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I know it we all expect MSRP and think that dealers asking for over MSRP are evil and greedy, but I get the sense that not everyone really understands the real meaning of it. MSRP is the SUGGESTED retail price. Suggested because the manufacturer chooses not to limit the price of the car. For whatever reasons - higher overhead, limited sales, limited availability in their area, greediness, whatever - one retailer may choose to sell for more (or less) than the MSRP to suit their business needs. Based purely upon supply and demand, we should understand that a dealer is capable of selling these cars over MSRP (at least for now). And some of them will. That is Capitalism.

We love Capitalism when it's making us money, yet hate it when it's costing us. OF COURSE dealers are going to try to make AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY CAN on these cars!!! This is their livelihood. Why should a dealership LOSE potential profits just to make their customers happier ?!? Well, the answer lies in the question, and is related to Consumerism.

We are a consumer culture. We, as educated consumers, have the highest expectations of our dealers in terms of service and fairness. If, by making us happy, they stand to make MORE sales in the future, dealers may decide that it is in their best interest to sell the car AT or BELOW MSRP. Of course, unless you've already established a relationship with your dealer, you shouldn't EXPECT special treatment (fair, but not special).

Some dealers might give EVERY one of their customers "special" treatment (good attention, fair prices, good service, etc.). Others may decide its in their best interest to make as much money as they can while they can. It's their right as a business to decide what business model they wish to follow. And it's your right as a consumer to decide whether you want to buy from them or not or whether to buy the car at all.
 

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Well said.

I have no problem with a dealer trying to maximize profits on someone else.

:)

But they will not do it with me, and I do remember that treatment. I will sooner walk than past a premium, and in fact have done so in the past.

The good news is that I know Lotus USA is looking longer term than that, and most dealers understand your point about long term relationships too.

For many dealers, there perhaps is a middle ground that makes sense. Agree to sell the cars at MSRP for those people that got on the list. And if they drop off, it's the dealer's choice to sell those for more, or I know some dealers grabbed a couple of spots on the list for their own cars to sell. I do not begrudge the dealers doing that. As long as the wait lines are not a large percentage of speculators, it does not affect us other than a little waiting time.
 

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Well said by both. I agree

Who amongst us wouldn't sell their brand new Elise if someone walked up to us and offered us $80K? I don't know about anyone else, but I'd sell in a heartbeat and I'd march right back into the Lotus dealership to order another.

There will always be people willing to pay over MSRP for a car. An that supports the axiom, "There's an a$$ for every seat."

I am not one of them. In fact, I negotiate VERY hard to pay the least possible. I bought my Nissan Murano for $650 below invoice price! (Yes, I cut into the dealer's hold-back on the car.) On some cars, I pay MSRP because of popularity. The Elise is one car that I'm very excited about and I will gladly pay MSRP, but no more.

Bob K.
 

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I'm a fierce believer in capitalism. So, I agree, the dealer is free to try and charge whatever it wants. And the customers can refuse to pay that much :D

I doubt I'd ever be so desperate to get any car, as to pay over MSRP. Look how much some people overpaid for the new Beetle, PT Cruiser, or Thunderbird, and now depreciation and a saturated market means they got screwed. :p
 

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Thanks Larry B!

I was the only one in the Murano and I'm OK... just a little sore. But this was the 2nd accident I've had in this car in the span of 3 months! (Both were not my fault.) I have to admit that I'm seriously reconsidering if I want to push my luck by buying another Murano! (It was truly a great crossover SUV though!)

As for the Elise, I am very concerned about safety after these two bad accidents. I think in another thread they make a good point about DRLs. I don't like DRLs but if they improve safety, then I'll live with them.

Pricing on the Elise seems fair for the performance we're getting. I agree with everyone that we can simply walk away from a dealership that will gouge us on prices. But I can also say that I will continue my patronage of a dealership that I feel comfortable with. In the case of the Elise, since there are so few cars (2,200 the first year) and so much demand, I'll pay MSRP. But it's the treatment I receive from the dealership that will keep me as a customer. If a dealership did something to undermine my trust in them, then it would be likely that I would not be a return customer.

Bob K.
 

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Actually these threads that speculate on MSRP and price gouging and rah rah rah for capitalism are getting quite depressing. Here is why the Elise is different than the PT Cruiser and the Murano and the 350Z roadster and the New Beetle, and the MINI.

A : They will never make as many Elise, not ever. You can't just wait till the market is saturated and prices come down, It will not happen. Not ever. The plan is for 2200 cars per year. Lets see now divide 300 million people by 2200 cars ? You think maybe there are 2200 guys who can't afford a Ferrari, but can afford to pay $50k for a Lotus. I do, and if Lotus doesn't insist on their dealers sticking to MSRP thats just what will happen. Few of us who can only afford $40k or who refuse to spend over MSRP may get a car.

B : There are very very few Lotus dealers to choose from, you can't just find another dealer. Go to LotusUSA and look at the map of dealers. See the dots ? I live in LA and between here and San Diego I have more Honda dealers than Lotus has in the USA. I have more Nissan Dealers tha Lotus has in the USA. I have more Acura dealers, in fact I can find a dealer to do most anything I want within reason for most any car with MSRP below $40k. Not so with Lotus.


I hope Lotus does not allow their dealers to turn this sub $40K dream car into a big lie.

Hell I just hope by the end of 2004 there are more Elises in the country that there are Elise internet sites.


Steve
 
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