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3Xtothe0[]
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The reason why I ask is because some years back I went into the local Harley Davidson thinking of possibly purchasing a new bike and the dealer didn't even want to talk to me. Come to find out you had to be 'introduced' by some mutual friend and even then you couldn't buy a new bike, you had to purchase a used one, and only after a while you could buy a new one. It was a total turnoff and to this day I will never own a Harley because of it. How are the Lotus dealers to deal with?
 

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When I decided to pull the trigger at Lotus of Beverly Hills, the way I told Brandon was:

B: "So what do you think?"
Me: "I think you're gonna have to move a bunch of ****"

I was referring to the other cars in the way to get mine out, you know, Lamborghinis and Rolls' etc. Of course I was sarcastic and he was more than happy to move the "****" for me. They were great and I like their service department too, really cool guys.

I would have treated the Harley guy like I did to the guy at the Saturn dealership who wouldn't let me test drive a turbo Sky: "Forget it, I'm going to go buy a Lotus, they let me drive it." It really did go down that way and I am SO glad it did. I make sure the Saturn reps at the LA car show know how they lost a sale and how awesome the Lotus is. They had their reasons, but those reasons kept that car in the showroom longer.

(I know you guys are going to give me hell for looking at a Saturn, but I like to explore all options. Obviously no comp on performance, but similar trunk space, two seater, convertible, etc.)
 

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3Xtothe0[]
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Yea, it was really weird. I just can't image ANY dealer trying to turn off future customers. You had to be apart of the 'group' in order to purchase :confused:. I RAN away from that place...
 

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No hell from us. We're not complete Lotus snobs here. We realize there are other cars in the world.

That said, I really dislike the Saturn other than for looks :p
+1, I actually like the look of the Sky. :D Not so much with Solstice however.

The reason why I ask is because some years back I went into the local Harley Davidson thinking of possibly purchasing a new bike and the dealer didn't even want to talk to me. Come to find out you had to be 'introduced' by some mutual friend and even then you couldn't buy a new bike, you had to purchase a used one, and only after a while you could buy a new one. It was a total turnoff and to this day I will never own a Harley because of it. How are the Lotus dealers to deal with?
I did have a weird experience with one dealership...which it turned out wasn't so weird after I was inside. The dealership in San Francisco has LOTS of people milling about outside all the time, taking pictures and such. They require an appointment to get inside, and for good reason. After that initial adjustment, they've been great.
 

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+1, I actually like the look of the Sky. :D Not so much with Solstice however.

I've learned to never underestimate Pontiac's ability to uglify a car.
Failure at multiple levels-- somebody designed the damn thing (thinking it's great), management approved it for production (thinking it's great), and some people actually bought it (thinking it's great). It's amazing GM is still in business!rotfl
 

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When I bought my Subaru STi the dealers wern't letting people "test" drive them due to all the kids coming in that wanted to play with them. I put down a refundable deposit and when the car I wanted came in I test drove it and then finialized the deal. They treated me well and I could understand their reason for their doing things this way.

As far a Lotus dealers go I can't speak of other dealers but FVMC (Chicago area) is great to work with. I am so spoiled by the experiences I have had there I would have a hard time going anywhere else. Too bad all dealers can't treat their customers this way.
 

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Since you are located in New York you might want to touch base with the local Lotus Owners Group there. LOONY. You can find them in Yahoo groups.
Post your inquiry there and you will get responses more specific to your area.

Good luck.

Al B.
 

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Since you are located in New York you might want to touch base with the local Lotus Owners Group there. LOONY. You can find them in Yahoo groups.
Post your inquiry there and you will get responses more specific to your area.
Al B.
LOONY is for upstate New York. The Lotus Enthusiast's Organization (Lotus Enthusiast's Organization) is for New York City / New Jersey.

I'm sure everyone has had horrible experiences with dealers. One of my worst, in 35 years of dealers, was a Toyoto dealership in 1973 - for my first new car. After 20 minutes of talking to a salesman, he called it quits, accusing me of being all talk and no sale. He wouldn't even give me a test drive. After I bought a Datsun 510 ($2,500) I called him and told him he blew a sale and then talked to his supervisor.

I had good experiences with Saturn dealers, unlike local600. In 1994, my then-wife, who wasn't finicky, bought an SL. I was impressed with their overriding policy of no hassle, no bargaining. However, in 1995, when my car was on its last legs, I went to a motorcycle dealer and got a used BMW bike instead.

A year later, I had to get a replacement car and I went to a different Saturn dealer. They were so helpful they even drove a car to my workplace so I could drive it during lunch. My life was a shambles and I needed a no-hassle dealer.

A little while later, I needed a replacement motorcycle. Two BMW dealers were closest, abut 50 miles from me in either direction. A Harley-Davidson dealer was closer and I bought many accessories (gauntlet gloves, silk long-johns, helmet, cap, socks) from them. Buying from them was as XOXOX said. No test drives. On a specified day, you put in your order and when the bikes come in, you take whatever they give you. They told me they didn't have insurance on test drives, thereby saving some money, because they didn't have to. They sold their quotas every year.

I found a dealer in Annapolis, Md. who would give me a test drive of a Sportster. I remember that after half a mile, the rear-view mirror dropped down. I felt that if they're going to be this irresponsible about a test-drive, an opportunity to influence a prospective buyer, they might be irresponsible about everything else. So I bought another BMW, this time new. Note: the Sportster has a reputation of being a "girl's bike". It's called a "skirtster" by drivers of more he-man HDs. We had a recent thread on the Evora being a girl's bike.

My experience with Lotus dealers in the New York City area is nothing but positive. I looked at Hondas, Mazdas, BMWs and Audis in addition to Lotus. The professionalism of the dealer was higher with more expensive cars. Lotus was the best, BMW was next, and Audi wasn't so good. Honda and Mazda were mediocre. I bought my Elise from Manhattan Motor Cars, intending to have it serviced at HRM. With HRM gone, I use Park Ave. Lotus for service.

Dan
 

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Any dealer:

Call and make an appointment for a test drive in advance.

Tell them you are seriously considering buying a Lotus.

They will let you test drive a Lotus.

Feel the car inside and out. Note that it is a real sports car, without a lot of comfort you may be used to in your Lexus or whatever.

If you decide to buy a Lotus it will be the usual discussion with a car salesman.

Find out about extended warranties and get one, if you want. That's up to you.

Talk to the service manager. Get to know him. Find out how well they know Lotus cars. You'll really appreciate him once you own the car - if you need him.

Alan at Lotus Beverly Hills kept his service bay open past midnight one rainy night waiting for my car on a flatbed. He then fixed it in 20 minutes with a new fuse. Amazing service. :D

And find out who they recommend for lower front clam or other body damage. Peace of mind knowing there is a body shop nearby.

Good luck!
 

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My boyfriend and I, in our young 20s, were treated very well by the Lotus rep at a car show. People were only allowed to view the Lambso and Lotuses by appointment but after inquiring with the rep, she let us view, sit in, and start the Exige during a quieter time without an appointment.

The dealership is in another city and when the boyfriend said he visits the city on a yearly basis (which he does), the rep gave us all the brochures and necessary information. She took down our numbers and email information in the event any Lotus track events were going to be organized in our province. (Ha Ha. Not likely.) She could've just been really nice because it was a car show, but I'm impressed that she actually let us get inside the roped off area even though the "quieter" time wasn't much quieter than when we first spoke to her.

Subaru and Mitsubishi dealerships were insane when the first 08 STis and Evo Xs launched. My boyfriend, who has a 07 STi, went back to the dealership he bought his car from and requested to drive the 08 STi. He said he may be interested in buying it for his DD and using his 07 as just a track car. The salesman said he wasn't allowed because he wasn't "qualified" as a driver. The boyfriend just looked at him and said "You see that one right there? That's mine. You tell me how I'm not qualified enough to drive a 08 but I am for a 07, which has more power and better handling?" Salesperson had no reply. Awkward...
 

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Sports and Specialist Cars in Hopewell, NJ - Only one service issue so far, and they were super-friendly and helpful.
 

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I found it a totally different experience than any other dealership to be honest:

Domestics or mainstream imports (Ford, Chevy, Nissan, etc): Sales reps hovering like vultures on the steps. Apparently they draw straws or something as you park because usually only one approaches you. Unless you pull up in a lotus. They will talk a mile a minute in a constant game to feel out just how serious you are about buying from them in the next week. They also treat you like a common criminal and won't trust you with a car if they aren't in the passenger seat.

BMW, Lexus, Mercedes: Usually a little more respectful of your space, a little less pushy for a sale - and more quiet. They realize their target market will balk at a strong push sales mentality. They do definitely size you up though.

Porsche: The place I went to was fine with handing over the keys for a test drive (Cayman S) while the rep stayed behind at the dealership - but they had an arrogance I didn't really appreciate. Maybe i just got the guy on a bad day. When I told him I was going to look at Lotuses, he told me they were junk and to come back if I wanted a real car. That being said, I wasn't overly impressed with the Cayman S.

Lotus: Very different experience. I bought from Star Motor Cars in Houston, and they move enough that they have a dedicated Lotus rep. Very enthusiastic fellow (Tim) that simply describes the car and tells you about - but doesn't push for a sale. They know that the Elise/Exige is a very niche car, and if the car will basically sell itself to the right person - there's really no direct comparison. So they line you up with all the info you could want and wait for you to make the call. Definitely appreciated that!
 

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I used to be the Lotus Sales Manager for HRM before they closed earlier this year. If I can be of any assistance, let me know.

Robert
 

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Porsche: The place I went to was fine with handing over the keys for a test drive (Cayman S) while the rep stayed behind at the dealership - but they had an arrogance I didn't really appreciate. Maybe i just got the guy on a bad day. When I told him I was going to look at Lotuses, he told me they were junk and to come back if I wanted a real car. That being said, I wasn't overly impressed with the Cayman S.

Lotus: Very different experience. I bought from Star Motor Cars in Houston, and they move enough that they have a dedicated Lotus rep. Very enthusiastic fellow (Tim) that simply describes the car and tells you about - but doesn't push for a sale. They know that the Elise/Exige is a very niche car, and if the car will basically sell itself to the right person - there's really no direct comparison. So they line you up with all the info you could want and wait for you to make the call. Definitely appreciated that!
I also had an unpleasant experience at a Porsche dealership. The salesman would not let me take the Cayman S for a test drive without him in the car. He had zero personality. He constantly interrupted me while I spoke to another employee at the dealership (not another sales person). I was the only customer in the showroom so it wasn't as if I was preventing him from getting another sale. I was actually ready to buy a car that day. I left and went to another dealership the next day and bought a car. I had a totally different experience at that dealership. Everything was first class.

Lotus dealerships were a pleasant experience. I was trying to decide between a Cayman S and a Lotus Elise SC. I bought the Cayman S this year. Next spring I will be looking to get the Elise. I'll be keeping the Porsche and will be adding the Elise as a third car.

BTW I was at HRM just a few weeks before it closed. I missed Robert (wallabyguy) because I was told he was out on the road (I didn't realize just how out on the road he was:eek:). I was really leaning toward getting the Elise SC at that time.
 

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Where and when was the harley thing. That sounds like an isolated incident to one dealer. All the harley dealers around here want to sell them as bad as anyone else.
 

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Every dealer is going to be different, so bear that in mind when reading these responoses. That being said, when I first came to my local dealer looking for a Lotus, I wasn't treated that well. The salespeople would eventually come talk to me, but it seemed I was more of an inconvenience more than anything. I ended up getting a car through a private sale so I can't comment on the buying experience. Post purchase, the treatment from my dealer has improved, however, I still feel as if I'm brushed off from time to time because they know I'm not one of their usual, wealthy clients.
 
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