Could Toyota’s Prius C be the new iPad of the automotive world? Maybe. The Japanese automaker has yet another hybrid hit on their hands with the Prius C. The newest member of the Prius family flew off the lots, selling 1,200 units in its first three days on sale. Toyota is desperately trying to keep up with demand, both in the States and abroad, by ramping up production, but that hasn’t stopped a Miami dealership from jacking up the price of the car an astounding $6,995.
Green Car Reports that a Twitter user with the handle miami4me2c recently snapped a very interesting picture at Miami’s Al Hendrickson Toyota of a Prius C window sticker showing the car priced at an inflated $27,834. Now, the base price for a Prius C starts at $18,950. With the upgraded Two trim, that price jumps to about $19,900, bringing the cars total to roughly $20,839. But as you can see from the photo (below), the dealership saw fit to add a “Market Value Adjustment” of $6,996, bringing the vehicle’s total well above MSRP.
We figured we would try and contact the dealership to get some sort of explanation, but were met with a chilly reception. The representative we spoke with told us they had no comment and that we could “write whatever we wanted.”
It’s not all that uncommon to see price-gouging like this when a product as popular as the Prius C comes to market, especially given Toyota’s ongoing inability to keep up with current demand, but an almost $7,000 markup? Really? That’s just way too much in our books, and an obvious attempt by Al Hendrickson Toyota to make a quick buck – actually $6,995 bucks — at the expense of their customers.
It should be noted that dealerships often act independently and are not mandated to follow MSRP (that’s why it’s a suggest retail price, after all), so it’s not like the dealership is doing anything illegal. And of course there might be customers out there willing to pay the exorbitant amount asked for by Al Hendrickson Toyota for a chance at nabbing a 50 mpg Prius C, but we really hope not. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of the economically-priced Prius.