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Toyota's Faux Factory Order Page

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Supposedly ordered a vehicle to my wishes ( https://www.toyota.com/configurator/build/step/model/year/2023/series/rav4hybrid/model/4444/https://www.toyota.com/configurator/build/step/model/year/2023/series/rav4hybrid/model/4444/ ), upon which a local dealer handles the paperwork. Dealer tells me, "Well, it's not REALLY and factory order; you get put upon a list for incoming vehicles that are close to what you want." Appears damn misleading to me.

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Posted by: @bajaskier

Dealer tells me, "Well, it's not REALLY and factory order; you get put upon a list for incoming vehicles that are close to what you want." Appears damn misleading to me.

That is totally true because Toyota and Honda too work based off of an allocation system and they don't do custom/factory order. The dealership does not know what they will be receiving until they've been allocated those units. So yes you can tell the dealership what you want and they'll find what is the closest to what you want either from their own allocation or swap it with another dealership. So no it was not misleading and you've been told the truth.

Thanx, I was apparently told the truth by the dealership, however the webpage is a lie.

No the webpage is not a lie either because it doesn't say build for custom order. It's just there to show you what packages and options and prices are available for each car and each trim. If you read the print of the last page after you've "built" the car specification you want it does say actual availability depends on what dealerships are given by Toyota. It's there to show you the options so you can see them and then tell the dealership what you want so they can try to find you the best match. I'm sure people would want to see available options and trims etc. from the comfort of their own home.

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No, the auto plant doesn't fire up the assembly line to make a custom car when a customer puts in an order. The cost of that would be astronomical. This isn't fast food. The cars are already made.

That's why there are predetermined options. A limited number is made, and you choose from what they have, or look for the car that has the package you want.

 

That's just how mass production works.

Thus, the webpage is a lie.

I don’t know, I haven’t seen the webpage

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Posted by: @mmj

No, the auto plant doesn't fire up the assembly line to make a custom car when a customer puts in an order. The cost of that would be astronomical.

That's actually the way it used to work back in the day. You could order a car with whatever individual options you wanted rather than a handful of pre-defined packages. If what you wanted was not on the dealer's lot you could special order it and the factory would build it and ship it. Want a V8 engine but don't want to pay for power steering, power brakes, or electric windshield wipers? No problem, just check off the things you want on the option sheet. (Typically the base model would be really bare-bones. Practically everything was an option.)

Yup, that's how I remember it. The webpage is a lie.

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Posted by: @bajaskier

Appears damn misleading to me.

Yep, it is.

 

Sadly (or rather gladly) Japanese car manufacturers don’t do it like the French.

On a French car, at least back in the day, there were hundreds of different variants of each model (color, roof color, interior trim color, seat color, wheels, etc.) and you could pick the exact perfect spec - and the factory would actually make your specific car, nowadays almost one does it anymore.

 

i think only Citroen does it? A niece car maker in Europe, they offer 97 exterior and interior combinations, (over 1,000 different combinations total) - they deliver the exact spec you ordered, because it’s tailor made.

 

But, even on Japanese, with their limited amount of variations, in 99% of cases you can get the car you ordered!

Find a dealer that’ll guarantee that they’ll deliver the car you ordered, and if they won’t they offer it and you choose if it’s ””close enough””

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Posted by: @FJCruiser2014

The point is with Toyota or Honda you don't order a car. The most you can do is tell the (...)

I know, I know. It's a horrid system, and a lot do better.

 

For example, Earlier this year I've ordered and received new (non-Japanese) cars, the car I ordered was assigned to me when it has got on the transport ship and I got an SMS that it's on its way.

Find a dealer that’ll guarantee that they’ll deliver the car you ordered, and if they won’t they offer it and you choose if it’s ””close enough””

What's said here is that of course you want a dealership to have a high level of confidence that they will receive a car that's in that specification sometime - dealerships might not know what's coming when, but they do know what cars come frequently into their lots and what come much less frequently.

I have friends who work in those kinds of dealerships and they tell me that the allocations are not random, and usually you know what types of cars to expect, sometimes even what roughly the distribution of trim level.

It's about being able to cancel the order as dealerships are scammy as something to watch out for in the paper work, you never know what they have changed there. (Since nowadays about 1/3 of Toyota sales in the US are done through independent Toyota dealerships) so you must make sure that it's cancelable. 

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It’s dumb. There is no such thing as a factory order. It’s the dealership shenanigan model. We are stuck with it, unless you utilize a loophole like Tesla does.

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Posted by: @dan

Find a dealer that’ll guarantee that they’ll deliver the car you ordered, and if they won’t they offer it and you choose if it’s ””close enough””

The point is with Toyota or Honda you don't order a car. The most you can do is tell the dealership your preferences and they'll put you on the list and call you when they have that car coming; they'll tell you what specifications it has and then you get the first right of refusal based on your place on their list. Even the dealership doesn't know what they'll be receiving until they're allocated the car and it gets scheduled for production; the whole control of this is with Toyota. Which is why no dealership will guarantee they can deliver the exact car you want. For example during covid they're producing more higher trims and adding more profitable packages. So again really no guarantee at all. If someone wants less of this not knowing what they'll get they should do Honda over Toyota because Honda doesn't have additional packages like Toyota does so they'll get the exact car/trim.

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Posted by: @dan

I've ordered and received new (non-Japanese) cars, the car I ordered was assigned to me when it has got on the transport ship and I got an SMS that it's on its way.

Yes with non Japanese cars that is totally how it is such as with American automakers, but it's the never the case with Japanese automakers .

Posted by: @dan

but they do know what cars come frequently into their lots and what come much less frequently.

The type of car yes they can have an idea but what color or what packages is a guess for them because the manufacturer can change it at any time before scheduling production of the units.

Posted by: @dan

It's about being able to cancel the order as dealerships are scammy as something to watch out for in the paper work, you never know what they have changed there. (Since nowadays about 1/3 of Toyota sales in the US are done through independent Toyota dealerships) so you must make sure that it's cancelable. 

I didn't say anything about the being able to cancel part, my point was that one can't expect the dealership to guarantee them a specific color and package option when it comes to Japanese cars. Yes dealerships do a lot of scammy stuff but it doesn't mean every single thing out there is a dealership scam. Like I said the person will be put on the dealership waitlist and get the first right of refusal when they know they exact allocation so they're not required to buy the car or anything until they know the specifics of the car. You can't even expect an exact buyers order unless the car is already allocated.

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