Toyota Logs 75k Prius Pre-Orders; Camaro Fans Left in the Lurch

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota logs 75k prius pre orders camaro fans left in the lurch

Toyota’s third-generation Prius hybrid launches in Japan on Monday, with a European rollout scheduled for July, and already they firm has amassed 75k pre-orders worldwide. Of course, Toyota won’t confirm the number, which originated in a Nikkei report printed in Automotive News [sub]. Honda’s Insight has already become Japan’s top-selling car, the first hybrid to hold such a title. And all this despite oil and gas prices that are significantly weaker than a year ago. But, as GM is currently proving, pre-orders can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth.

GM had about 15,000 pre-orders for its new Camaro, which was not a huge surprise considering the rabid fanbase, long absence of a comparable model, and two years of relentless GM hype. The only problem is that pre-ordering turned out to be little more than a GM exploitation of the fanboys for a little free marketing (and cashflow). Angry pre-order customers have flooded the “ Tour Of The New Camaro” thread at GM Fastlane, complaining that despite having made hefty deposits, their pony cars have yet to arrive.

Faced with a comment-thread revolt, Camaro Marketing Manager John Fitzpatrick tried to respond. “As much as we would like to accomplish the challenges provided in these posts, we must honor the dealer agreements and state laws that are in place that govern allocating products to dealers,” he wrote. “To build just orders with ‘R6P’ [pre-order] for the next two months (or for however long it would take) would put us in violation of these agreements and laws. Please be assured that does not mean we are ignoring these orders or not trying to build as many as we can.”

But hell hath no fury like a Camaro fan scorned, and several questioned what the point of a pre-order program was, if not to deliver the first cars to enthusiasts who put down over $1K for a car based on a prototype or magazine picture. “We wanted to determine demand,” admits Fitzpatrick. “We wanted to provide a realistic expectation of when vehicles would be produced.” But the Camaro kids weren’t mollified. “Look at these comments and think about what you have done to your most ‘Die Hard Camaro Fans’…. You treated us like lab rats. We as die hard fans lined up to support GM and give you our money for nothing to show for it,” wrote one. “’Priority 1’ has become the new version of ‘check is in the mail,’” fumed another.

Where does GM turn for friends when even the Camaro fanatics have had enough?

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2 of 55 comments
  • KixStart KixStart on May 17, 2009

    gmbuoy, "Matt" wrote this on FastLane: "You can add me to the list of frustrated R6P buyers. My car has been sitting in some lot 4B00 since April 2nd. Ordered in October. I sit back and watch as more and more of these fine cars show up on the streets and at the dealership while I have to field the daily question multiple times “Wheres your car?”" Other cars at the dealership?? This isn't some "allocation" BS, this is sending unsold cars out for big dealer markups and putting the deposit cars on hold. rudiger, Newsflash for you... It's not 1994 any more. Honda can build their entire product line on a single assembly line, if need be. If GM can't build the same basic car to arbitrary option specs pretty quickly, it's time to fold up the tents and go home.

  • KixStart KixStart on May 18, 2009

    gmbuoy, "Duane" added this to FastLane: "I ordered my new Camaro on 11/28, which was the day after I found out that they were taking orders. Saturday I drove by my dealer and they have 4 new Camaro’s on the lot 4 sale. After ordering a car that I had not seen the finished product of and waiting for 5 months. I get to see others walk into the dealer and drive off with a car that they can test drive. Something about this just doesn’t sit well with me. What a great way to say thanks to the loyalists that could not wait to get their order in. Let those who could not make up their minds get them first…. Maybe I will have mine just in time to store for a Minnesota winter………………" This problem has nothing to do with "allocations."

  • ToolGuy Here is a slightly more expensive one.
  • Golden2husky One, for $150K I see way better options, albiet on a smaller scale. Two, when will the stupid trend of massive rims go away? I struggle to buy premium tires for my older rides because manufacturers don't make their best tires in normal sizes anymore...
  • Dukeisduke I can remember when you could get a running one for $500. I don't think this one is worth anywhere near $5500.
  • Dukeisduke "No one, but no one, needs a 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series."As Tom Hnatiw (RIP, Tom) used to say, you've got ask yourself a question - do you need a car like this? Do you want a car like this?In my case it's no, and yes.
  • Analoggrotto Maybe he's hoping to catch a glimpse of Mary Barra's radiant hotness while in the neighborhood. That's what I'd be after.