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Toyota Prius



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    You are too honest! I think it is the Fad Factor. Has nothing to do with emission control or gas prices. Just people wanting something they cannot have instantly. I'm sure Toyota will ramp up production if it is a profitable vehicle and catch up with demand within a year.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978

    You said the key phrase "... if it is profitable ..."

    Right now, the Prius appears to be a loss leader to introduce the HSD technlogy, otherwise Toyota 's supposed ram-up would have been a larger, quicker ramp-up.

    There is still a question as to whether the "Prius" is making a profit now or if it ever will. However, the used Prius eBay business appears profitable.


  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    The only way they can make it profitable is to sell MORE units, not less. The statement you made, makes no sense at all. They are NOT holding back production to minimize losses. They simply are overwhelmed by the demand. Don't forget, they can only push their suppliers so far.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978

    If they are trying to recover start-up, research and developments costs then you are correct. These are sunk costs.

    However, if each unit is a loss, in other word no net profit, then the more you sell the more you lose. It can never be profitable.

    Total profit = unit Profit* number of units - sunk cost.

    To simply even more take a hypothetical example that the actual cost to produce each Prius averages $30,000 and the average sales price is $25,000. Then you have a loss of $5,000 for each unit sold.

    Now more realistically, let's say the sunk cost is 200 million $200,000,000 and the current unit profit is only $200.

    Profix = $200* Q -$200,000,000.

    So they becomne profitable at 1 million units. Not a lot of incentive to sell.

    Not let's say Toyota is working on increasing the profit to $2,000 per car through improved quality control, more efficinet production of HSD parts and better volume battery suppliers.

    then the formula becomes

    Profit = $2000 * Q -$200,000,000

    Or it becomes profitable after 100,000 cars are sold.

    Bottom line, If the Prius is not profitable or only marginally profitable, it doesn't make sense to increase production unit ( IFF the unit production profit can be increased).


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    It's a good bet the per-unit profit (not including R&D) on the Prius II is more than $200 per car. That hypothesis is based on the fact that the Classic Prius achieved profitability by the end of its model run. Another indication that the Prius II is profitable for Toyota (again before R&D costs are factored in) is the fact they are going to hold up production of the Highlander hybrid to make more Priuses, to meet pent-up demand. If the Prius were not profitable, why would Toyota do that? To borrow a phrase, they would simply declare the "beta test" over and start throwing their resources into the more profitable SUVs and larger cars like the Camry hybrid.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    A piece of metal in one of my OEM tires this weekend got me thinking. I decided to upgrade rather than just replace that standard tire with a new standard tire.

    Now I'm using MICHELIN HYDROEDGE tires on my 2004 Prius. So hopefully, I'll have lots of data available to share once others are ready for replacement.

    It rained today, so I got to try them out on water. They worked really well. Snow is a loooooong way away still, so don't ask.

    MPG will definitely take some kind of hit, since I'm running at 35 PSI now (instead of 44 PSI). But I have no idea whatsoever how much. With the temperature 20 degrees below normal, MPG is down anyway. Plus, there's break-in for the tires themselves. With my 460 treadwear tires, it took around 1,000 miles. So with these having a 760 treadwear rating, does that mean more or less?

    I got the tires for $113.35 each, including labor, a valve-stem, road-hazard coverage, and disposal of the old tire. They have an 85,000 mile warranty. Tread-depth: 11/32, Traction: A, Temperature: B, Treadwear: 760, Max-PSI: 35.

    More on the new tires later.

  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    John... I've read good things about that tire and I actually almost bought that one. The thing that turned me off was the harsh ride comments on tirerack. I heard they really shine in the rain. Not sure how they'll do in the snow. Keep us posted as I'm definitely interested.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I'm not sure how those posts defined "harsh". But the ride is clearly LESS harsh with these at 35 PSI than the other tires were at 44 PSI.

    Odds are, those comments were made by people with squishy tires, which provides a soft & quiet ride. Underinflation is a dangerous problem that is far too common. Even at 30 PSI, most tires nowadays appear to hold the weight well. But in reality, the tires have too much give at that point... an invitation for an accident.

    By the way, that price I mentioned included tax too.

  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    ...and how is the tire noise at highway speed compared to the Goodyear Integrities?
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    WOW the OEM tires were replaced after only 15,622 miles because ONE of FOUR tires had a piece of metal in it. Why not just replace the one tire.

    I had heard that the Prius I was hard on tires because of the load rating. It also appears that the Prius II is equally hard on tires.

    In reference to #3503 and #3506, John you yourself have said that the Prius II is not profitable yet. Did you mean unit profit or bottom line recovery of the HSD development costs?



    Brigestone Potenza RE040 215/45-17
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Why not just replace the one tire.

    Read the title.

    These new tires clearly hold the road better, in both wet & dry conditions. And they last twice as long... which that alone covers the cost.

    > It also appears that the Prius II is equally hard on tires.

    How in the world can you jump to that conclusion? It is totally, completely false... nothing but an attempt to create a misconception.

    The classic Prius had tires with a treadwear rating of 160. The 2004 tires have a treadwear rating of 460 and the surface area is greater. That's a huge improvement.

    Of course, some classic owners (like me) just upgraded to better tires anyway. And that ended the rapid wear problem immediately.

  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I upgraded my tires because I didn't like the OEM tires. I had them once before on a RX300 and they were horrible. If you read the tirerack reviews, no one really likes them. My replacement tires have over 12,000 miles with no signs of wear. I love this car.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Look back at post #2102 by John1701A. He changed to GoodYear Integrity on his Prius I and recommneded it to Toyota and was please that they put it on the Prius II as OEM.

    to quote:

    "By the way, that's another "amazing coincidence" for Toyota. They just happened to choose the same type of Goodyear rubber for the 2004 that I bought and promoted as an alternate for the classic...


    john1701a Jan 6, 2004 9:36pm!keywords=allin:msgtext limit:.ef169e3 goodyear

    Does that mean your recommendation has changed now to the Michelin Hydroedge long wear 760 A B ?


  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > He changed to GoodYear Integrity on his (classic) Prius


    I changed to Goodyear ALLEGRA tires.

    That are not the same.

    It turns out that they are more different from the Integrity tires than the specifications initially indicate. And I photos to help support that too, besides the 16,000 miles of driving comparison.

    Remember, just because the rubber is a similar compound, that does not mean it will react the same way when a different tread-pattern is used.

  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    Whatever, I was just stating what you said back in Janaury. If you want to dispute you own statments then have at it.

    If you changed to Goodyear tires on your classic Prius, Prius I

    And if Toyota used the same type of rubber that you had bought.

    One would assume that when you said same type you were referring to the GoodYear Integrity rather than the Goodyear Allegra.

    Anyway, being somewhat conservative minded myself, I would have bought one tire and upgraded when all the tires were worn. Wouldn't that also be the green Prius approach. Do you realize how much pollution making just one tire, let along four creates??

    telle est la vie,

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...does every post require a response, or a challenge? Why does this board, which can be so informative and helpful at times, have to periodically turn into this contest of wills?

    Like most here, I value John's insights and contributions, and wonder why each of his posts seems to require a response from you, usually a negative one? Am I the only one who feels this way?
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    "Twice as long"

    The treadwear ratings are only accurately comparable between tires of the same brand per UTQG. So a 760-Michelin versus a 460-Goodyear is not numerically double, nor is comparable between the two different brands. Many complain about the characteristics for the Integritys, but most get over 60,000 miles wear. I doubt the Michelins will get on average 120,000 miles.

    Given also that the Goodyears are $51 versus $97 on Tirerack, I don't think economics vs. wear would make much sense. The handling, wet weather capabilities, and mileage may be a far different story.
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    Midcow is really not a troll. He just likes to bait John. I'd call midcow a strong minded Texan with a heart of Prius. I actually think he adores the car but just can't say it in public. Msg to John:

    I salute you and all your efforts to the Prius community. I believe you make every effort to make sure you convey accurate information. Keep up the great work!!
  • tfilibertitfiliberti Posts: 21
    Just came across a used 2004 Prius at Wappinger Falls Toyota in New York State, 18k miles ,
    dual airbags only option mentioned....
    $29,777 people I show this to think it's a misprint... I DOUBT IT !!!! LOL
    Ordered mine in Nov' 03 still waiting :-(
    #5 on the list so I figure in the fall...Dealers in this area ,Hudson Valley, already stopped taking new orders .
  • I prefer to use good but inexpensive tires because tires perform horrible near at the end of the tread. Increase in road noise, degrading grip, etc... Changing out with another set of inexpensive tire would give me another brand new performance. Installation and alignment here is only $15 for all 4 so, it is still worth it.

  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    WOW... I feel for you. I wonder if that deal will get his price? I got mine at a rural PA dealer on Nov 8th. I placed myself on the list last July. Best thing I ever did. Was wondering why you're getting rid of your Jetta. Problems?
  • rpgolferrpgolfer Posts: 157
    Hi gang,
       I have benefitted from john1701a's knowledge and experience too many times to subject him to a microscope. There's a difference between "been there/done that" and "it should be like this".
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    I like all the Prius experience(s) and knowledge that 1701a provides, it's a shame that everything he says is nit picked to death - I have to wonder what he might share if not under a microscope all the time, your web site is great, thanks John.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Yes, they should last twice as long (or so). Close is more than good enough anyway, considering the handling benefit. The Integrity tires are warrantied for 50,000 miles. But actual observation (tread depth remaining), put them at 40'ish for real-world life. The Hydroedge tires are warrantied for 85,000 miles. I'll have data available by the time others actually need it.

    And guess what, I was wrong! (How about that?) Some of the Hydroedge sizes, including mine, provide support for a maximum PSI of 44. So it looks like I might not be taking any MPG penalty at all. We'll see.

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___Let me know about your real world mileage experiences with the Hydroedge’s on your Prius II also. The Integrity’s on the Corolla are at 63,000 and probably only have another 5,000 or so to go. With that, I am actively looking for another reasonable priced LRR tire(s) as replacements.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    My driving is quite a mixture of city, suburb, and highway. So I'm not sure how that would apply to your highway-cruising-only use. But you never know what we'll find.

    I'll share discoveries as I make them.

  • little_pogilittle_pogi Posts: 149
    John, I would assumed you used the same tire size. Some postings from another owner earlier this year recomended changing to a 195/60R15 to improve handling and minimize the floating effect experience by most 04 Prius drivers. Are you experiencing any floating effect on the hydroedge tires? How about road noise while running in dry pavement?
  • eyeman2eyeman2 Posts: 5
    Thanks for the reset-maintenance light info. Tell me how to eliminate the annoying reverse-gear beep? Thanks again!
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    I'm not sure what "floating effect" you are referring too. Got details?

    And switching to a wider tire would be the opposite of what I'd recommend. Having so much experience with snow driving, I know well that thinner tires dig better. In other words, you want as much weight as possible on the contact patch.

    Whatever the case, the new tires (same size) handle better. I can take corners even harder now.

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