Is the Elise under valued? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Is the Elise under valued?

Specifically, are we as a community undervaluing the Elise/Exige?

-This is a car that is extremely rare across the board (10k Gallardos were sold a year).
-It is hardcore and exotic.
-Hand made.
-Service network still exists
-tons of aftermarket support
-very few with high miles
-you literally can't buy a new one
-bulletproof (for a sports car)
-Iconic brand history
-racing history
-body style is timeless

I know we all know what we PAID for them, but that doesn't mean they aren't WORTH more. Prices have been climbing over the past few years, and I'm seeing decent examples go for $35-40k in AZ. Exiges in the $45k+ range.
Really though, you can't buy these anymore...

So even at $40k (which seems high to me), are we undervaluing them as a community? Dealers are buying these up at $30k and selling them at $45k-50k. Obviously there is a market, and people will pay for it.
I am an enthusiast so of course I want these to be accessible to other enthusiasts. That being said they seem like they would be more exclusive.

Last edited by Coyne; 04-17-2016 at 07:43 PM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 06:54 PM
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This is a fascinating question.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 07:12 PM
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The regulations continually make it harder for Chapman's philosophy to be viable at low cost. I think our eliges are the last of its kind. The 4c is the nearest to the elige and has a 10 year youth advantage, yet the only thing I read where it has leaps and bounds better performance than the eliges, is the sound of the exhaust. It almost seems as the most under valued part of the elige is its inexpensively made, insanely light chassis. Anyone who gets bitten by the lightness philosophy has few choices, and the price disparity between a new 4c and a good elige may be reason for static or appreciating prices.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-17-2016, 07:37 PM
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These cars still offer an incredible sensory experience that is hard to find elsewhere. I think they are undervalued in that sense. Plus with some light modifications on things like coilovers and shifter mods, you can really dial in the car further. $35k car offering the fun of cars far more expensive.

I think what has kept values depressed so far is build quality, usability, brand image.

As modern cars move further and further from driver involvement, well cared for examples should increase in value. It's a shame so many of these cars are trashes but it happens.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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So, even with respect to its original price, I am surprised these cars aren't selling for more money. Maybe we should price them higher for sale? Or maybe that's part of the fun of owning one?
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 03:59 PM
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All Lotus are undervalued. The cars should be firmly in Italian exotic territory. What other cars than the Seven have a 60 year production span? Lotus are quick, beautifully handling cars.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:04 PM
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All Lotus are undervalued. The cars should be firmly in Italian exotic territory. What other cars than the Seven have a 60 year production span? Lotus are quick, beautifully handling cars.
I firmly agree with your 1st sentence especially.

Haven driven, for ex, Healeys, it's astounding to me that these agricultural implements sell for more than, say, an Elan.

The Elan does everything way, way better, but sells for 50% or so of big Healey prices.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:06 PM
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in spite of the above arguments, price is likely set for economic reasons rather than perceived ability or uniqueness.

even rare, transient, synthetic and radioactive elements and materials which have desirable properties have their value set by supply and demand.

since cars aren't usually traded like gold or oil, i don't think that appreciation of the Elise will occur unless many people begin to collect them instead of buying them to drive. in the end isn't money just a commodity that is traded for other commodities?
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:12 PM
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I believe they are intrinsically undervalued for all the reasons you posted. There is nothing like it out there and objectively speaking, if it is the style of car you are looking fro, you can't beat it. However, market dictates price and it seems that most of the people that are interested in these cars are interested in them for utilitarian reasons, not simply because it is a the cool thing to have. So the price is reasonable and fair for what you get and what you do not get. Once people start really believing that these cars will be going up in value, and collectors start snatching them up, the prices will go up. Same thing happened to the 911s. The Lotus market is a lot smaller however, but the cars are also harder to come by.

I believe the values will rise as the cars become less and less common and low mileage cars are rarer and rarer. But that will not stop me from driving my car, it already has over 51,000 miles on it and ill be damned if I do not enjoy it just because it may diminish the value. The minute you start looking at it as an investment, you lose some of the joy and experience. But the fact that the car was not going to depreciate by $10k in two years was a huge reason for me getting the car in the first place. If the value goes up, I consider it a perk but am not allowing that to change the way I experience my car.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:16 PM
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in order to make the value go up, i think that we would have to collectively convince everyone we know that this was the car to have (in order to get large demand along with the limited supply).

In my experience, when i show the car to others, the conversation only seems to focus on the compromises that one has to make to live with this car, rather than a resounding affirmation of desire for it.
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Last edited by Obeisance; 04-18-2016 at 04:22 PM.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyne View Post
So, even with respect to its original price, I am surprised these cars aren't selling for more money. Maybe we should price them higher for sale? Or maybe that's part of the fun of owning one?
I absolutely agree with Coyne. Especially in the cases of the few low mile Elises that have been popping up. I dont know why owners are selling them as low as they have been. An 11yr old car with under 10K miles that looks like new should be getting more than what some have sold for recently. I have been tempted to buy one of these clean low mileage deals, just as a backup, should the worst happen.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyne View Post
10k Gallardos were sold a year).
This is incorrect, there were only 14,022 produced. However, still more than the federal Elige production run at 6325.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 04:39 PM
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Some of you haven't experience Lotus cars until the Elise.

I drove a 7 for years and restored a '72 Elan Sprint.

One factor you may be overlooking: People somehow perceive fiberglass cars as cheap and, ergo, less valuable.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 05:00 PM
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This is incorrect, there were only 14,022 produced. However, still more than the federal Elige production run at 6325.
Yes, this is correct, but you are quoting worldwide Gallardo numbers versus North America Eliges. There are a lot more Eliges out there than Gallardos.

I believe the market has taken everything into account and our cars are priced about right. Are there any outside forces artificially manipulating the prices? The only one I can think of off hand is the Costa Mesa dealer that seems to charge $15k more than the going price for Eliges. And they have a lot of them. That could artificially drive the price up a bit.

And yes, I think my Exige is worth more than it is because I love it so much.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 05:32 PM
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Having driven the current Exige (in the Cup R form) and test driven the Evora 400, it is clear to me that there will never be a car like the Elise in the future, even from Lotus. And when I say that I mean a car that, among other things, weighs on the order of 2000 lbs and has non-assisted rack and pinion steering and a suspension that truly connects the driver to the road. My 2011 Elise SC is truly amazing to drive and I genuinely love the car. And I am hopeful that the future remains bright for these cars.
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Having driven the current Exige (in the Cup R form) and test driven the Evora 400, it is clear to me that there will never be a car like the Elise in the future, even from Lotus. And when I say that I mean a car that, among other things, weighs on the order of 2000 lbs and has non-assisted rack and pinion steering and a suspension that truly connects the driver to the road. My 2011 Elise SC is truly amazing to drive and I genuinely love the car. And I am hopeful that the future remains bright for these cars.

My wife drives a C6 Vette and we took my car out the other day. I gave it all it had up to a speed I won't quote, and she said "my car just doesn't DO that" I said her car was very much as fast as mine, and she said: "but it doesn't feel the same. Your car makes the whole thing an experience and more exciting. It's like a big production with the thrill of the second cam and the shifting", and I knew she was right. This is why I love this crazy car. Any fast car can overcome the force of wind and gravity, but when the Elise does it, it does it with majesty. It makes the process palpable and intriguing.

And I feel you are all right, this is the last of the sub 2000lb cars.
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 06:01 PM
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It's an interesting question. One thing that stands out to me is with these particular cars is they're just not as well known in general. (only speaking to the US for Elise/Exige) I get a lot of "what is it?". Literally yesterday I go through the McDonalds drive thru for a coke and the kid in the window says "Wow! What is that?" My response "It's a Lotus Exige". His response "Oh, cool, is that their new model or something?". My response "No, it's actually an '06". His response, "Wow!". I find this really common, people have in some cases heard of Lotus but that's about it. There's just not as much awareness out there. Interesting comparison is the E46 M3 (my other car). Same kid at the drive thru would say "Sweet M3". There's a large enthusiast group so a large market. Good condition E46 M3 manual coupes have gone up significantly over the last few years - as are 911's and some of the other cars that have seen values climb. One common thread I've noticed is coupes with manuals (vs. flappy paddle shifters) definitely seem to command more interest on the enthusiast side. Seems like more and more high end cars are going flappy paddle and fewer manuals being offered - seen it a bit with Ferraris being advertised as "special" because they're a regular manual.

Also agree with Vantage and Obeisance, usability is definitely a factor too. Not that you can't daily drive an Elise/Exige (I know many do) but it just doesn't compare to the creature comforts in a car like an M3 (and the M3 has a real trunk).

Wouldn't look at the Lotus as an investment but definitely think depreciation will be slow for anyone that buys a good example with a clean title and reasonable miles.
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 06:14 PM
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I was at a Porsche club autocross yesterday with my stock Elise SC and there were about four Lotuses there (Exiges of varying years). The drivers and onlookers were generally in awe of the Lotuses. There was a general recognition that the Lotus is a special car, and they performed at autocross with a grace and aggressiveness that none of the other cars had.
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 06:26 PM
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As I was leaving the last Caffeine and Octane, I had a guy run up and start asking questions about my Elise, including if it was for sell. I think with a little more exposure, the Elige will build demand. I would hate to see it in a fast and furious movie, but look what happened to Supra after it was. When I tell people, most didn't know that Lotus built street legal cars.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-18-2016, 09:07 PM
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I would hate to see it in a fast and furious movie, but look what happened to Supra after it was.
You mean like this red one?

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