Austin TX Lotus Dealer - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Austin TX Lotus Dealer

Does anyone have any experience with or dealt with the "Late European" dealership in Austin TX? They are an Aston Martin, Bentley, RR, and Lotus dealer.

They have been very helpful and responsive over the past few days, and I was just checking to see if anyone has any additional information or experience. I've got a deposit on an Elise they have (with final purchase coming in the next day or two, once the paperwork is finished)....

Also, if anyone has any suggestions on enclosed shipping/vehicle transport companies (or an existing thread to point me to), I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
Dan

Life's too short to not drive what you want
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 11:57 AM
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Fly in, drive out. I looked into shipping companies and prices ranged from 800-1200 and the badgering i'm getting still to this day is unbelievable, "Need to ship your car still have open bay will make deal" but they don't and i can't get them to stop.

Seriously, Come on down to Texas, take a day or two and have some BBQ and run some of these beautiful hill country roads we have.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 12:36 PM
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I was looking @ that Elise online yesterday, good looking car.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jsolomonic View Post
Fly in, drive out. I looked into shipping companies and prices ranged from 800-1200 and the badgering i'm getting still to this day is unbelievable, "Need to ship your car still have open bay will make deal" but they don't and i can't get them to stop.
I agree, it's nauseating. It's a bunch of scam artists to be honest. Mostly middle man brokers trying to make a cut, no way to distinguish who is a broker and who is not.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 05:19 PM
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My experience with them has been really poor. I own two Esprit's and a Bentley. Getting the service or the parts department to call me back has been quite the challenge. I decided to avoid them because after 5 calls over a 2 week period, the parts department never called me back. The service department called me back after only 3 days and 2 calls, which I guess I should be happy about? I am sure if I had a brand new Bentley or Rolls the experience would have been different, but its hard to get new customers when you don't support the cars already on the road.

That said, if you are just buying, and never have to deal with them again, and the vehicle is in good condition, then go for it. Remember, sales people are on commission, and they are going to be on you constantly and give you "excellent" service, because they want to get paid.

Finally,

I also own a franchised new vehicle dealership. I know its just as important to handle things well after the sale as during the sale. If you have an issue after they have your money, I am pretty sure you will get service like I experienced.

1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo
2002 Lotus Esprit V8 25th Anniversary #008

Last edited by Extratx; 08-30-2016 at 05:27 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 05:22 PM
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Their service department has a reputation as being the worst anywhere and I would tend to agree. However when I went to their showroom and talked to the salesmen there I thought they were very helpful. the showroom is really nice but full of non lotus cars.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 05:24 PM
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Horseless Carriage is well known, they drive their own trucks, and don't have middlemen. I went with Montway, which I thought had their own trucks, but actually subcontract to whoever is in the area, much like Uship. Not satisfied with Montway, but enclosed from Seattle to Austin was $1350 with Montway, and was like $2200 with Horseless. I decided to go cheap, but $850 is alot of money for mods.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kfennell View Post
Their service department has a reputation as being the worst anywhere and I would tend to agree. However when I went to their showroom and talked to the salesmen there I thought they were very helpful. the showroom is really nice but full of non lotus cars.
Well considering the current state of Lotus in the USA, it would be hard to find a showroom with many Lotus cars in it!

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the good info.

@Extrtx: Great points, and understand completely. I can't imagine a scenario where I have to deal with them on a regular basis. The Lotus will come back to northern VA and Eastern Shore MD and reside here. I'm trying to balance finally finding a 2011 Elise SC I want after a 2+ year search with the potential pitfalls of buying a car I haven't seen, and dealing with a dealer I don't know. In the DC/MD/DE area I know several of the dealer's managers personally and deal directly with them whenever I need anything. Not the case here obviously, and thus the conundrum. I will say I have not been hounded or bugged, and Shawn (the sales manager) and Brian (salesperson) have done everything I've asked for so far (send extra pictures, discuss send/owner service history, etc) and have been polite and responsive.

@jsolomonic : Very tempting! And right now, that's my Plan B, but it's quickly becoming my Plan A! I'm plotting the time off of work now to see if it's do-able, but would love to drive it around some good roads in Austin and take the adventure of driving the Lotus back home. Although I'm a bit worried about a ~1,400 mile trip home in the Lotus.

Thanks also for the shipping info. I created an alternate name (ie fake) and phone number and used my "junk" email address to just get some quotes from some companies. In 2 days I've been inundated with emails and varying estimates, with no confidence at all that I would even ship my 15 year old Subaru RS with some of these folks, let alone my Lotus!

Thanks again...let me know if anyone has any other ideas (for shipping, or good roads for the drive home, or good food, and Lotus Talk members along the way!).

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by dlasijko7 View Post
Thanks all for the good info.

@jsolomonic : Very tempting! And right now, that's my Plan B, but it's quickly becoming my Plan A! I'm plotting the time off of work now to see if it's do-able, but would love to drive it around some good roads in Austin and take the adventure of driving the Lotus back home. Although I'm a bit worried about a ~1,400 mile trip home in the Lotus.
As someone who just did exactly that let me help ease your mind. I flew into Salt Lake City, Utah and drove to San Antonio and here's my timeline.

Things i brought with me;
Car charger for my phone
A decent pair of in-ear headphones
An MP3 CD (i forgot it.. STUPID STUPID STUPID)
A change of clothes in a backpack and toiletries
Should have brought sunscreen

Flight out @ 6:30am and land in Utah @ 11am. Seller picked me up, went over the car signed the title and I'm out by 12.
Drive for 9.5 hours to my halfway point (hotel)
sleep
up @ 6:30 for the remaining drive home

total cost: $450, gas food, lodging and flight included.

My experience;
My car is loud, aftermarket exhaust and intake, and these cars can sort of drone on as far as engine noise. This is both amazing and a bit tiring so keep the speed and RPM's changing and you'll be good. The car is allot more comfortable than i thought it was going to be considering how long i was in it and the lack of adjustments in the driver seat. For reference I'm 5'7 and 210lb. When the engine noise became to much i popped in the ear buds and i was gold for a while. You'll stop every 2-3 hours anyway as the tank only holds 10 gallons of gas and after about 8.5 gallons your gas light comes on and you get nervous. I averaged 31mpg during the entire trip and even when stomping it in some canyon roads i still get 25-26. Surprisingly enough the car is pretty smooth on the highway too, It's only jarring on rough roads or abrupt transitions but highway wise it was really amazing. MUCH more comfortable then my 2000 Tacoma.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! jsolomonic: Great info, and will definitely use this as my checklist. And good to hear it's not a bad drive. So, this is now Plan A.

If anyone else has any good advice, I'd appreciate it.

Life's too short to not drive what you want
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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I talked to the dealer again today and they've moved the car off the sales lot and back into their service area until I get there next week.

If anyone is in the area of the dealer and has a chance to stop by and take a look and send me any independent opinions on the condition, I'll buy you lunch when I get there!

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 08:56 AM
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Hi.

If you like, I can take a look.

I am in Cedar Park, right down the street from the dealership and their service center, a different location.

Let them know I am coming to look at it and I will take some iPhone pics for you and post them.

Regards,

Alex

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 09:20 AM
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shipping cars

If you are still looking to have your vehicle shipped call those people:
Rena A.
Enterprise Auto Transport
651-200-5297
Stillwater Minnesota
Enterprise Auto Transport Official Website, Proud Partner of Uship.c Florida
Hours M-T 10 am to 5pm Friday 6-4

I use them to get my Elise from LA to Atlanta couple of months ago and it cost me $900. They are dispatchers for truck drivers and can put an ad on the board. If you are not in a hurry you can go low and someone will pick it up in few days. I got mine taken right away ($700 for the driver and $200 for the dispatch).
Driving 1,400 miles is risky due to the unknown condition of the car and lack of spare tire.
Good luck with your new purchase.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dlasijko7 View Post
If anyone is in the area of the dealer and has a chance to stop by and take a look and send me any independent opinions on the condition, I'll buy you lunch when I get there!
Do it right and pay for a PPI. Austin has plenty to choose from. For a couple hundred $$, it's cheap insurance before a 1500mi drive home!
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hi.

If you like, I can take a look.

I am in Cedar Park, right down the street from the dealership and their service center, a different location.

Let them know I am coming to look at it and I will take some iPhone pics for you and post them.

Regards,

Alex
Thanks Alex. That would be great! The sales person is Brian Adelsman, and the sales manager is Shawn Seaman. Brian said they've moved the Lotus off the sales lot and back to the service center, until I can pick it up. So not sure if that's at the service center you mention is at a different location or not. But, I'll text him and tell him your coming. He said he'd be happy to have anyone from LotusTalk come take a look/pics etc for me, just to let him know in advance.

Thanks again,
Dan

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BRG Mini Cooper S RHD
'14 WRX WRB
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by +TSRAGR View Post
Do it right and pay for a PPI. Austin has plenty to choose from. For a couple hundred $$, it's cheap insurance before a 1500mi drive home!
Thanks. Do you know of any that you recommend? Or is there a way to search for a business that does a PPI for Lotus? Or do I just "google" it?

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BRG Mini Cooper S RHD
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonTano View Post
If you are still looking to have your vehicle shipped call those people:
Rena A.
Enterprise Auto Transport
651-200-5297
Stillwater Minnesota
Enterprise Auto Transport Official Website, Proud Partner of Uship.c Florida
Hours M-T 10 am to 5pm Friday 6-4

I use them to get my Elise from LA to Atlanta couple of months ago and it cost me $900. They are dispatchers for truck drivers and can put an ad on the board. If you are not in a hurry you can go low and someone will pick it up in few days. I got mine taken right away ($700 for the driver and $200 for the dispatch).
Driving 1,400 miles is risky due to the unknown condition of the car and lack of spare tire.
Good luck with your new purchase.
Thanks. Good to know. I'm really leaning toward driving it back now, but I will call them....because it is a long drive, anything can go haywire, and I need to have options as part of the overall equation of the best way to get her home.

Life's too short to not drive what you want
2011 Elise SC Carbon Gray (1 of 1)
BRG Mini Cooper S RHD
'14 WRX WRB
'01 Subaru RS Coupe
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 05:06 AM
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Should you decide to ship, I would reccommend either Reliable or Intercity for enclosed transport. I've used both and they were absolutely professional with immaculate rigs. Congrats on your purchase.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 07:22 AM
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HI.

If you do decide to ship, +1 on Intercity. They did a great job shipping my car from CA to TX.

As for a PPI, I could not find any independents to PPI a Lotus around here, have the Austin Lotus service center do one. This will document the car in writing and you can hold the dealership responsible for what they do not disclose or find wrong.

Just a thought.

Alex

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