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According to Autostrada's website, Lotus has invited dealers to a test drive of the new cars in Alabama around a track sometime in March.

I am jealous. :)

Lotus USA should also invite key people from internet forums so we can report back more intelligently... yeah, that's it.
 

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Randy Chase said:
According to Autostrada's website, Lotus has invited dealers to a test drive of the new cars in Alabama around a track sometime in March.

I am jealous. :)

Lotus USA should also invite key people from internet forums so we can report back more intelligently... yeah, that's it.
Can we infer from that information that the federal car line has started production? How long does it take to make one from beginning to finish?
 

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Production is around 2-3 weeks for a car. It also takes about a month for the cars to make it over. My guess it's more of a pre-production (pilot) run or wrost case the show cars, the dealers will be playing around with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I was assuming these would be show cars also.
 

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I wouldn't think they were the show cars. Clyde inferred that the show cars weren't really driveable besides getting from truck to showroom.

by the way, where's clyde been?

:confused:
 

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Randy Chase said:
Yeah, I was assuming these would be show cars also.
The truck that took the yellow car to Chicago auto show stopped at my dealer to drop off his CO Espirit. I was told that the Elise didn't have brake lines. He made that statement as a way of emphasizing that the show cars were not demos.
 

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LarryB said:
Production is around 2-3 weeks for a car. It also takes about a month for the cars to make it over. My guess it's more of a pre-production (pilot) run or wrost case the show cars, the dealers will be playing around with.
I'm not buying your production time per car. Lotus quoted 100 man-hours per car, but that number would be divided by the number of people that actually work on the car. If 10 people put in 10 hour on different parts of a car that would equal 100 man-hours. It doesn't mean the car actually takes 100 hours to turn out.
 

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WHen I was up there a couple weeks ago, Clyde and the rest of the LCU gang were busy as one-armed paperhangers!
CHris
 

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babak said:
I was told that the Elise didn't have brake lines. He made that statement as a way of emphasizing that the show cars were not demos.
That guarantees a more exciting ride on the track. At least for a very short time. :)

Sounds like they might be getting an early shipment in then if they don't fix up the show cars.

Makes some sense that they will want to use real cars for the press release stuff..because as we all know, the show cars had some minor things that were not done.
 

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Derek- Not buying, that they've got 10 people putting togather a car in 10 hours either. ;) . Thats the type of thing Toyota can do, doubt Lotus will ever get there with our version of the Elise. Suspect there ramping production up for the first month or two, allowing more time to put the cars togather, QA, drive them a few miles etc. More importantly for us, how often will they ship them? Wouldn't help much if they put them togather in a day then waited 2-4 weeks to ship them out.

Sure would hope the dealers are checking out production level cars.
 

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Randy Chase said:
Yeah, I was assuming these would be show cars also.
From GGLC:

Everything is staged in Hethel for the production of the US Elise to begin the 1st week of March. The first 8 or so cars will come off the line, get some quick testing and then will be quickly loaded on a plane for US soil in preparation for the US Press and Dealer launch in late March
 

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Wish D&H covered that kind of delivery. Oh well, glad to hear Lotus is going to the expense for the dealers/press.
 

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Randy Chase said:
That guarantees a more exciting ride on the track. At least for a very short time. :)

Sounds like they might be getting an early shipment in then if they don't fix up the show cars.

Makes some sense that they will want to use real cars for the press release stuff..because as we all know, the show cars had some minor things that were not done.
The show cars are driveable, but I'm not sure how much. I got to move the Racing Green one around from spot to spot when I did my photo shoot. Never got above 1st gear, but the gearbox, brakes, steering, ect. all worked normally as far as I could tell.
 

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If the dealer test drives are in Alabama that sounds like the Barbour Track outside Birmingham. Do we have volunteer spy photograhers on this board?
 

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LarryB said:
Derek- Not buying, that they've got 10 people putting togather a car in 10 hours either. ;) . Thats the type of thing Toyota can do, doubt Lotus will ever get there with our version of the Elise.
Actually, Toyota assembles its cars on a line. That means that one car gets one task done at one time (serial production). This is more efficient for large production numbers, because tasks can be broken down to a very small scale and workers specialized in just one task. In this type of scenario, man-hours and time of assembly are very similar, because one task can't begin on a car until the last has completed.

I'm not sure, but @ 100 man-hours per car, Lotus is probably not building these cars on a line. They're probably assembling in phases, with multiple workers at each phase (parallel production). This means that total time of development is less than man-hours of assembly, because tasks in one phase overlap.

P.S. - I think Derek was using the "10 people" as an example of the point rather than a specific estimate of number of workers assembling a car.
 

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I discussed this with one of the Lotus factory people.

The elises are indeed built on a line type setup. However it's not crawl type line like large manufacturers. Individual cars are issued a build log, the chassis is mounted on a cart, at each station different assemblies and sub assemblies are added in a specified period of time ( a departure from esprit building). At which point the car is pushed to the next station. From what I understand, The US and euro elises will be built on the same line and the vauxhall line will not be used for the US cars.

Apparently the assembly line is pretty long by lotus standards (the esprit line was maybe 100 feet end to end)

CHris
PS>How many weeks now adamant???:D
 

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What Chris said sounds alot like what I've seen when I toured the Maserati and Ferrari factories. Each station has a few craftsmen who perform a specific duty and they have a specific allotment of time to do their work in. The lines actually work very well and are alot more streamlined than you would have probably guessed.
 
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