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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Someone please explain this to me- I'm paying an $800 destination charge for my car that's been sitting in Atlanta for over two weeks now? Am I crazy, or could I rent a F'n U-Haul for less and bring the car home to DC in less time?

Or should I STFU and accept Lotus' apologies and a refund of my "destination charge" when I get my car after a few more weeks of it sitting there? Guess which one I'm leaning towards?
 

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The more your car sits, the more money is costs Lotus too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
And that is my problem... why? (not that you're sticking up for them) ;)

Seriously, I would be less bitter (obviously) if my car was delivered somewhere near the April time that it was widely advertised by Lotus and all the car mags.

I can't drive this car in the winter, so every extra day that it's delayed, the less time I can play! And I need some serious play ;)
 

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If they are really offering you a $800 refund on the destination charge when you get your car a few weeks later, I'd have a hard time holding a grudge over that. Put another way, I wouldn't pay $800 to have my car a month earlier. But that's a subjective value, and you may be different.

While it's frustrating that poor logistics planning is parking your car out of reach, they really don't have a contractual obligation to bring it to you with haste. It's their tied-up capital and lost goodwill, but Lotus hasn't committed to a delivery date.

Sure sucks, though. What if you did offer to take delivery in whatever warehouse it sits now? Would they take you up on it, or do you have to wait it out?
 

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It covers a trip across the pond and a short ride on a transport. I'm sure Lotus would be happy to give everyone refunds for the transport delays, as soon as they get there refund. We should set the rates for them- $200 penalty for every day of delay. ;)

Sean it's not like we're all in the same situation. With a car in port your a hell of alot better off then 95+% of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I'm totally willing to go pick it up in Atlanta. Yes, $800 is a bit much to get my car a month early (well, 4 months late really), but, like I said in my post before- every day I miss out...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey LarryB, I'm sorry if I'm sounding like sour grapes- but I beg to disagree that if you know your car is sitting somewhere, in America, just waiting to be delivered vs not knowing if your car's even been built, that I might have a little more reason to be upset. C'mon, we're all in this together- if mine's delayed, it'll effect your's, whenever it gets here ;)
 

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m100 Sean said:
And that is my problem... why?
I don't think many people estimated how hard it was for Lotus USA to come from being such a small importer of cars. to a much larger importer. Some of this I would venture is just that.

Some guesses.

First, Lotus Cars USA is operating on a very small budget. Not many employees, nothing like one might think. There is a business plan and expansion of course because of the new car, but that all costs money and a entity that generates less than 7 figures in profit can't be expected to do too much. You need the sales to pay for the expansion.

Now, Lotus USA will pay Lotus UK for all these cars that they have received. But agree that the dealer does not pay you until they get delivery. No problem, you do the business model and accept some "float" as the cars come in to USA and then get shipped out to dealers.

GO ahead with expansion plans and move into the new building. Hire a few people. This will be paid by the revenue from all those delivered cars.

Find out that because of shuffling in the build and a few other issues like LSS delays, cars are not coming in as you planned. One entire ship to the west coast is way behind what you planned. So in order to stifle the expected outcry from west coast dealers... you decide to delay some cars until roughly all cars could be here. But even then, the west coast is falling even farther back.

More cars accumulate in storage. Now you find that the "float" is strangling you. There was not a lot of margin in these cars (negotiated down when the dollar/pound changed and everyone agreed that holding the line at a sub $40k price was worth making less). But you are getting no margin. You have 50+ cars sitting in storage and you paid $2 million for them. Your line of credit is costing you money.

And then you find the company that processes and then transports the cars is charging you storage fees for the cars. They don't want to hold them. The port is not happy because they have only so much room for cars and this is not part of their schedule and they charge Lotus also.

Turns out... the west coast port is having more trouble. Ships are stacking up outside port and not being allowed to unload. Customs is taking a long time with some of your shipments.

Then you learn that the transporter company is not operating as one might hope. In order to maximize their return, they only want to go out when trucks are full. They are having trouble finding drivers too. Something about the gas costs. Lotus USA is not big enough to call the shots, so they rely upon a shipper that slots them in with other models. They move the cars based on their schedule. Lotus can give them windows when cars are to be moved, but in that 72 hour window, Lotus does not know exactly when the trucks leave or their route.

At the same time, with limited resources, you are trying to bring a new computer system online and there are some issues. It would speed things up if it was working, but it's not. And you spend a lot of your time putting out fires and answering questions. And in the end, the factory only builds so many and there is nothing you can do about it.

Just my 2 cents. :)
 

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Sean, I can sympathize. If I were hot to get this car and if I knew it was so close ... I'd be ready to strangle somebody. Lotus has botched so much of this product release that it's hard to have much faith in the company at any level.

I'm sure they're taking good care of your car though. It's probably being resprayed from that parking lot incident....or it'll arrive with 200 miles on the ODO.

Actually, I heard they were running the car in reverse (like in Ferris Bueller's Day Off) to try to take all the mileage off of it.

:p
 

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Personaly, I like all the delays and trouble, it lets me know the car was built by car builders, not car salesmen. And frankly the task of designing, building, shipping and delivering any car, never mind a great car, seems herculean. If some brilliant architect came to me and wanted to build me a house for $100k, and the house was exactly what I wanted, he was just a little hard up because his brilliance hadn't yet been generally realized, I'd be pretty darn forgiving of his idiosyncracies.

The waiting list combined with the price is what makes this car great. I'm getting a car that is a commanding as a Ferrari, but I can talk about it without people zoning out and just thinking "rich asshat". You just can't brag about something like that to most people, it isolates you from them. I, however, can tout the elise up and down without feeling paticularly gaudy and when they say, "wow, that is a great car, let me go get one", for at least another year I can smile and say, "go for it, there is just one thing......".

The wait makes it taste better.
 

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Maybe you should pay Lotus for the Forex penalty that they are eating and not passing on to you?

Also - the $800 covers the shipment of the car across the Atlantic as well as shipping to your dealer. Check out the cost of a container - $800 is nice and cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Again, I could handle the wait while my car was being meticulously built by hand, and I totally appreciate EVERYTHING that's been done up to this point. It just drives me NUTS to think of my car sitting there, week after week, while I pay for this extra parking spot in my garage, deal with my friends asking, "WTF? I thought you said your car is here?" (and explaining it is *here*, but not HERE), etc...

Love the car, love my salesman, even love Lotus- just totally pissed at whomever is responsible for me getting the call every week, for the last two weeks, saying it's here, but it's going to be another week (possibly two).

AND NO IMAGES OF FERRIS BUELLER'S GARAGE ATTENDANTS PLEASE :huh: ;)
 

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benjaminr said:
Personaly, I like all the delays and trouble, it lets me know the car was built by car builders, not car salesmen... The waiting list combined with the price is what makes this car great. I'm getting a car that is a commanding as a Ferrari, but I can talk about it without people zoning out and just thinking "rich asshat". You just can't brag about something like that to most people, it isolates you from them. I, however, can tout the elise up and down without feeling paticularly gaudy and when they say, "wow, that is a great car, let me go get one", for at least another year I can smile and say, "go for it, there is just one thing......". The wait makes it taste better.
That's the best post of the year... How utterly true! :bow:
 

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all of you drop off the lists. i want a car, dammit! :D
 

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Sean- It may be wroth while contacting your dealer. Called mine Friday to check on the demo car. Found out they had just got invoiced for two customer car. That means there on the transport on the way to the dealership. Curiosity got the better of me called Tuesday, driver had contacted them with a delivery date of Wed. For my dealership there is a guy who tracks customer cars / orders. If you can talk to his counterpart at your dealers, should be able to get a 3-4 days heads up.

With your car at port for two weeks, it wouldn't be long now. Understand where your coming from. Being so close yet so far (or at least not knowing) makes it tough.
 

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That's very interesting -- the first I've heard about how "invoicing" works..

Based on that, any dealer that says "It might be on the truck today, who knows" is full of it -- they know when they've been invoiced.

By the time we get our cars, we'll know more about the Lotus car distribution/sales process than we ever should...
 

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As I was told-

The dealer has access to the status of any car if it goes into build. What that means is they know this.

1. Car is not in the build database. Sorry. No information available.
2. Car has a build date assigned. You know when it will start fabrication.
3. Car has a VIN and has rolled off the line.
4. Car is on a ship.
5. Car is now in port and through customs (off the ship).
6. Car is released to a transporter.
7. Car is sitting in the showroom.

And we can estimate the time intervals between some of these steps.

In some cases, the salesperson you speak to at your dealership may not be the one getting information from Lotus. He or She may not know. In some cases, they might be telling you what they think you want to hear, or what is more expedient.
 

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Getting the info from a dealer, really depends on who you talk to. Hence my suggestion of finding the person who tracks the cars. Salesguys, may not know, have old info, etc.
 

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Randy Chase said:
The dealer has access to the status of any car if it goes into build. What that means is they know this.

1. Car is not in the build database. Sorry. No information available.
Very interesting list Randy, thanks!

I'm curious about the state before "1.". The dealer puts in the 'order' when requested by Lotus, and I was told that "Lotus has accepted my order". Does this imply it's visible in the system, or does it first get into the computer (build database) just before they start building it?
 
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