Toyota has curtailed the practice by two of its dealers of taking deposits for the future plug-in hybrid Prius.
...heard from HQ that since there’s no announced timetable for production of vehicles, it didn’t make sense for Magnussen to keep deposits (even if they were refundable). The deposits will be returned and the dealer has instead begun a waiting list.
One other dealer, Toyota San Luis Obispo, had also begun taking deposits. In a post on the Toyota blog, Irv Miller, Group Vice President, Corporate Communications wrote:
Although we hope some day to sell plug-in hybrids to retail customers, the only thing we have announced is that we will place several hundred plug-in Prius vehicles in commercial fleets by the end of next year.
As much as we want to speed the latest hybrid technology to the public, we have vowed as a company to not release new systems until they are reliable and ready for everyday use. One of the best ways to help ensure that is through rigorous testing in fleets that do a tremendous amount of driving in all types of weather and road conditions.
...So, while we applaud Magnussen’s excitement about our future Prius plug-in, we want to be clear that we have not announced a timetable for retail sales.