Several reports of price gouging on the new 2010 Prius have been reported at Toyota dealerships across the country.
While the $4,500 rebate offered with the (now completed) cash-for-clunkers program made the Prius an attractive buy, many dealerships were apparently engaging in a little creative market value adjustment of their own, to capitalize on the in-demand hybrid.
According to DailyTech, several dealerships have reportedly been asking for thousands more than the sticker price. One Lake Placid, Florida, resident posted on PriusChat that his local Toyota dealer was asking for $4,000 over the sticker price, while a New Jersey resident claimed they were told they’d have to pay $6,500 over MSRP.
Not being the lazy sort, the folks at DailyTech called their local Toyota dealership, Suburban Toyota in Troy, Michigan and were told they’d have to pay $4,000 to $5,000 over MSRP to get into the last Prius that dealer had on its lot. They were even pressured to make a deal quickly before the car was sold to someone else.
DailyTech has since contacted Toyota but has not had a reply.
Currently the Prius is in short supply in the U.S. for two main reason. The first is that overall production has been slowed as a result of Toyota’s battery supplier’s inability to keep up with demand. In addition, the high demand for the car in Japan has Toyota filling orders in its home market first, as the unfavorable exchange rate with the U.S. dollar makes sales in Japan significantly more profitable.