Last June, we decided we wanted a new car. While we love and adore our car, it`s getting old (by Japanese standards). And, just about that time our air conditioning pump developed a problem. All repaired under warranty, but we figured that it was as good a time as ever. Our car`s shaken expires in March, so it seemed a good idea to buy a car before we would have to pay those fees again. On July 1st, we put in an order for the 2010 Prius.
I have never bought a car in the US – but I understand that the whole purchase process is quite a bit different there. (Please correct me if I`m wrong…) Apparently you go to a lot and look at the available cars, usually choosing one of the many on the lot or ask the dealer to have one delivered from another lot somewhere. If you`re unlucky, you may have to wait a bit until another shipment comes in and the model/color you want is available.
In Japan, when you order your car – they make the car for you. You choose your options, your color, etc – and they actually send an order to the factory. Dealers only have display models, nothing you can drive home. Normally this doesn`t take all that much time. When we ordered our current car, it was made and at the dealer to pick up in a week or two. However, when there are a lot of orders you have to wait your turn. You get your car pretty much as soon as it is made, but there is still a wait.
With the 2010 Prius, the number of orders was (and still is) much higher than the actual manufacturing speed. We placed our order on July 1st, and have finally received news that it will begin on the production line the 17th. The car will be delivered to the dealer the week of the 25th, and we will be able to pick it up on the 27th or 28th. We will have been waiting for 8 months.