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Discussion Starter #1
"stay in contact with your dealer, as we will be communicating more info about the Elise and its arrival in the U.S. just after the new year. It may be a few months, after the 1st, that the dealer has enough info about which specific cars are coming their way and in what time frame but our plans are for the Elise to be here for sale during the 2nd quarter of 2004. Stay tuned, the wait will be worth it. The U.S. spec car is truly an amazing vehicle. Thanks, Lotus Cars USA"
 

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I hope I'm just taking that the wrong way...

But this:
It may be a few months, after the 1st, that the dealer has enough info about which specific cars are coming their way and in what time frame
Is a bit unsettling because it seems to imply that the dealerships won't be able to control which cars are coming their way and therefore we won't be able to make custom orders and still expect our cars in a timely manner.

Like I said, I hope I'm just not reading that right.
 

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I take it to mean, the dealer doesn't have the info on pricing, options or timing for delivery to place a order. It's been about a month since I've talked to mine. At the time he was expecting the details (brochures) from Lotus in Dec. Now sound like it's going to be after the L.A. show in Jan. And a few month later before first orders go in... more time to figure out what color to get. ;)
 

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Spoke to my dealer today to place anoter order, he thinks that the dealers will get a glimpse in a couple of weeks at Atlanta.
 

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MikeAR303 said:
Is a bit unsettling because it seems to imply that the dealerships won't be able to control which cars are coming their way and therefore we won't be able to make custom orders and still expect our cars in a timely manner.
You may be right, but I'm hoping that what they mean is, if an order is placed for, say, Chrome Orange, that car may not be available until sometime later - in other words, not all options may be available at a normal leadtime (we already know this to be the case with the LSS).
 

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It would seem more probable than not that our cars will be arriving later than we would like. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. To think that a (charmingly) inefficient company can simply "pull a lever" and make the system super-streamlined is probably not reasonable. We have the following situations to look at:

- The shipping network will either have to be revamped or the existing one needs to be significantly bolstered. Their current importation methods are modeled on a trickle of Esprits not the relative cascade of Elise's that will be on the way. This will undoubtedly cause the dealers with "pull" to get on the horn to Lotus brass about which car they should have had, which VIP HAS to have their car, which car is a make or break for the dealership etc. and I'll bet that semi-standard cars will be diverted initially to parts unknown.

- Mules have been spotted testing as recently as a month ago (according to BBS posts I have seen), so that would seem to indicate that the design has only been very recently finalized if it has been finalized at all. New supplier networks are being established as we speak. The new (probably untested) supply chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, and there are sure to be delays by suppliers as production ramps up. I don't know the number of new suppliers, but I'll bet it's more than you think. All of them need to perform for the assembly line to chug on.

- I'll bet we'll see many-a-post after the cars begin to arrive about the unfairness of the distribution of cars. Human nature dictates that when the cars become available, there will be an initial scrum for the first examples. If you thought the dash for Cabage Patch Kids and Tickle-Me-Elmo's was brutal, I'll bet we ain't seen nothin yet.

There are so many things that have to go right for Lotus to pull off a flawless introduction of this car.

I hope they pull it off without a hitch, but I think we need to be patient because I'm guessing we can all add 3-4 months to the timeline.

I hope I'm wrong.
 

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_JD_ has made many fine points and I agree with them. I think we have to remember that the Elise is largely a hand-built car. And it's a bit "cutting-edge" as it uses a large amount of adhesive to hold the chassis together and the fiberglass body panels to the car. I know I'm anxious to get the car, but I'd gladly wait to know that the people crafting the car are putting as much care and dedication into building my car as possible.

I would love to have my car in time for summer, but I've taken solace in knowing that I've at least got an order in. I understand that my dealership (Newport European) no longer is taking ANY orders because they don't know their allocation and don't want to over-promise. With that in mind, I'm content to wait until my car is ready for me to pick-up. Besides, the weather in SoCal is usually very pleasant for 90% of the year! :)

Bob K.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We, as reserved customers, will be contacted prior to the actual build-date for our cars so that finalized details can
be stated before the actual production order commences at the factory. Lotus will be custom building them, following
the numerical order as stated by the dealer, with equipment 'as ordered by the customer'.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
your only way of getting one before next year is to get Santa's O.K.. Sadly, your name was at the top of his 'bad all year'
list so this could pose a problem. If I were you I would send off a note to the North Pole and try to 'bull-sh--" the 'old coot' saying he must be mistaking you for someone else. It's worth a shot, don't you think?
 

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I also agree with JD's assessment. Lotus has had the charming reputation for delays and inefficient operations -- please understand, this is not meant as a criticism. Having owned a Lotus in the past, I can't wait to be a "member of the family again".

I too am expecting cars to arrive later than I had originally hoped (but will be delighted if proven wrong).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I believe the fact that Lotus continues to
state 4/04 as 'first availability date' is telling. I'm sure they would want to convey accuracy with regard to delivery
here in the U.S., especially since they
could have easily adjusted the date on their U.S. site to read 6/04 if they felt the earlier date was not attainable. I have heard nothing (from Lotus) to lead me to believe otherwise than the April date as being a 'continuing to be' accurate projection for '1st delivery'. The Jan. issue
of Automobile Magazine mentions that we in the U.S. are expected to purchase
some 2,500 Elises per year, which will
account for about 50 percent of the factory's annual production. The dealer network, presently at 38, will increase to
about 50 during the next two years.
 

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I would not use the data on the official site as any indication. It was done and then appears to not have been updatedl, even with new information. We have a lot better idea of the specs on the car, but the site refers to the Euro spec.

It could be that it is better to not change the 04/04 date than to announce a slip and deal with the ramifications of the announcement. Heck, bring a few demo cars in during April to show you met the date, and then have the cars arriving in May/June.

Or maybe they will arrive in April and the reports of June are based on something else?
 

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Everything I've heard is the cars are still on track for the scheduled arrival, late April. Keep in mind the first cars are slated no sale (for a specified time period) and the dealers/lotus will use as demos.

Also, when the line first starts it won't be up to capacity for some period of time until they get all the little bugs out of the assembly process.

I'm pretty confident the first people will get their cars in May.

CHris
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I thought I had read that only one car per dealer was supposed to be held for 90 days. If so, this shouldn't affect reserved list customers much. I'm also
concerned about actual monthly allotments. If 2,200 is the conservative projection for total vehicles covering a 12 month period, each of the 38 dealers should average a minimum of 5 vehicles each month. Then, if additional monthly production is realized, the higher volume
dealers might expect to average a higher
monthly allotment. I'm #13 at my dealer
in Watertown, Ct. and would like to have my car sometime this summer. If I'm going to volunteer my services as a lookout for terrorists on the beach this summer I need my Elise!
 
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