So what do you think is behind all of these dealer closings? General downturn in the US auto market or is it something specific to Lotus?
:bow: Well said :clap:While the economy has had some impact, much of what you are seeing is poor planning or bad business practice. While I respect those that have a different opnion than mine, there is NO REASON a well managed, pro-active, properly planned Lotus franchise can't make money even in this economy. I've personally run the numbers and had them reviewed by several financial advisors. It works. But it takes commitment and dedication which is seriously lacking from many organizations. There is a general misunderstanding of the brand and the community and this is what is fueling the general downturn in the network. Dealers can not sit back and simply take orders anymore. they need to understand the buyers, their needs, their interests and react to them. The dealers have forgotten, on the whole, that they are here to serve the owners. There are some select dealers which really stand out right now like Fox, Melloy, BMC, Smith, Hopewell, to name a few.
The other problem is matching Lotus with Lamborghini and Ferrari Dealers is a mistake. Wrong attitude. Wrong buyers. These brands do not compliment eachother and the way those franchises are set up, it simply leads to angry salespeople who don't "make enough" on Lotus to be bothered. The Owners don't want to spend the money to stock any cars or commit the staff in service to support the owner base. Just a bad combo.
In order to be successful you need an operational team (managers) that know the brand, the community, the cars and can dedicate themselves to the ownership base full time. Just because a dealership can sell 300 Hondas a month does not mean they are a good match for Lotus. There is an entirely different mentality required to sell Lotus. If the average Lotus buyer goes into a dealership and is treated like a Civic buyer, they'll go buy a Z4 Coupe or Cayman instead.
Lotus should be taking advantage of this market with inflated fuel prices and I see a general lack of commitment in achieving the goal.
So who else thinks that it's time for Wallabyguy to put the plan in motion and open Lotus of New England? You know the business, the market, the product, and the customers. You have the passion for the product, have had the unique opportunity to learn from other's mistakes, and probably have enough contacts in the finance business to get it done too. You only live once, right .
Allan,Also, Lotus would have been in a better position if the Eagle could have been introduced last year with deliveries starting this year as opposed to trying to milk the very niche market of the Elise/Exige.