Do (or should) Toyota dealers provide courtesy charging for Toyota Primes and Plug-ins?

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by SHDL, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. mad-dog-one

    mad-dog-one Prius Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    1,181
    417
    0
    Location:
    Whereabouts Unknown
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    ----USA----
    Several dealerships near me spend considerable money mailing advertising that encourages me to visit their shop. A smarter way to get my business would be to provide free charging while I visit their dealership. It is worth noting that this practice would backfire if the promised charging stations were not available when I visited.
     
    HPrimeAdvanced and pilotgrrl like this.
  2. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    7,028
    1,114
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    The advertising is effective when it includes an offer to pay me for visiting.
     
    Geo Dude and pilotgrrl like this.
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    47,049
    33,564
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    If they're down-to-earth, offer reasonable prices, stick to the maintenance schedule, are thorough and conscientious, I'd be there (If I wasn't mostly DIY). Perks, shmerks... :rolleyes:
     
  4. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    2,166
    1,383
    0
    Location:
    Somewhere in Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2013 Chevy Volt
    Model:
    N/A
    I likely would not have bought the volt if the place I went didn’t have at least a partial charge.

    A couple L1 can’t cost too much to operate
     
    MMBH likes this.
  5. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    698
    1,031
    20
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Here is a chart from the University of California, Davis "Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center" which shows the services customers want versus the services dealers provide:

    Ancillary-Sales-Support-Services.jpg

    It sure looks like the dealers haven't a clue about what their customers want.

    There have been a few comments about how Toyota differentiates between "cars" and "hybrids" in its marketing materials -- as if the latter were not cars. That, along with the data above, suggests that traditional dealerships may not be the appropriate channel for selling and supporting plug-ins.

    Possibly this is why Tesla customers have higher satisfaction with their purchase process.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    47,049
    33,564
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Maybe they just don't care? Nah...
     
    HPrimeAdvanced likes this.
  7. ct89

    ct89 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    323
    265
    1
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    So does Tesla do better on any of those categories?
    Does Tesla provide access to a non-EV for occasional use?

    I'm curious if they asked how much people would be willing to pay for such "valuable" services? Such services will not come without some cost to the dealer and therefore it is reasonable to expect the dealer to charge something for them. Even if the dealer didn't charge for the specific service, the cost would need to come from somewhere which would likely be the bottom line of the cars sold.

    There is not a single thing on that list I would pay extra for and the dealer with the lowest price likely gets my business so I kinda get why dealers don't offer these services. By offering the lowest price, the dealer clearly knows what I want.
     
  8. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    698
    1,031
    20
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Price, of course, is important. But if it were the only consideration, the best dealer would just park a few cars in a lot with price tags on them and let customers buy paying with their smartphones. The keys and title would be mailed to you and you could come back and drive away with the car at your convenience.

    Maybe that's a business model someone should try.

    However, most businesses make money by profit per unit sold x number of units sold. Squeezing the price down only helps if the dealer can still sell enough cars.
     
    Geo Dude likes this.
  9. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    11,698
    11,291
    0
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    That may be true for you, but I thought I would give my local Toyota dealer a chance to get my Prius purchase business. The salesman did not even know there were interior color options other than black on a 2017 Prius 2, the second year for Gen 4. He also refused to lower his price and wanted me to sell *him* what I wanted to pay.
    I drove 150 miles to deal with a Gen 1 Prius owner salesman who was very good. I also saved more money than the trip cost.
     
    HPrimeAdvanced likes this.
  10. Charly Brown

    Charly Brown Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    26
    9
    0
    Location:
    Miami, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    And that, my friend, is why buying a car on a dealer is as bad as visiting a dentist to get a tooth pulled out, it is not about caring for the customer but about making money, on their side, and saving money, on our side, or should I say on your side. I gladly pay -and have paid- a premium to avoid visiting a dealer and will gladly pay more for better service and EV charging stations for example. Heck I bought my first car even if leasing made a bit more sense to me just to avoid visiting a dealer every 3-4 years. I feel for car sellers because it is a miserable job, but this is why it is so miserable, someone needs to shake up the model, like Tesla is doing. Should I would have the 60K and the possibility of 220v charging at home and I would probably be on the Tesla forum

    This dealer-client cheap model works for you, but not for me. At all. And for a LOT of people doesn't work, just ask around

    And that just the dealer, don't let me start on their service department and their "throttle body maintenance", "fuel injector cleaning", "AC ducts cleaning" "nitrogen for the tires" etc, etc. They will squeeze every penny out of you if you allow them. One Toyota dealer was forcing me to sign a waiver because I declined to accept them to fill our my tires with nitrogen for an extra charge. Just unbelievable
     
    bisco and HPrimeAdvanced like this.
  11. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    2,297
    3,514
    0
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Well I guess I'm just a spoiled little brat!! When I test drove my Prime at Longo Toyota in El Monte California, my car was charged, which made a huge difference in the performance of the car. These buffoon salespeople described by posters are relying on the enthusiasm of us purchasers to buy the car without giving the client a proper demonstration. I would fire the salesman that worked for me that didn't have a car fully charged for the client upon delivery. My Prime also had a nearly full tank of gas when it was delivered to my house! How can these idiots expect to demonstrate the true potential of this car without having a fully charged EV battery.
    As a 23-year sales veteran of luxury cars and RVs, I was told to make sure that the car had plenty of fuel and was prepped for the client, clean and ready for delivery.
    The motto at the three dealerships I worked at was demo, demo, demo! How can you properly demo this Prime automobile without a fully charged EV battery? You can't!!
    I guess because I knew the right people to talk to, thanks to my connections in the auto industry, I was able to get the best possible service. I truly feel sorry for people who are being treated so badly as described here in this forum. What a shame!!
    Regarding charging stations at the dealership, there's no problem with having ChargePoint stations at the dealership so that clients can come and charge their cars. This way the dealership does not incur any excessive fees for electricity. The availability of charge stations at the dealership, even if they are pay stations, should be part of their business plan in this modern electrified world.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
    AChoiredTaste.com
     
  12. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    7,028
    1,114
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    "Regarding charging stations at the dealership, there's no problem with having ChargePoint stations at the dealership so that clients can come and charge their cars. This way the dealership does not incur any excessive fees for electricity. The availability of charge stations at the dealership, even if they are pay stations, should be part of their business plan in this modern electrified world."

    When clients realize that having to pay for electricity is "part of the business plan in this modern electrified world" then charging stations will be like weeds and appear everywhere. We aren't there yet--we're not even close.
     
    Geo Dude and HPrimeAdvanced like this.
  13. Charly Brown

    Charly Brown Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    26
    9
    0
    Location:
    Miami, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    And consider this: Prius Prime is the second highest selling EV car in the US, second only to Tesla Model 3 which sometimes exists sometime it doesn't o_O. With 25 sometimes 30 miles of EV range the Prime is considered an EV, but according to most of the Toyota dealerships and Toyota post-service model it is not, they don't even charge the car for a test drive? Polls of Prime buyers point out the ability to run on EV mode as the most important issue, the gas engine and hybrid mode being just an insurance against miles anxiety

    Imagine how many more Primes they will sell if they really push the EV? The Prime is above all the other pure EVs that have to sell their cars as EVs because it is what they are
     
    Geo Dude and HPrimeAdvanced like this.
  14. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    2,464
    886
    1
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    it would cost twice as much to charge up at the dealer stations then it would at any other station within 100 miles
     
    HPrimeAdvanced likes this.
  15. wfolta

    wfolta Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    366
    146
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Not a Prime, just a regular 2018, but while we were signing the paperwork, I could see the salesman at the gas station across the street filling the tank. Absolutely common sense to present the best use case, as you say. (To be honest, he probably topped it up so it took longer to see the gauge drop from Full on our first tank. Not necessarily the best practice, but it does leave a good impression.)

    I'm not a salesman, but I can see that sales is all about details like that. As an odd example, the Chevy Bolt has a screen in its inside rearview mirror where you can display video from the back camera, and it has a 360-degree view when backing up. Two very small things that inordinately juiced my desire to get a Bolt. (Ultimately, the EV charging network is too primitive to support an EV lifestyle yet, so we stayed with a Prius, but those two little touches really excited me. It's often the little things.)

    On a slightly-related note, if the Prime had a sunroof, we might've gotten one. To be honest, our current driving pattern is a textbook case for it -- we both walk to work, usually drive a few miles at a time, occasionally make long trips -- but our garaging situation doesn't. It's parked two floors underground below our condo, and it would cost a pretty penny to run power to our parking spot -- assuming the Board would allow us to use another circuit. Driving it as a big-batteried hybrid was a little appealing, and maybe we could score some free electricity from time to time. But the lack of sunroof killed the curiosity. (And the fact that we'd been very pleased with our 2010 Prius helped as well.)
     
    MMBH likes this.
  16. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    2,297
    3,514
    0
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    It does cost more for me to charge at public stations, whether generally located or at a dealer, than it does at my own house. But having the convenience of charging when I'm not near my home makes the electric experience a lot better for me in my Prime. The Prime performs so much better on EV mode than on hybrid mode, so I do go to the trouble of locating charging stations near my destinations whenever realistic. Eventually, I expect massive growth in the charging infrastructure, but as of now the many holes in the current system make it unusable for my driving style with a Electric Only (BEV) automobile, including the Tesla (way too expensive with the toys I would want/need). Remember, there ARE still many free stations which are very cool. I just don't know if dealers can afford to install them and provide free charging.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
    AChoiredTaste.com
     
    Geo Dude likes this.
  17. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    2,464
    886
    1
    Location:
    NY
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    There are other issues besides the cost to dealers to install a charger, but it is a very good one.
    Most dealer service departments complain about the cost of updating their diagnostic hardware (almost every year, these days )
    and leasing of the software from corporate. On that note, than there is the cost of technicians that know how to use the newer systems...
    On another note: it's almost as complex as consumer demand. wherever we live.
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    97,015
    44,008
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    just cause they complain, doesn't mean they ain't making money. i know a couple casually, very rich men.
    maybe the owners suck up the profits, and the employees suffer?
     
    HPrimeAdvanced likes this.
  19. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    698
    1,031
    20
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I was surprised to learn that Prime sales have been that robust compared to the other major players:

    2018-montly-sales-Q1.jpg

    It would seem that Toyota must be doing something right -- even without advertising and dealer support.

    Even so, 6,468 Primes in the first quarter is a very, very small number for a company the size of Toyota and the automotive market as a whole.

    One has to wonder if the Prime will ever be much more than a transitional technology and "proof of concept" for Toyota to use in developing more broadly marketed PHEVs in the future.

    Even if Toyota were to put an aggressive "brand manager" in charge of marketing the product, at best it might double or triple the sales volume. The Prime would still be a niche product whose greatest value to the company is its contribution to meeting the clean air requirements of California and the other states which have adopted CARB standards.

    If Tesla succeeds in ramping up its Model 3 production to anywhere near its 5000-units-per week target, the landscape will change dramatically. Meanwhile, there continues to be a slow but steady growth in overall EV sales which give EVs increased consumer credibility and make the small EV segment the fastest growing light-duty vehicle (LDV) category.

    MIT's Sloan Automotive Laboratory produced a major study of issues affecting the adoption of various future automotive technologies. The study a couple of years old, but it does a good job of explaining the complexity of the issues. You can find it online here: http://web.mit.edu/sloan-auto-lab/research/beforeh2/files/On-the-Road-toward-2050.pdf
     
    albus and HPrimeAdvanced like this.
  20. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    2,297
    3,514
    0
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I think Toyota did do something right with the Prime; they built a resonably-priced car that meets or exceeds most people's expectations for reliability and performance. With the weird exterior appearance, it stands out from the crowd.
    What's cool about the car industry is that it is continually changing; that's what makes cars so interesting to me.
    The challenge for consumers is making the right choice of vehicle from the myriad of cars out there; what will satisfy all my automotive needs, including practical and emotional, with my limited available funds.
    It can be a big gamble, but so far the Prime has been a safe bet!
    It is truly AMAZING to me that at least here in Southern California, with virtually no advertising at all, this car is selling so well. The Prime and its potential clients deserve better.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
    AChoiredTaste.com
     
    Geo Dude and albus like this.
Loading...