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2015 Highlander LE Plus
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter #21
I guess I'm curious about what you are looking for that is so hard to find. I guess I was fortunate. There was only one Hybrid XLE close to what I wanted within 300 miles and my dealer traded for it four days before it was produced. Apparently the bench seat with nav is a tough combo to get. You can't even build it on toyota.com.
XLE AWD Blizzard Pearl with Black softex and 2nd row captain's chairs. It's the AWD part that is making things difficult since here in far south Texas everything is FWD. Closest matching vehicle I've found is in San Antonio which is 3.5 hour drive. I'm not sure if my dealer here can do a "trade" with them, but I don't see any financial incentive for them to do so if they're giving me special pricing that I won't be able to get anywhere else. If I was willing to pay more (I'm not, since I can afford to wait) and buy from anyone I'd just do a deal with the San Antonio dealer, have the car delivered, and be done with it.
 

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2015 Highlander LE Plus
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77 Posts
Discussion Starter #22

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145 Posts
XLE AWD Blizzard Pearl with Black softex and 2nd row captain's chairs. It's the AWD part that is making things difficult since here in far south Texas everything is FWD. Closest matching vehicle I've found is in San Antonio which is 3.5 hour drive. I'm not sure if my dealer here can do a "trade" with them, but I don't see any financial incentive for them to do so if they're giving me special pricing that I won't be able to get anywhere else. If I was willing to pay more (I'm not, since I can afford to wait) and buy from anyone I'd just do a deal with the San Antonio dealer, have the car delivered, and be done with it.
Interesting. Here in Tennessee it's 80% AWD. In fact, my dealer didn't even ask me if I wanted AWD; he just assumed it. You're probably looking for the most popular color combo so that helps.
 

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Premium Member
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2,218 Posts
If what you want isn't being shipped to your area, you could be waiting forever.

The dealer gets cars from a regional distributor, and it's that regional distributor who decides what to order from the factory for dealer inventory. The distributor tries to pick things that they know will sell in a reasonable amount of time. If your distributor (Gulf States Toyota for Texas) is afraid to put an AWD car on the lot somewhere, they'll never order one and then the dealer you want to work with will never be able to trade with another dealer or get it from the incoming pipeline.

Thanks to this forum, you know what the new car should cost. It's by no means an automatic assumption that it will cost you more to order one. It may cost a little more to trade for one that's already on another dealer's lot because there are some logistical challenges involved in that transaction. It doesn't cost the dealer any more than it normally would for you to order one, wait, and have the new car delivered directly to the dealer.

When I bought a 2015 Tacoma, the regional distributor just wouldn't order a TRD Sport with Premium Audio - essentially adding navigation for a whopping $300. Everything else was fine - color combo was easy, TRD Sport is all over, all other options I wanted were there - except for that one detail. So I had to cave and order it the way I wanted it. I still got a great deal from the dealer, just as if I was taking one home from the lot that day.
 

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straight cash homie
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20,220 Posts
If what you want isn't being shipped to your area, you could be waiting forever.

The dealer gets cars from a regional distributor, and it's that regional distributor who decides what to order from the factory for dealer inventory. The distributor tries to pick things that they know will sell in a reasonable amount of time. If your distributor (Gulf States Toyota for Texas) is afraid to put an AWD car on the lot somewhere, they'll never order one and then the dealer you want to work with will never be able to trade with another dealer or get it from the incoming pipeline.

Thanks to this forum, you know what the new car should cost. It's by no means an automatic assumption that it will cost you more to order one. It may cost a little more to trade for one that's already on another dealer's lot because there are some logistical challenges involved in that transaction. It doesn't cost the dealer any more than it normally would for you to order one, wait, and have the new car delivered directly to the dealer.

When I bought a 2015 Tacoma, the regional distributor just wouldn't order a TRD Sport with Premium Audio - essentially adding navigation for a whopping $300. Everything else was fine - color combo was easy, TRD Sport is all over, all other options I wanted were there - except for that one detail. So I had to cave and order it the way I wanted it. I still got a great deal from the dealer, just as if I was taking one home from the lot that day.
Regional distributor is only GST or SET. Rest of country, Toyota Motor Sales is the distributor, through their regional offices. The dealer can ask the regional office and it is up to them to decide whether to take the order or find the vehicle closest to your preferences (Their preferred route since it was already planned). Depending on where a vehicle is in the cycle, it shouldn't be too hard for the regional office to change a build order (color choices, factory/post production options), especially for a NAP vehicle (North American Production) vs Japan.
 

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straight cash homie
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20,220 Posts
I'm wondering why Toyota doesn't use this global shut down time now to change over to the 2021 models
Because they still have 2020 models that were planned to be built? But yeah, this virus has everyone throwing their annual game plan up in the air. We don't know what they'll do, extend the model year? Who knows...
 

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2020 Highlander Limited, Moondust / Graphite, RAV4
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448 Posts
A recent talk show said that many manufactures have said they will look at the numbers, and likely take care of any special orders and start looking towards setting up for production of the 2021 models and just deal with a low inventory. They said they can't go into production and make up the units they have and or will have lost and than make 2021's without an inventory overload. One did say they are looking into releasing 2021's the first of then year, giving them time to, see what they can get rid of in 2020 and building accordingly. This was based on not really knowing when this will all end, which is making it even harder to know what to do, or when to do it, but all seemed to think that 2020's will be low volume models.

The longer this goes on, the less likely they said, that there would be many more 2020 models made. One did say "Unless we forget the 2021 models altogether?"
 

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I think this situation would have to carry on well into the summer for them to call it quits on model year 2020. The reason is that manufacturers have to meet overall fuel economy standards for all of the vehicles they crank out in a model year. Because of that, it would be crazy for them to just forget 2020 at this point and call everything a 2021. They could really mess up their average for 2021 doing that.
 

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2020 Highlander Limited, Moondust / Graphite, RAV4
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I think this situation would have to carry on well into the summer for them to call it quits on model year 2020. The reason is that manufacturers have to meet overall fuel economy standards for all of the vehicles they crank out in a model year. Because of that, it would be crazy for them to just forget 2020 at this point and call everything a 2021. They could really mess up their average for 2021 doing that.
Yeah, but likely the government would let this slide like so many other things that are not, and will not be the norm this year.

With many states now setting the end of May as the return to "Normal" date (whatever that is going to be), that puts us damn near the 6 month mark. It will be interesting to see if May 30 (isn) does happen and what exactly does happen. With folks broke or damn near broke, what will they buy, what will they be able to buy, and when will they start buying. If it takes 2+ months (which many of the folks in-the-know are saying), now you are in the 7th or 8th month?
 

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Why would they let this one slide?
Frankly, I don't see the benefit of starting model year 2021 early. Why drive down the value of any 2020 models on lots or already stuck in the pipeline any further by making them last year's model? At least for Highlander, there's nothing to retool for 2021, so I'm sure they were not planning an extensive shutdown of the plant anyway just to change model years. Maybe on models where the manufacturers were planning big changes, it might sense to change before restarting production, but I think that would be the exception and not the rule. If this was last year and Toyota was going to shut the plant down for a number of weeks anyway to change to TNGA for the Highlander, then yes, it would make a lot more sense, assuming all of their suppliers were ready to switch at the same time.

At normal capacity, they're turning out 20,000 Highlanders a month. If you have 4 or 5 months left in the model year, that's almost another 100,000 units.
 

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2020 Highlander Hybrid
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903 Posts
The timing of 2021 may depend on the availability of the 2021 Highlander XSE. It would not make much sense to launch a 2021 Highlander without it. It would also be kind of odd to get people into a showroom to look at an 2021 XSE and upsell them to a Hybrid, Limited, or a Platinum but it’s “last year’s model” so now they are expecting a discount or are going to be deferring a decision until the 2021s arrive in the trim they want.

It also doesn’t make much sense to launch any new model year unless people are in an aspirational buying mood. If you need a vehicle now then it probably doesn’t matter much, to you, what model year it is. Paying a premium for next year’s model is probably more about a want than a need. Right now, a lot of wants are taking a back seat to needs.
 
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