Car dealers gone wild...

I've been thinking about getting a hybrid car. I like the idea of the increased fuel economy and doing my part to help the environment out. I would like to check out a Prius, but upon investigation yesterday I found out that there is as much as a two year waiting list and the local Toyota dealer has even stopped taking orders for them! The only other one that I would be interested in is the Escape Hybrid from Ford.

Ok, now that you've got your jaw off of the floor... yes, I did say I was interested in an SUV. It's an eco-friendly SUV, and I'm not your normal SUV driver. I put in a quick phone call to the local Ford dealership, and they have one in stock. Last night I went to check it out, it's fully loaded. Surprise, surprise, it's got all of the options so it costs the most. But to top it off, it even has some extras... or so I thought.

After taking it for a spin, I stopped back by to check out the price before I head home. The sticker MSRP is $32.8k. Steep enough, but then there's a $4,000 "ADM" hand-written in marker added under "Dealer Installed Options". It was late and I had already taken up enough of my salesman's time, so I just figured I would give him a buzz today. This afternoon I was informed that the additional $4k was just added on over the MSRP because they're in such high demand! You've got that right - they're tacking on more than 10% just because they feel they can! Guess we now know that ADM stands for "Above Dealer Msrp"!

I know it's a supply and demand issue, but living here in KC we've been producing those Escape Hybrids for nearly a year and they're trying to say that in that time they're still on a "who knows when we'll get the next one" basis? Can we say "price fixing"? You know, it's great that these monopolies - err, benevolent giants are trying to help the environment out by finally producing vehicles that don't consume any more gas than they need to - I mean, the fact that oil reserves are on the short track to extinction has just come out of nowhere! But seriously... 10% over retail. Do I have to provide my own condom, or will you provide one while you rape me!

Geez... So, my hybrid adventures have ended for the time being. I'm not going to pay full MSRP much less $4k over so I can save a hundred bucks or so a year in gas. And with this spiffy calculator on I found out that my Hyundai actually emits less pollutants into the air than the Escape Hybrid would. So I guess I'll do the environmentally sensible thing and stick with my small-engine, fully gas car.