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I believe I'm breaking a board rule with this post, as I'm registered under another name. I just posted in another thread under this name, and this particular post will be the last as bushinkai. I just want to get something off my chest, and if a discussion ensues I will not respond with this ID, it's a one shot deal.

I'm fairly far down the list at my dealer, in the 60's. Low/mid volume dealer, was told when I place my order in July figure 18 months to 2 years. Ok.

Only been three months, but they have $1K of my money so I figure that entitles me to drop a line every three months to see if they're getting cars and placing more orders. I don't expect any big pleasant surprises, but it's just to act like I really do have a car coming.

The bottom line is this, this dealer has loaded up most of its early slots with its own cars, if folks drop off, even BEFORE an actual order is placed they're using the slot to order a car for themselves to resell.

The individual I contacted at the dealership essentially said that if I'm willing to go $5K over MSRP, they essentially can get me just about any color/option combination I want in just a few weeks.

Now, IF this is possible it can only be done if they're horsetrading with other dealers doing the same thing.

Second, it does show that the MSRP list, on which I am, is now fully suspended while this dealer takes advantage of the hopefully short term demand fueled by people willing and able to pay $5K over.

Now, the math says that if/when my car comes in 18 to 24 months the inevitable additional hikes in MSRP would probably take it to where the car is selling for now. But to be honest, and I'm a big Lotus fan, owned a few already, and have driven the Elise, to ME the car is not a $50K car. It's a nice little $40K to $45K optioned car.

Anyway, it's clear that my dealer has put his list on hold and is exploiting the market, and right now I have little faith that I'll see my car in 18 to 24 months.

If YOUR dealer is doing this kind of thing, then you need to rethink the whole "there will be drop offs so I'll move up" notion, as the ONLY way you'll move up with a dealer like that is if you're willing to pay the extra over MSRP.

I changed my name for this post because I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do re wait it out some more or drop off, and in case the dealer reads this board I'd just as soon not antagonize him. Lord knows how far down the list I'd drop in a functional sense.
 

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Hell, there's no shame in posting that!

In fact, if Lotus has the cajones to show up at the LA Auto show again, I intend to tell them much the same in person, and let them know exactly how I view their customer relations and dealer network. Just because I can appreciate an awesome car doesn't mean I have to like how they sell it and represent themselves. "Love the product despite the company."


Simmering away for a year as most information is show to be false and real information proves distasteful, I can only conclude that these dealer games are tacitly, if not directly, endorsed by Lotus.

It's a way to smack the good lads on the back and say "Thanks for sticking with us through the Esprit years ol chap. Why don't you write yourself some checks with these swell Elise cars?" Every letter from Lotus to the dealerships is a full-press lovenote. The only communication the customers get is a hasty edit to the web page to mark up the MSRP. There's no way to sugar coat that.

The few dealerships that really are doing a stand-up job keeping customers informed and treating them fairly seem to be enthusiasts as well, bless them. I wish there were more. It sure would be nice to see them get the lion's share of cars, instead of getting the stale end of profits for honoring list price.

All you Lotus defendants can sit down.. I know the usual reasoning behind it all. I just don't have to like it. :)
 

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You should have no fear or concerns posting facts!! I regularly slam my dealership because their customer service and attention to detail sucks. I actually hope they are reading my posts because maybe (and I'm sure this is a stretch) it will improve their service. You post comes as no shock to me. I fully believe there are unscrupulous dealerships out there doing whatever they can to capitalize on the demand and make an extra buck or two. Saying that, my displeasure now sits with Lotus. It’s Lotus’ responsibility to ensure their dealerships are honest and trustworthy. There certainly have been enough posts about issues like this that should have raised a red flag and initiated some type of investigation and corrective measure by Lotus.
 

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bushinkai said:

Only been three months, but they have $1K of my money
Well, I'm a bit confused here. There are MANY other dealers out there. If this one isn't treating you well, why in God's name would you sit still for it? Find yourself another dealer. Sure, it's a pain to get the car when it arrives, but it'll take a day or 2 of your time to do it, and then it's over with, and -- ta-da -- you'll have a car.

I live in the DC area, and bought mine in Pittsburgh. (No problem with the local dealer -- the wait list in Pittsburgh was just much shorter.) I took a Greyhound bus to get it. It took 9 hours, door-to-door (normally a 5 hour drive). Sure, it was a pain, but so what?

You need to think outside the bun -- just cause that's the closest dealer to you doesn't mean you have to buy from them. Read up on this board to find the reputable dealers, then get on the friggin phone!
 

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>>>You need to think outside the bun -- just cause that's the closest dealer to you doesn't mean you have to buy from them. Read up on this board to find the reputable dealers, then get on the friggin phone!<<<

* I did this...it works! Don't stew about it, do something...

* You can have your car serviced at any Lotus dealership including the one with the trouble in sales. Their service department may or may not be any better but it is separate. Dealers love doing warranty stuff on car's they didn't sell as this is found money for them and they get paid by Lotus. Same thing for normal service.

* If you do buy well out of the area, consider driving the car back yourself and doing a mini-vacation or a just-get-it-home drive. Or resign yourself to quite a wait...I know of two that have been waiting about a month for the shippling company. Also, more chances for damage.
 

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No shame at all with this post. Just frustrations for sure and rightly so! Many other "hot" cars have had the same issues with supply outstripped by demand. Remember when the Miata first came out? There were people WILLING to pay TWICE MSRP and there weren't any cars to be had. It doesn't make it right, but dealers are dealers and I don't think they're any different than anyone else. (Ford Mustang Cobras ran into "market adjustments" last year).

I was VERY close to putting a deposit down at my local dealer and thought better of it. He is selling his demo for $5k over list and the only other car I saw there was a customer car, who cancelled and they sold it to someone else. They did NOT go down the list to see if someone who had a car ordered with the same options would like it and bump them up. Also, my local dealer requires $2500 deposit now. It is nonrefundable ONLY if the order has been placed. If you're not happy with your local dealer, you'll be MUCH happier going somewhere else.

I also have reservations about price hikes. The car is already being sold about $10k cheaper than it is in the UK. How long do we think that's going to last? (Base price in the UK is 27,000 BPS which is $49,900). I figure that two years from now the base price will be closer to $45k, add options and tax and you're at $50K. Sorry, but this is about $10k more than I can spend. I'm going to wait and see what happens with the used market. I got an email from Lotus stating that they're going to produce 2200 cars this year. If that's the case, buy next spring there may be cars sitting on the showroom floor. Maybe used sales will soften a little and I'll be able to get a car for around $40k. Believe me! I want this car worse than you can imagine. I have a European sales brochure of the Mk2 from 2001, plus numerous magazine articles from Europe when it was tested (CAR, EVO etc.).

GOOD LUCK!
 

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The over MSRP thing is not going to last long, my bet is that within 6 months there will be cars available for MSRP with little or no wait.
 

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Ground Loop said:

In fact, if Lotus has the cajones to show up at the LA Auto show again, I intend to tell them much the same in person, and let them know exactly how I view their customer relations and dealer network. Just because I can appreciate an awesome car doesn't mean I have to like how they sell it and represent themselves. "Love the product despite the company."


Simmering away for a year as most information is show to be false and real information proves distasteful, I can only conclude that these dealer games are tacitly, if not directly, endorsed by Lotus.

It's a way to smack the good lads on the back and say "Thanks for sticking with us through the Esprit years ol chap. Why don't you write yourself some checks with these swell Elise cars?" Every letter from Lotus to the dealerships is a full-press lovenote. The only communication the customers get is a hasty edit to the web page to mark up the MSRP. There's no way to sugar coat that.
I had not thought about that. I think that Lotus is going to get more than an earful on this issue at auto shows that are staffed by Lotus people instead of the local dealer.
 

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I agree there is no need to hide yourself on this! Lotus has let the dealers run amok, and the whole allocation thing has been a debacle. Dealers aren't to blame. They are in it to make money. Lotus USA is the ones shooting themselves in the foot. Read up on FVMC having several cars availabe over MSRP. Meanwhile Lotus keeps sending them cars. Lotus doesn't care as long as they keep selling.

I have been a deposit holder for 2 years. I put my deposit down with an authorized Lotus dealership thinking I would get a car sooner than later. But they use some stupid secret butt kissing method to allocate cars rather than in the date they were ordered. Completely bizarre and stupid. My dealer will get maybe 10 cars by the end of the year. How many will LOA or FVMC get? 30? 50? Why? Because they more elises? BFD. What about the customer?!?!

Not the same mistakes, but all new ones...good job Lotus.
 

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babak said:
I had not thought about that. I think that Lotus is going to get more than an earful on this issue at auto shows that are staffed by Lotus people instead of the local dealer.
I'm looking forward to it, because it will be the one time that Lotus can't say "Talk to your dealer".

I'll have the dealer on cellphone speed-dial so we can have a little 3-way chat about just how often Lotus updates the dealerships and where my car might be. With any luck, the booth will be full of people who were full of cheer last year, put deposits down, and now have the same questions.

Okay, we all have our fantasies. :)

But I do intend to let them know how Holy Lotus looks from the other side of the dealership.
 

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I am on two lists at the moment. I joined my first one Aug 8th and the second one Aug 25th. 2004. I was #77 on the first and #68 on the second. The second guy had a good rep from what I heard at puresportscar. I was told by both dealers that I should expect a car in Jan 2006. If that turns out to be true I will be very happy as long as the '06 is a mark 2.
I have not called either dealer since placing my order. I wonder if I should call them to get a feel for my status. What I am worried about is never getting the car I desire due to *market* forces. (read dealer selling cars at 10k over list) I do not want ANY other car. I want the mark 2 Elise. I have driven a 11s in England and fell in love with it there.
If I were a rich person I could've bought a dozen of them allready. But I make less than 100k/yr . This car is a godsend for the little folks like me.

I think dealers have lists only as a last resort if they cant sell the car way over MSRP.
 

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I have yet to see this crazy Lotus company to put forth a decent effort for the customers. I would warn Lotus Employees NOT to attend the L A carshow, they will end up in some dumpsters in Watts mumbling in their British B S. We all know we got f'd on this deal in southern california. There's no dealer!!!!!!!! The one we had went away and their sister company put everyone from L A at the bottom of their list!!!!!! They laugh about it all the time, it's a standing joke in La Jolla.
What really makes matters worse is that this Newport dealer comes onto the scene halfway thru this and gets not only the late bloomers, but the whole L A market for free!!!! They have got more cars than San Diego and it's sickening.
U get tired of the people who see the positive side to such a pathetic situation sit on this board and brow beat someone for speaking out. I do believe this is a FREE country and u may share your opinion at any time.....
So let's look at this really the way we should !!!!!......

Lotus wants to come back into the U S market with a car that has been successful for them in other markets. They wait too long setting up their dealers and send a few non-spec Elises to some car shows and the cars' a hit. WOWWEEEE!!!! There's a website made with an April 04' date and they haven't even got an engine secured much less the necessary exemptions to bring it into the U S. Buzz continues to drive demand for an affordable racer so the deposits are exploding the seams at the dealers who specialize in higher brands (cost) to begin with. So the scrapper red sox type person jumps on the list to FEEL like this is a great situation to be part of the Exotic club and tells all there friends they ordered a car, which many have never done b4, and they recieve data from magazines telling them they have scored a real winner here, for once the guy fells like he made a decent f'ing decision on a car. So 04' comes and everythings in place, the engine is announced, past exemption status, life's good for the guy, hell, he's even on a cuople chat boards talking about everything under the sun like the kids on the movie "sandlot" and feels a sense of team/security/club/united/special/unique/all the above....
Months pass, no cars....
Call to arms, no April, no May, no June, you call your dealer and he tells u some line, stroking you like a dog, then sending you outside into the dark, giggling the whole way.
A few start trickling in the east, midwest, south, west.
Months starting to add up, we're almost in November 04'.
Elections this tuesday.
I am starting to see what the Kerry people have been saying about the war. Bad Idea. You bring Americans together by letting them FEEL part of something they haven't felt in a long time. Send the boys over there for a purpose. Sold a bill of goods.
I'm a starch republican and I'm comparing Bush with Lotus.
Should of told the truth to us, should of had a good plan for follow-thru. Should not have taken our money, trust, excitement, good feelings and thrown them away. We're losing the battle in IRAQ if u want the truth, and I don't think Lotus is too far behind the president in terms of betrayal.

So come on over here for the car show Lotus. I know there's some of us who want to take u for a lil' walk outside....
 

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You guys that think the hype on this car will die down are loco.
The car is so rare on the west coast that in the week since I've taken delivery I have spoken to I would say 200 people about the car(all excited) and only one guy so far has actually even seen another car besides mine!!
2004 is drawing to a close, that means Lotus can only produce cars for the US market for another 12 months. Once the word really hits the streets on this car the demand will swell even more.
I say if you are for real, beg, borrow, steal, do what ever you have to but get one before they're no longer available.... :p
 

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Perry,
With the present waivers they can build this car in this form until Dec 31 2006. It's actually the 07 my cars that'll have to change unless they can somehow extend the waivers.
Chris
 

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Re: Re: breaking a rule

pinmagic said:
Well, I'm a bit confused here. There are MANY other dealers out there. If this one isn't treating you well, why in God's name would you sit still for it? Find yourself another dealer. Sure, it's a pain to get the car when it arrives, but it'll take a day or 2 of your time to do it, and then it's over with, and -- ta-da -- you'll have a car.

I agree, go find another dealer. I recommend Autostrada. The folks there are fantastic. Plus, there are some great roads in central Texas to break the car in on. The Hill Country is just beautiful.
 

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Demand will swell, but people don't realize how bare-bones this car really is - once they learn, the demand will vaporize. This car is really unlike any other car sold in the US, and that will surprise some people. I'm talking about things we learn to just take for granted, like being able to easily climb into the car! If Lotus were an awesome company to deal with and had a kickass marketing campaign (like Mini), they could sell tons. As it is, they'll sell a couple thousand a year, but will have a hard time exceeding that.

Being frustrated at Lotus is normal (I think it's all part of The Lotus Experience), but I've learned to direct my frustration where it belongs, with Lotus *management*. I think the engineers and manufacturing employees did a fantastic job, and have nothing but compliments for them (and a standing promise to buy a pint for any I meet!).
 

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Ground Loop said:
I'm looking forward to it, because it will be the one time that Lotus can't say "Talk to your dealer".

I'll have the dealer on cellphone speed-dial so we can have a little 3-way chat about just how often Lotus updates the dealerships and where my car might be. With any luck, the booth will be full of people who were full of cheer last year, put deposits down, and now have the same questions.

Okay, we all have our fantasies. :)

But I do intend to let them know how Holy Lotus looks from the other side of the dealership.
Hah! What makes you think the same Lotus group will show up at the Jan 2005 show, if Lotus even bothers to display?

In 2003, the guy that I spoke to at the Lotus exhibit was one of those professional spokesperson types, totally unconnected to Lotus. I bet they go back to that system for 2005. I would love to provide Lotus with some direct feedback, so I will give them a lot of credit if they send management level people to listen to us.
 

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Hello Everyone,

If you go directly to the UK website, there are email addresses listed to get into direct contact with Lotus. I emailed them about production numbers and within three days I had a response.

I emailed the following address:

[email protected]

Give it a try and vent your frustrations. What do you have to loose?
 
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