way it sounded though, from his response, it appeared to just be on a waiting list for a dealer stock model similarly optioned comes in. Which i am fine with generally because i am not overly picky. I was hoping to get something a little more concrete of an order though...
 

· Registered
2015 Prius
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We were at a Subaru dealer in October of 2021. Bad experience, they wanted full MSRP for a Demo Forester with 12,000 miles on the car, and a dent in the side ! I said, "I'm not paying full MSRP for a used car", and walked. With our certified check.
There was a Toyota dealer next door, and on a whim dropped in to talk about cars. The salesperson , said they had a RAV 4 Hybrid LE "allocated" to the dealership, MSRP to be built in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2 weeks. He showed the allocated car to me on his laptop.
Specs were fixed; special paint (Ruby Red) , floor mats, cross traffic/blind spot. That was it for extras. We drew up a contract to buy the car, at MSRP with the VIN number, selling price and any dealer doc fees, etc.
So we left a $500 deposit. Car was delivered Nov 17th 2021, 5 weeks later. I had never even sat in a RAV 4 Hybrid, (no demos available) so I told dealer I wanted a test drive before I handed over check. Drove the car, with 8 miles on the ODO, and bought it.
I think if you can find a car that has already been allocated to a dealer is a better way to go. You know the specs, get the price in writing. Ask the dealer for the monroney, to be sure you are getting a car at MSRP. The monroney is a legal document, the dealer can't fudge it with "Market adjustments".

What is a monroney ?
I have called around to as many local places as I can, but nobody has a Hybrid LE/XLE allocated and available. Also i am not in a huge rush so 6 months is fine, just want to make sure I am on the list.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Thanks,
Yes, i reached out to the manager who I had worked with for our prius and asked to put an order in. From the way it sounded though, from his response, it appeared to just be on a waiting list for a dealer stock model similarly optioned comes in. Which i am fine with generally because i am not overly picky. I was hoping to get something a little more concrete of an order though...
Not sure what is going on, of course, but you have a lot of 'sounded like' 'appeared' 'hoping to get something more concrete.'

When I placed a deposit, I was told clearly how the process worked. I was in line on the salesman's list. He would get me as close as possible, and if something was close and I was the 'top' person in his line for that model, I would get a chance to buy it. If I said no, I would stay on the top of the list for a better match. We actually had three 'dream' vehicles drawn up, one to be actively persued (what came through) and two that if one became available I would like a chance to buy.

When I first spoke to the dealer, I was offered a Venza coming in a couple of weeks. Obviously an allocated vehicle on its way to the dealer where the supposed buyer backed out or they just took it in when allocated, planning to be able to sell it. Later, another dealer offered me a Prius AWD (I was looking for one at the same time) where a customer backed out (the dealer wanted above MSRP and had some other warning signs for me).

Personally, I would push for more concrete information from the dealer. Salesmen are balancing a lot of people and desires and limited vehicles. They are competing with other salespeople at the dealership for actual vehicles to sell. Buyers are connected to more than one dealer hoping to see who delivers first. The dealer who offered me the Prius had no money from me, they just thought they'd give me a shot, and I never heard from them again.
 

· Registered
NC '19 Rav4 Hybrid Limited, Entune 3.0, Adaptive Headlights, Advanced Technology Package
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
I have called around to as many local places as I can, but nobody has a Hybrid LE/XLE allocated and available. Also i am not in a huge rush so 6 months is fine, just want to make sure I am on the list.

Welcome to the parts shortage era. And expensive gas (my area went up 20 cents in the last week) created high demand for hybrids and plug-ins. So that old devil supply and demand.

Big dealers get more cars.

In some areas there is so much demand that dealers can risk damage to their reputation by charging well over MSRP and you still wait.
 

· Registered
2015 Prius
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sure what is going on, of course, but you have a lot of 'sounded like' 'appeared' 'hoping to get something more concrete.'

When I placed a deposit, I was told clearly how the process worked. I was in line on the salesman's list. He would get me as close as possible, and if something was close and I was the 'top' person in his line for that model, I would get a chance to buy it. If I said no, I would stay on the top of the list for a better match. We actually had three 'dream' vehicles drawn up, one to be actively persued (what came through) and two that if one became available I would like a chance to buy.

When I first spoke to the dealer, I was offered a Venza coming in a couple of weeks. Obviously an allocated vehicle on its way to the dealer where the supposed buyer backed out or they just took it in when allocated, planning to be able to sell it. Later, another dealer offered me a Prius AWD (I was looking for one at the same time) where a customer backed out (the dealer wanted above MSRP and had some other warning signs for me).

Personally, I would push for more concrete information from the dealer. Salesmen are balancing a lot of people and desires and limited vehicles. They are competing with other salespeople at the dealership for actual vehicles to sell. Buyers are connected to more than one dealer hoping to see who delivers first. The dealer who offered me the Prius had no money from me, they just thought they'd give me a shot, and I never heard from them again.
Agreed... I am going to reach out to get more details, I have an order for a hybrid Ford Maverick as well and that is an awful process, but i did get a confirmation for that Order and it's still 50/50 if it ever gets built.
In comparison this process seems very vague, every other dealer I called wouldn't put an order in for me and just try to sell me on a gas RAV4
 

· Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
Dan Daniel wrote,
I was offered a Venza coming in a couple of weeks.
A dealer offered us a Hybrid Venza ,at MSRP, before we found our RAV 4 Hybrid. The Venza, was coming from Japan, and hadn't even been built yet ! But somehow, it was allocated to this dealer ? After it was built, it would be loaded on a ship in Japan.
Then we would have to wait for the RORO ship, to come through the Panama canal, and find a port on the Eastern seaboard to offload. I said no thanks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
FKHeath
There has been a lot of, sometimes heated, debate on this forum as to whether you can "custom order" a Toyota, or do you get on a list for an allocation. It sounds to me that you are on a list for a future allocation. When the dealer gets an allocation for a car that is close to what you want, he will contact you to see if you want that one. That is actually the fastest way to get something near what you want.
Mr. FKHeath's response is probably the closest answer to your question, as there are too many variables to what seems to be a simple question.

New car dealerships in US operate differently based on each state laws and regulations. For instance, CA dealerships as members of dealership association are prohibited from pre-selling vehicles that are not on the lot. Most CA dealers would place you on a wait list with a small deposit for vehicles that they are allocated, and contact you when a matched or near matched vehicle is scheduled to arrive.
Furthermore, based on individual dealership yearly sales volume, dealership may also have agreements with the manufacturer that would impact their allocation, special order vehicle quantity and pricing, promotion incentives, etc. For instance, high volume dealerships may get (1-2) free promotional vehicles to support sale promotions But dealerships often use those vehicles to award their "best" employees, LOL.
If you further consider different country laws and regulations on dealership operations, a simple question becomes ten people with ten different answers.
 

· Registered
NC '19 Rav4 Hybrid Limited, Entune 3.0, Adaptive Headlights, Advanced Technology Package
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Someone's experience a year ago is liable to have no resemblance to what you might experience today. I can tell you I custom ordered in 2019 and received $3,500 off MSRP and had it in a month exactly matching my preferences and that would be true. But today, I wouldn't expect anything like any of those factors.

Still dealing with a big dealer is your best bet. Prior sales numbers influences how many cars a dealer gets allocated. Even what region influences what models and options can be ordered.

Your best bet is tell us where you are and what you want and someone may be able to point you in the right direction.
 

· Registered
2015 Prius
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the replies, I spoke with another dealer today and he was much more knowledgeable regarding the order process. Basically going to sit in queue until they receive dealer stock hybrid LE/XLE and then they will require a deposit to reserve it when the vehicle is scheduled for production. He's going to follow up every month or so just to make sure I still want to be on the list.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
You can't say the person you first spoke with wasn't knowledgeable as you hadn't talked to him since you "placed an order".
It sounds like you made an assumption based on a brief conversation and no follow up.
He was not technically wrong saying you have an order, it just isn't a custom order.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Still dealing with a big dealer is your best bet. Prior sales numbers influences how many cars a dealer gets allocated. Even what region influences what models and options can be ordered.
Although I think that you are correct, I look at my experience and things are backwards. Although my 'big dealer' size is peanuts compared to real cities. I am in upstate New York and the Toyota dealer I used is in Plattsburgh, pop 15k, 80k metro area. I also spoke to the dealer in Burlington, Vermont, pop.43k, 250k metro area, and in St. Albans, 6k but connected to the Burlington metro area and through other non-Toyota dealerships.

The Burlington dealer offered me a number in line. Not much more. Well, they did offer to not expect anything for 12-18 months. I felt like I was trying to get reservation at a hot high-end restaurant and they were sussing me out to see if I was a worthy client. The St. Albans Toyota dealer had obviously gone on a used gas engine buying binge and had a lot full of any Toyota you would want, used, almost all gas. Any used hybrid that came through was being sold over MSRP for a new model (e.g. 2019 Rav4 hybrid with 30k miles, $4k above list price for a comparable new model). And they simply refused to discuss new cars. Very strange.

The Plattsburgh dealer had almost no used cars on the lot. Or new ones. Who knows, maybe they had a good customer base, they knew their market well, and were playing inventory just right for the times. No games, no attitude. I pretty well decided that I would bide my time and buy through them unless the perfect car dropped into my lap from another dealer (who I kept in touch with in a minimal way).

Find a dealer that you want to work with. Although size is an advantage, it isn't the only factor. There may be advantages to a smaller dealer in a smaller market.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
I was at the St Albans Toyota dealer for a service visit on my 2021 RAV 4 Hybrid just today.
As I left their lot, I noticed a RAV 4 Prime, parked on the grass. Called back later to a salesperson I know, about this Plug-in Prime. Turns out it's a 2021 SE model with 18,800 miles on it. Has the sunroof package with an original MSRP price with options and delivery charges, of $41,628 .

They are asking $52,000 for this used car. That's amost $11,000 above the original MSRP !

Our first RAV 4 Hybrid, bought in November 2021 only took 5 weeks from dealer allocation (when we put down a deposit) to delivery. That was from a Toyota dealership in central Vermont. Been looking for a Highlander Hybrid, which wouldn't take a year, but will probably give up, :cry:and just buy a gas Highlander, we need to tow our boat.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top