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Discussion Starter #1
Is is just me, or did anyone else notice that Lotus has slipped an increase in the destination charge into the official website? It used to be $795 and it is now $870, bringing the minimum total to $41,800 (if it happened when the MSRP was increased I missed it). That means the price has increased more than $1K since introduction: $950 MSRP + $75 destination = $1,025. Are all dealers going to be charging the higher fee and, if so, how much of these increases are going to the dealer? :huh:
 

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I didn't know about that. Perhaps the people getting cars this week can check for us.
 

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I think lotus knows that they'll loose tons of people off the list if they have any big jump in price, so that they have to raise the price by $99.95 each week on the assumption that no one will be able to justify dropping off over $75.

Death by a million paper cuts. :mad:
 

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i actually posted something along that line in another thread yesterday. basically i got "the call" telling me they got my invoice and i would have car in 10 to 14 days. i told them to get me my total $ so i could get a cashiers check. and they told me they needed to wait because the delivery chg was/might go up and they needed to get info before they told me my total. yeee haw by the way this conversation occured 11/24/04.
 

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This changes things, as well as the exchange rate going in the tank for the US$. Paying a 1-2K premium for immediate ownership might make more sense now, because pure logic (and not the fault of Lotus) tells me the price of this car is going to go up, perhaps a bunch. Lotus operates on British pounds. Our US dollars are buying fewer and fewer of those pounds. They DO have a business to run, and their profits were probably not high on this car to begin with. The Elise is acknowledged as somewhat of a loss leader to re-establish a presence here.

If you want to keep our prices low, figure out how to fix our economy. The election results have unfortunately made consumer confidence, both here and abroad, slip even further. :(
 

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it made sense to me so i did it a month ago. this was a primary reason as was the extensive wait and the seeming potential that NOT buying early at a slight mark up might mean not getting a car at all. no regrets.
 

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Surferjer said:
This changes things, as well as the exchange rate going in the tank for the US$. Paying a 1-2K premium for immediate ownership might make more sense now, because pure logic (and not the fault of Lotus) tells me the price of this car is going to go up, perhaps a bunch. Lotus operates on British pounds. Our US dollars are buying fewer and fewer of those pounds. They DO have a business to run, and their profits were probably not high on this car to begin with. The Elise is acknowledged as somewhat of a loss leader to re-establish a presence here.
<vent>

Just because they have a business to run doesn't mean they are doing it well. I've probably got a few more nasty suprises coming my way, and I'll probably just deal with them up to a point, so I want lotus to succeed here so that I can get parts in the future. But the way they've been treating people with deposits doesn't make me think I'll be signing up for any more cars from lotus in the future. There is an awful lot of finger pointing between the dealers, LCU, and Hethel with no one apparently wanting to step in and take some responsibility.

</vent>
 

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There's no doubt that the buying process has been flawed. Too many dealers are dirty, but it's probably not easy for Lotus to drop dealers at this point given the limited network they have. I hope as the Elise sales make Lotus a more prominent player in the U.S. that they can drop these lousy dealers and replace them. That's probably all they can do. They can't control dealer actions, but they CAN control who the dealers are.

In any case I'd expect higher prices. Buyers in Europe have been paying a higher price than we have here in the U.S., as Lotus tries to artificially keep U.S. prices low and static in a very dynamic global exchange environment. There will be a justifiable breaking point to that strategy soon unless the exchange direction changes...:(
 

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Evl said:
<vent> But the way they've been treating people with deposits doesn't make me think I'll be signing up for any more cars from lotus in the future. There is an awful lot of finger pointing between the dealers, LCU, and Hethel with no one apparently wanting to step in and take some responsibility.

</vent>
In all fairness, Lotus extricated itself from the deposit issue by not recommending them early on. The deposit is between listees and the lister (dealer.) Blaming Lotus is like shooting the authors so you wont have to come back and decide which book to burn. I know what you mean and I understand (and agree) with your frustration. Unscrupulous dealers pay the price in the long run.
 

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...if there any any more price increases, i am telling my dealer he can keep my car, i placed my order 2 months ago, deposite over a year - but delivery is expected in feb... (whatever happened to sept. of '04?). if it goes up again. forget it, i don't need that car that bad, i'll build me up another TVR or something. i mean it gets hard to fight the argument once the Elise is MORE than a C6 vette, and i don't even like vetts. might get a panoz? we will see, I would like to have, and keep an Elise, but i am not taking any more financial abuse from lotus.
 

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babak said:
In all fairness, Lotus extricated itself from the deposit issue by not recommending them early on. The deposit is between listees and the lister (dealer.) Blaming Lotus is like shooting the authors so you wont have to come back and decide which book to burn. I know what you mean and I understand (and agree) with your frustration. Unscrupulous dealers pay the price in the long run.
I don't quite buy this. Lotus "not reccomending" lists is just them sticking their heads in the sand and not wanting to face reality.

But its beside the point. The fact is that when I place an order, Lotus should become involved. Its totally stupid for lotus to think that if I'm buying a $40-$50k car I sould let the dealer pick the options and not me. So they need a list at least from the point you place an order. Once you are on that list, _someone_ should be able to tell you how things are progressing along. You shouldn't have to hound people on 2 continents to try and figure anything out. And you shouldn't have to worry about the pricing structure changing _after_ you have placed an order _with_lotus_.
 

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Evl said:
Once you are on that list, _someone_ should be able to tell you how things are progressing along. You shouldn't have to hound people on 2 continents to try and figure anything out. And you shouldn't have to worry about the pricing structure changing _after_ you have placed an order _with_lotus_.

You did not order a car from Lotus you ordered a car from your dealerand your dealer ordered your car (along with others) from his supplier (Lotus). Your dealer is the one that you can contact for information. He may not bother providing all the information that you want, but that's another matter.

Like it or not, that's the way things work. Although Lotus may actually have a list some place with your name on it, the reality is that Lotus has a list of cars ordered by the various dealers. The dealer knows which car they actually ordered for you. No difference than walking down to the local Ford dealer and buying what ever car they have on the lot - although you are free to "special order" one. But again, the deal is between you and the local Ford dealer. All of the dealer's orders are "special order" to Ford - the dealer specs the cars for his lot, and the ones that you special ordered to your specs.
 

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I just got mine and the destination charge was $795. Mine was an October build. I sensed a price increase in the future, so I jumped on a car immediately for a small premium.
 

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A couple of comments:

1. Destination charge is the freight charges to get the car to the dealers. Lotus typically takes the shipping costs for all cars and averages them. That cost is the destination charge on the sticker. (As you might expect, the cost to ship the car to a dealer near the entry point is much lower than a dealer in the middle of the US.) I know that the original destination charge was an estimate based on their experience shipping the Esprit. If they raised the charge, I'm sure they did it as a result of their direct costs going up, not to make more money. They don't make a lot of money on the car now and cannot afford to erode it further.

2. While I understand the frustration of waiting for a car, I don't understand the animosity regarding not getting information. In my experience, that's normal. When I ordered my Porsche, it took 2 years and I was told nothing until 90 days before the car arrived. At that point I was told it was built and I would see it in about 60 days. I waited 4 years for my Ferrari 360 spider and was told about it 2 months before it showed up. There are so many variables in the process that it's difficult, if not impossible, for the manufacturer to give you information. Not to mention that some yahoo would sue them if they told them their car was to be built in 60 days and something slowed it down... This is not a "Lotus" problem imo.

Good luck.
Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just to put things in perspective, the destination charge on a new WRX Sti is $550 and, to my knowledge, has not changed with the fluctuation in the dollar. I assume the trucking costs cannot be that different (could a volume discount make that much difference?); perhaps Lotus is going to air freight to address concerns about delivery delays. :eek:
 

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Picked up my car yesterday. The car was invoiced in very late November. The destination charge was $795.

My car came with an Acupulco MP54 radio in place of the Los Angeles MP52. It seems to have all the key features of the Los Angeles radio that I want except I am not sure about security. It also does not have the fancy equalization using a mic as far as I can tell. The radio has a list price on the Blaupunkt web site that is $200 less than the LA.

I don't think it is a big deal, but it appears it is another way Lotus changed the pricing.
 

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FIN/S/4/2 said:
Just to put things in perspective, the destination charge on a new WRX Sti is $550 and, to my knowledge, has not changed with the fluctuation in the dollar. I assume the trucking costs cannot be that different (could a volume discount make that much difference?); perhaps Lotus is going to air freight to address concerns about delivery delays. :eek:
Subarus are shipped on open transport trucks. They ship cars by rail to regional distribution points and from there to their destination on those open transport trucks. Subaru ships a ton of cars and multiple ones to one dealer, possibly even a full truckload. They can much more efficiently schedule truck routes.

The Elise is shipped in enclosed transporters. They are shipped in those enclosed transporters all the way from the two coastal ports. Some of those dealers are a long way from the ports and the trucker may have to visit several dealers spread across a large geographic area to dispense with his load.

The shipping charge seems reasonable under the circumstances.
 

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ChrisB said:
The Elise is shipped in enclosed transporters. They are shipped in those enclosed transporters all the way from the two coastal ports. Some of those dealers are a long way from the ports and the trucker may have to visit several dealers spread across a large geographic area to dispense with his load.
Further, from the time the US cars leave the production line they are always under cover. They are stored inside a warehouse at Hethel, then containerized and remain in the same container until they are received and unloaded at the US prep centers (Brunswich GA & San Diego CA).

The Prep Centers are indoors and when ready the cars are loaded into the aforementioned enclosed transporters.
 
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