Single Toyota Dealer Sells 1/4 Of All Toyota RAV4 EVs


Carson Toyota

Carson Toyota

May was a booming month for plug-in electric vehicle sales.

Heck, even the Toyota RAV4 EV saw its sales increase dramatically to 149 units.

There’s a reason why RAV4 EV sales are up (maybe a few reasons actually).

The reason? A woman by the name of Dianne Whitmire, Fleet and Internet Sales Director at Carson Toyota in Sunny SoCal.

As Whitmire states:

“I sold 34 Rav4 EV in May. And 60 plug in Prius. Keep in mind I sold 151 units last month. Way more than half my sales last month plugged in.”

149 total RAV4 EV sales.  34 sold by one individual.  Basically, Whitmire was responsible for one out of every four RAV4 EVs sold in May!!!

Here’s the other reason why RAV4 EV sales are on the rise:

“I just calculated a pretty amazing lease for someone with unlimited miles at 401 a month plus tax on my *special* lease. Higher tax zones are about $408 (plus tax) and it was with using none of their own $, just the TFS $ and the state $.”

“My posted deals ($16,500 lease rebate) for the EVs will remain the same for June, by the way. I have 9 coming very soon. 3 pearl white, 2 silver, 4 blue. Even if *they* change something, I won’t! Unlimited mileage deals are still the best, but we also do a 12K and a 10K. (annual miles).”

That’s Whitmire talking up the deals she offers on the RAV4 EV.  With deals like these, it’s hard to imagine why someone in California would get some plug in other than the RAV4 EV.

Category: Sales, Toyota

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36 responses to "Single Toyota Dealer Sells 1/4 Of All Toyota RAV4 EVs"
  1. David Murray says:

    Wow, that is a good deal.

    1. Assaf says:

      My take: on principle, no.

      1. They are discontinuing the RAV4EV despite obvious demand. If they instead expanded to more states, they could easily sell it in 4 figures every month.

      2. Their leadership is openly dissing and undermining the confidence of the public in EVs, in particular BEVs.

      3. They are a big enough company that they could easily endure to however time it takes for the RAV4EV to become profitable. It is literally a drop in their bucket.

      So they are just taking the US and California government, as well as drivers, for a ride. You want to get stuck 5 years down the road, driving a discontinued car of a technology the maker doesn’t believe in (at least according to their statements)?

      And no, it’s not just because I can’t get one myself – because I can. The local Clipper Creek dealer has a RAV4EV he bought from a CA dealership and had it shipped to him. They do that sort of thing routinely.

      But I’ll stick with Leafs for now, until there are more affordable choices by makers who are at least halfway decent about EVs.

      1. DaveinOlyWA says:

        Toyota will stop making the RAV if we let them… but it is not a done deal. We can effect the change

      2. Phatcat73 says:

        I believe manufactures are obligated for x amount of years to support vehicle repairs after they’re discounted. I forget the x

        1. Nix says:

          That is a bit of an urban legend. There is no one law that would require parts support for X years. But there are a number of contract law provisions, and EPA requirements that apply to various cars that make for different defacto support requirements.

          The first is warranty fulfillment. If a company offers a 3 year bumper-to-bumper warranty, and they offer a 1 year warranty on parts used in repairs, then they will need to keep building parts for at least 4 years after the very last one is sold off of the last dealership lot. That might be a year after the last one came off the assembly line for some cars. That’s 5 years right there.

          What happens if a customer comes in with a valid warranty claim, and they don’t make a part anymore, and cannot fix the car? The manufacture has to buy back the whole car. Like Nissan did with their Leaf earlier this year over a couple of welds that they couldn’t go back and fix after the fact.

          You can easily see how longer bumper-to-bumper warranties, and longer drive-train warranties push this out.

          On top of this, there are mandatory Federal emissions warranty requirements of 8 years for gas cars. Up to 15 years in California for some low-emissions cars for them to earn special state credits.

          Finally, there is a legal construct called the “implied warranty of usability” that every product is implied to have. That means that if a product is sold to do a job, it must do the job it was advertised to do. For a car, it is supposed to drive. That requires replacement and service parts as a normal part of it’s expected life. That brings us to the US Supreme Court, and a ruling that they made regarding the Ford Taurus. They ruled that the expected life of the Ford Taurus was 8 years/ 80K miles. SCOTUS found as a ruling of fact, that after that point, it was past it’s expected life. If this ruling is applied broadly, a car manufacturer could potentially be liable if they didn’t provide parts through to the end of the expected life span of a vehicle.

          So while it isn’t a “law” in the sense that you can point to one place in the legal code where it says X, there is a bunch of case-law that is just as legally binding on car makers that makes it so they have to keep making parts for quite a while after they sell a car.

          1. Great post, thanks.


  2. Brandon says:

    $400 a month for a toyota? Lol

    1. Vin says:

      Yup! An excellent deal for a Toyota with a Tesla drivetrain. I’d lease another one at that payment if I didn’t already have a Volt.

      1. Ted Fredrick says:

        Wow. unfortunately I already have a lease for the next two years. I have a buddy that has a Rav4 and he paid $24000 out the door. I don’t know how he did it but he did. That car is scary fast.

  3. Boyd says:

    If I wasn’t so worried about how to get it serviced, I would get one and have it shipped to me in Arkansas.

  4. Mikael says:

    151 sold by her in April? That’s almost more than the total in Austria. And more than in Denmark or Switzerland. Or about the same number as Italy and Spain combined.


    1. Eric Loveday says:

      No in total she sold 151 vehicles in May. More than half (94) of that 151 were plug-in vehicles. So, she sold 94 plug ins in May!!!

      1. Mikael says:

        I was either tired or need an appointment to an optician. 🙂
        Then she is “only” at spain or italy levels 😛

      2. vdiv says:

        That is 5 vehicles per day, 3 plugins if she worked 7 days a week. How is that even possible?

        1. Dave R says:

          Dianne is the internet sales leader.

          People drive from all over the place to buy Toyota Prius and RAV4-EVs from her. She offers a bottom line no-hassle price that is better than just about anyone else without any of the crappy games that other dealers play to milk you out of a bit more money.

          It’s how buying a car should be!

        2. Dianne says:

          VDIV – after I did my final count from May, I said the same thing! LOL. I can tell you I had just 3 days off. I did a quick trip to Hawaii for three days to see my son (USMC Sergeant) for Mothers Day weekend. I have some assistance here, a support staff to help me with deliveries and some of the docs… but that was my largest volume month. Back in Spring 2012, a few months after the plugin Prius first came in, I was sitting on 150+ pre-orders for this model and I recall doing 130 total units that month too. It’s exhausting and it’s exhilarating, and it’s never boring!! :>

          1. vdiv says:

            You are amazing! We need more of you in each dealership 🙂

            Thank you for making plugins easy and simple to buy!

          2. Abhishek says:

            I Would suggest Elon Musk to look at Ms Dianne for some good post in Marketing..

  5. kdawg says:

    PlugIn Prius at Carson Toyota by Dianne Whitmire

    PlugIn Prius at Carson Toyota by Dianne Whitmire from DianneWhitmire on Vimeo.

  6. basementman says:

    Too bad they aren’t making them anymore…

  7. stephen jenkinson says:

    Dianne Whitmire, she’s the best!!!

  8. Mike I says:

    Dianne’s title:
    Fleet | Internet Sales Director
    Carson Toyota

    She has a RAV4 EV that she pays for herself as her daily driver, so she really knows the car.

  9. ravevjoe says:

    I’ve purchased many vehicles from Dianne, and she’s great…no B/S and a very knowledgeable about EV’s…..wish she could sell all brands of vehicles

  10. Alayna says:

    Way to go Dianne!!

  11. Spin says:

    I wish it were sold in NY

    1. Doug says:

      Hey Spin…if you want a slightly used Rav4 Ev go to They have two low mileage lease returns (in blue) they will ship anywhere in the U.S.

  12. Nix says:

    It is a good deal, if you don’t mind paying a bit extra over many other EV’s to get a bit of extra range, and more interior space than most other EV’s.

    And you don’t mind driving around in a body that was already dropped in the gas car version of the same vehicle.

    And if you don’t mind luke-warm factory support that can’t be bothered to fix any of the known issues.

    And if you don’t mind going to Authorized Toyota RAV4 EV Dealer for service of the electrical parts (not too many outside of California).

    Spending some time at will either convince you, or cure you of wanting to buy one. But either way you’ll go away more informed. They have really informed posters over there, and is highly recommended for anyone considering calling up Dianne and buying one (including lots of folks who say she is great to work with).

    1. QCO says:

      And if you don’t mind cheerfully supporting an anti-BEV company by validating their compliance car strategy.

      1. Nix says:

        Toyota has sold over 5 million hybrid cars globally as of the end of 2013. They’ve put more battery-assisted miles on the road over the last 2 decades than any other company. They are the global market leader in hybrids, and they still sell 10 times as many hybrids each year globally than any other car company sells of any plug in vehicle. They have solid green car credentials.

        It took them years to make that line of business profitable, and EV’s aren’t yet. I don’t really expect them to want to kill that cash cow at this early stage of plug-in vehicle roll-out.

        Yes, I don’t appreciate that Toyota trash talks plug-ins, and that they are trying to hold onto their hybrid car share of the green car market as long as they can.

        But I’m still putting money on Toyota being anti-EV only right up until they decide it is time to change the push from hybrids to plug-ins. Then I’m betting that all the sudden they will claim THEIR new EV will be the best thing in the world according to them. Until then, talking up EV’s as green cars just cuts into their core green car hybrid sales, so I wouldn’t expect much positive from them until they decide to make the leap.

        But I’ll save my bashing for truly anti-green car companies, like Chrysler/Fiat, who has the worst fleet of cars, and hates anything green.

        1. QCO says:

          No disagreement with your views on Fiat/Chrysler…

    2. Evil Attorney says:

      Yea, I considered getting one, but the biggest downside for me was seeing the the problems people on the Rav4 forum were having with them. The scariest is that the Rav4 will just randomly power down when driving. Not sure if that was ever fixed, but if that happens on an LA freeway, you are almost certainly getting into an accident.

      1. Evil Attorney says:

        This is the Rav4EV thread I was thinking of. Scary:

        1. Nix says:

          Yes, it is little issues like that which Toyota doesn’t seem all that interested in fixing that frustrate many owners.

  13. Hesham Ahmed says:

    Chapeau, you’re Awesome dianne..
    Hope you have a strong June.

  14. Josephus says:

    I want to here what Dianne thinks about Toyota discontinuing the Rav4EV.

    1. Dianne says:

      Josephus, my thoughts are many. It’s not unexpected, as we were warned that we’d have a very limited run – approx 2600 over a three model year run. It’s not out of left field. They are just keeping their word. I do not think we have seen more than 2,000 yet for retail clients. I have no idea what’s been sold thru fleet channels that we don’t see or have access to. I know supply is dwindling badly. On the last allocation for SoCal, there was 1 unit, and I got it allocated to me.