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Dealer-installed vs. port-installed options

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by RClarkofNC, May 17, 2005.

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  1. RClarkofNC

    RClarkofNC New Member

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    Hello, all. I've been lurking for a few weeks doing research and have decided to get in line for a Seaside #4. Thanks for all of the informative posts that helped to make the decision an easy one.

    I'm hoping you can help with one question I have regarding non-package options. I'm in the Southeast Toyota region and have used the "buyatoyota.com" site to look at incoming inventory. Does anyone know which options are installed at the port and which ones are installed by the dealer? For example, it would make sense for floor mats to be a dealer-installed option since there really isn't anything to install. However, sometimes the incoming inventory has them listed which I assume means that (at least sometimes) they are port-installed or maybe even factory-installed.

    On the other hand, the Toyoguard package (which I don't want) is included on some Prii but not others. Does the dealer have any say in what port options are installed on their allocation? If anyone can shed any light on this topic, it would be much appreciated.
  2. Fredatgolf

    Fredatgolf New Member

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    Having bought a number of Toyotas in the Southeast region, I have paid for Toyoguard a number of times. I always complain, but I know it will never do any good. The last time I complained my wonderful saleslady said with honesty that was refreshing, "I know, but you know they are going to make their money. I can tell you that Toyoguard includes now better stuff than it did 15 years ago. There may be a way to avoid it, but I don't know how.
  3. jeromep

    jeromep New Member

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    Too bad you are in the southeast Toyota region. I haven't heard particularly good things about buying a Toyota down there. Specifically all of the port option junk that they install which increases the price dramatically.

    If you find a decent dealer, he will have an allocation, but will also be able to trade units on this allocation for units of another dealer's allocation which may more closely represent what you want in your Prius.

    In the SE region port options include leather interiors, Toyogard, 6-disc changers for package 4 and lower vehicles, larger wheels, striping and other profit heavy items. You goal is to work with a dealer who will search what is coming into port and find something to bring into their dealership in their next allocation.
  4. IraJim44

    IraJim44 New Member

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    Just a little light here...

    There are three types of options available, Factory, Port and, Dealer. Factory options are known as "Standard Features" but in some cases are actually options. Port options are usually listed on the right side of the Monroney Sticker "aka Window Sticker." These include your packages (AI, BI, BC so on so forth...) Wheel locks, Floor Mats, Side Air Bags (if not included in package) Auto-Dim Mirror, 6-Disc CD Player, Preferred Accessory package (First-Aid Kit, Cargo Mat, Emergency Assistance Kit, Cargo Net, Cargo Cover amongst others.) Then dealer installed, which are usually aftermarket, such as Alarms (if not already equipped) Window Tint, Lo-Jack, GuidePoint Systems, Auto-Bahnd, Wind Deflectors, Leather, Heated Seats, and all types of other junk. These SHOULD be listed on a separate sticker on the car with the "adjusted MSRP" but always aren't. Those are the options you need to be careful of. Factory and Port installed options have profit included whereas Dealer option prices are independent and profit depends on where you buy. Some dealerships take these cars off their truck (If not already assigned to a customer) and add these options to increase their profit. This is called "loading" and should be illegal. Unfortuantely it isn't and therefore dealers are able to do this. The ToyoGuard and others are port installed but, at the dealer's request, therefore increasing profit margin.

    P.S. I am knowlegable about the business.

    Jim
  5. DanMan32

    DanMan32 New Member

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    I beg to differ. Your packages (AI, BI, BC so on so forth...) are factory options. Those that change from region (port) to region (port) are port options, such as leather, pirelli wheels, etc.

    I really don't think you can get side airbags except as a factory option with a package.
  6. IraJim44

    IraJim44 New Member

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    I'm sorry, my mistake, the "Packages" are... the rest... port installed.
  7. RClarkofNC

    RClarkofNC New Member

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    Thanks, all. Very informative discussion.

    Do regions other than SE offer leather as an option? I was considering going to nearby Virginia or Tennessee if I couldn't find what I wanted through my local SET dealer. I want leather, though, so going outside my region may not work if leather is only a southeast thing.

    Does the dealer have any say in what port options are installed on their allocation? For example, if I see a car in their future incoming deliveries at buyatoyota.com and it includes an option I don't want (like ToyoGuard or the carbon fiber dash) or doesn't include an option I do want (like leather and window tint) can they change it before delivery? Or would I have to take it as-is?
  8. gschoen

    gschoen Member

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    Even if it's not offered as a port option, many dealers will arrange for the leather to be installed prior to delivery, though you may have to pay for it in advance (or extra deposit). It would be like pinstriping or some other option they pay someone else to do and make a profit for arranging the service for you.

    A number of people reported on the forums having leather installed by an aftermarket place (the same places that owuld do it for a dealer) with very good results. It would probably be cheaper than paying the dealer since you cut out the middleman, and maybe give you more options for what you want.
  9. RClarkofNC

    RClarkofNC New Member

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    Are the after-market leather jobs as good as the port-installed ones? I'm quite pleased with the factory/port leather on my Sequoia.

    It seems like having the leather installed after manufacture would cost more than doing it at the factory since the materials and labor that go into covering the seats in fabric first is wasted (unless the leather just goes over the fabric anyways -- not sure about that).
  10. IraJim44

    IraJim44 New Member

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    Yes, dealers do have a say in what is and is not installed in an incoming vehicle. Unfortunately, once something is installed, it can't be removed. For example, if you wanted a 6-Disc CD changer installed and its not part of the package you've ordered, it can be added. Its not exactly the same, its still in dash it just deletes the storage compartment underneath the stock stereo. As far as removing things, it can't be done. If you didn't want the 6-disc but liked some parts of the AI package, like VSC and TRAC, you'll have to live with the extra cost of the changer.

    We install aftermarket leather on a regular basis and I truly believe its of a higher quality than factory leather. Although the factory leather is nice, most aftermarket upholstery shops carry a thicker/more durable product. It is a little softer also. It usually runs around 1200-1800 dollars depending on the vehicle. Another nice part is that its is usually backed with a lifetime warranty whereas factory is covered only by the 3yr/36k basic warranty. Same thing with sunroofs.
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