I went to my local Toyota dealer today to buy some windshield wipers.
The parts man tried to sell me some wipers that he described as "Toyota", but weren't OEM. I didn't look at them carefully, but they were not branded as Toyota. I figured the parts man meant the wipers were made to fit a Toyota when he said they were "Toyota" wipers. I declined these wipers in favor of genuine Toyota wipers.
Well, I got genuine Toyota wipers, at about $30 each. I'm thinking "WTF? Oh well, I'll see what I get". After paying for them, I find out that genuine Toyota wipers must be ordered from the regional parts warehouse.
I also bought the (generic Toyota) adjustment knob on the driver's seat. It too had to be ordered from the regional warehouse.
What's going on here?
I've dealt with the same parts man for more than eight years. He's an honest guy. I do not suspect him.
My local dealership used to have normal wear items and many not-so-common parts in inventory. The only thing in stock I saw today was oil filters.
Carried inventory is sometimes taxed, and a smaller inventory is good at tax time. Perhaps my local dealer has decided to reduce its inventory, but I wonder: Has there been a corporate change in policy? Are genuine Toyota parts now sold at a premium?