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Well, my elise survived two weeks on eBay with no bids at a price roughly $4K over sticker. I called my dealer to get my deposit back and he told me that a higher than expected number of people were getting their deposits back at time of delivery. He said most people, like myself, underestimated the size/impracticality/everyday comfort issues of the car and it's becoming much more of a niche car than it was when production was announced. I still wish I was in a position to have one in the garage to take out 3 or 4 times a month, but alas no.

BTW, I went on the other end of the spectrum and bought a Cayenne today. That thing is such a heavy beast, but with Uncle Sam paying for a third of it, I couldn't resist.

What are your thoughts on the REAL demand of the car. If a bunch of people jumped on the wait lists only to jump right off at time of delivery, they were never customers to begin with. I think the market for the Elise will plateau very soon and it will hold its value at a rate comparable to everything else, not just based on the lack of interest in my Elise, but also on what I am hearing from my two local Lotus dealers. It still is and always will be an amazing car for the money, but they will depreciate like everything else and sell for sticker and below very soon.
 

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SMYLGR8 said:
Well, my elise survived two weeks on eBay with no bids at a price roughly $4K over sticker. I called my dealer to get my deposit back and he told me that a higher than expected number of people were getting their deposits back at time of delivery. He said most people, like myself, underestimated the size/impracticality/everyday comfort issues of the car and it's becoming much more of a niche car than it was when production was announced. I still wish I was in a position to have one in the garage to take out 3 or 4 times a month, but alas no.
I'm curious, which dealer and how was it optioned?

The wait is killing me for my Saffron Yellow, sports, hardtop, clearbra at Palm Beach Motors Cars..

I would love to have it two months earlier and be able to swap waitlist spots if it's the same dealer (hopefully for a small, less than $500, fee).
 

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I agree - this is much more of a niche vehicle than many people realized. It's hard to realize just how true this is until you actually sit in and drive one. Until then, many peoples' expectations are in line with their experience - namely, your typical American-market car.

I think Lotus will be able to meet its goal of 2500 (?) cars per year for the US market, but it'll be difficult to exceed that.

Back to your subject - I think the reason your auctuion wasn't successful was that you weren't auctioning off an actual car.

How'd you get Uncle Sam to pay for part of the Cayenne?
 

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SMYLGR8 said:
Well, my elise survived two weeks on eBay with no bids at a price roughly $4K over sticker. I called my dealer to get my deposit back and he told me that a higher than expected number of people were getting their deposits back at time of delivery. He said most people, like myself, underestimated the size/impracticality/everyday comfort issues of the car and it's becoming much more of a niche car than it was when production was announced. I still wish I was in a position to have one in the garage to take out 3 or 4 times a month, but alas no.

BTW, I went on the other end of the spectrum and bought a Cayenne today. That thing is such a heavy beast, but with Uncle Sam paying for a third of it, I couldn't resist.
NOW IT MAKES SENSE!!! Your first paragraph states that people are pulling their deposits back at time of delivery because they REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE PAYING FOR. That is what the DEMO was supposed to do. I bet you these smart-ass dealers could see this coming. That's why they don't let people drive them, or even see them! By selling the car as fast as possible how are people supposed to know what it really is? Smart, man, smart. I thought the only thing the dealer wanted to do was mark the car up. NO, not only that, they were covering their own ass by not letting the majority of the people, who don't know what it is, drive the car, etc. This way they can't take their money back until it's too late, upon delivery. Unbelievable.


2nd paragraph:
how did you get uncle sam to pay for a third of your cayenne? I work for uncle sam, so i'd be most interested. (i don't work for IRS) LOL
 

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MattG said:
I agree - this is much more of a niche vehicle than many people realized. It's hard to realize just how true this is until you actually sit in and drive one.
Agreed. My expectations about sales changed after owning one. Great car, but very much a niche market.
 

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Re: Re: Is Elise Market Down?

shay2nak said:
how did you get uncle sam to pay for a third of your cayenne? I work for uncle sam, so i'd be most interested. (i don't work for IRS) LOL
Could be how it's worded. Uncle Sam paid for part of my Elise, since it's partially a write off.
 

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There is a provision in the internal revenue code that allows farmers to write off heavy equipment/trucks/etc in their business. If the gross weight of the car is over 4000lbs (don't quote me on the number) you can write it off.

The cayenne, hummer, and a few other large suv's fall over the 4000lb requirement so anyone who owns their own business and uses the auto in their business can write it off. Because of some other tax breaks that recently went into law for depreciation, you can write off 1/2 (again, don't quote me on this) in the first year. So if you buy a 100K Cayenne turbo at $100K, you can write off $50K in the first year. If you're in the 35% tax bracket, it's like having the government pay $17K of it in the first year.

Problem is........how may business owners do you think use their porsche suvs for 100% business use? Do you think the government is going to fall for this? Anyone who thinks they can write off their porsche's and the IRS is going to sit back and allow it has another thing coming to them.

Driving from your home to work is not business use under the IRC. Therefore, these doctors, lawyers, small business owners who think that driving to work is business use is a fool, a crook, or both.

Any tax advisor who isn't the above (fool, crook) will set these guys straight and not put themselves and their clients in a position to lie on their tax returns.
 

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SMYLGR8 said:
Well, my elise survived two weeks on eBay with no bids at a price roughly $4K over sticker.
Which one was yours? Every Elise I saw on ebay got good solid bids. The real gold-goers didn't get reserve but remember, most were pitching a "used" car.

I think there will always be a special market for the '05-'06 Elise (before variances run out). Side: I had a LR Defender which, to the average car buyer, was fairly impractical, but the market for the D90, small as it is, is there. These seven year old vehicles, in good shape, are worth their original MSRP.

If Lotus dumps 10,000 of these in the US, the market is limited, but if they make 2K per year for 2 years then address US gov't requirements, we've got some special cars here.

Only time will tell.

Anyway, good luck dumping your Elise. If you want your money back, you won't have a problem getting it.
 

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Vantage said:
The number is 6000 .lbs, just for the record.
6000 lbs is the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). I know manufacturers will sometimes stretch to 6001 GVW to make that breaking point. Not only does it have market appeal but it reduces the regs on the vehicle.
 

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Vantage said:
The number is 6000 .lbs, just for the record.
Just to be completely clear, the truck has to be OVER 6000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight. OVER.

Anyone ever hear of the $25 million pound on the Lexus GX470? They rated the GX470 at exactly 6000 lbs GVWR. They said it qualified, but it did not. With the buy back's and other attempts to placate the buyers, it costed them about $25 million. Oops.

:)
 

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It's also just accelerated depreciation. If you write off 100% of the cost of the vehicle (say the $100K Cayenne) and sell it three years later for $50K, the $50K becomes income. It doesn't provide any more money; it just helps your cash flow in the first year or two at the expense of subsequent years.

It was intended to help jump start business expansion during the almost-recession we had...and it does help do that.... but it's not a free lunch. And then, you have to pay for the gas to haul those 6,000 pounds around town.
 

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As someone who was recently in the market, i don't see a decline at all. I called all over the country. It seemed that any car that was unaccounted for was selling within a couple days of hitting the dealer. The going rate seems to be 5-6 over.

Also, after owning the car it is actually MORE drivable than i thought it would be. Really, beyond the lack of space which isn't much worse than my S2000 was, i don't see a reason the car could not be easily driven every day.

-Steve
 

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offroadr35 said:

Also, after owning the car it is actually MORE drivable than i thought it would be. Really, beyond the lack of space which isn't much worse than my S2000 was, i don't see a reason the car could not be easily driven every day.

-Steve
I agree it can be easily driven daily or for long distances. Where I think it becomes defined as a niche market car is when you compare it to something else like a Boxster or S2000.

A lot of people will want more comfort and luxury. A lot will want more features like those silly cup holders or GPS or whatever.

There is a real quality difference in the Lotus. My AC for example. You have to want the car for what it is. And accept the stereo speaker grill popping off.

You do have to be more careful because it rides low. Many people don't want to worry about that.

It is small/low. Some people will not feel as safe.

It is harder to get in and out. Some people will dislike this. Some people will rule it out because of this, or how they fit.

Some people will dislike how much attention the car draws.

So what is left? Those that want performance, don't mind how hard it is to get in and out. Are not overly concerned about the size of the car. Are willing to be careful to not scrape the bottom. Can put up with some things being quirky. Don't mind the lack of cupholders and heated leather seats. Don't mind how close the two seats are together. Can live with the minimal storage and no glovebox.

I drive by the guy with the new Lexus and I don't really think he wishes he were me. He may appreciate the Lotus, but he does not want to trade. Well, most of them anyway.
 

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good post.....sorry ur car or spot in line didnt sell though..

i made a similair observation about 2 months ago, to which people on this board basically laughed at me...but my observation was and still is this:
the real die hard car buffs are fueling this market right now...lets not forget fewer than a few hundred cars have been delivered so there is a "false" sense of "demand." i also observed that the car is very demanding for most of its prospective buyers because of its difficulty getting in and out for some people...lets face it, if ur kinda overweight, kinda old, or not very limber, its an extremely hard car to part with roughly 50 grand for. im speaking in general terms of course, and lets not get hung up on my verbage, but concentrate on my point...the first time i test drove it i stated to my salesman that when many of these people get in and out of this car, there may be a lot of second thoughts.
i do believe that soon enough we will see more people drop off lists and we will see more used elises than we think. the used ones will come from people who bought it who are tired of climbing in and out and opt for something a bit more suited for every day....lets not forget, the older guy who wants and is able to afford this car usually wants his older wife to be able to get in and out too....
as far as the s2000...i just sat in one....its like a cadillac compared to the elise...granted its not very big inside, but its much easier to get in and out.
i love the elise, for me its a basically a third or 4th car so its not an every day driver but i do cruise a lot...

i probably would have contacted u about your spot in line but i have to sell my evo first and havent had much luck.
thanks for listening to my long post
 

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SMYLGR8 said:
BTW, I went on the other end of the spectrum and bought a Cayenne today. That thing is such a heavy beast, but with Uncle Sam paying for a third of it, I couldn't resist.
Nothing personal, but you're not welcome.

Thanks for the reminder to call my congressman (again) and see if there is anything that can be done to nuke this unfair and infuriating loophole that makes me and the other taxpayers pay for everyone's overweight grocery getter.

As my neighbor put it, they were going to get a smaller Lexus, but Boy! when their accountant explained how the numbers work out, the Navigator was clearly the way to go. The big Reward from me and the other taxpayers was just too good to pass up! Like you said, we pay for 1/3 of the new truck, just because it's obese. I can't possibly understand how this serves the public interest and I want it FIXED. If you do too, call your congressman.
 

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one more thing...
when u have a write off you still have to pay...
in the instance u all were referring to, u still have to pay for the car, (or whatever else) and the writeoff is deducted from ur taxable income...so the writeoff is actually the TAX, not the whole dollar amount...say u have a 10k writeoff.....u dont save 10k, ur just not TAXED on that 10k of income.
not sure if i explained that well....
 

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evomind said:
one more thing...
when u have a write off you still have to pay...
in the instance u all were referring to, u still have to pay for the car, (or whatever else) and the writeoff is deducted from ur taxable income...so the writeoff is actually the TAX, not the whole dollar amount...say u have a 10k writeoff.....u dont save 10k, ur just not TAXED on that 10k of income.
not sure if i explained that well....
Yes. I think most people understand this. But if you are paying 30% and you write off $30,000... then you do save $10k.
 

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Randy Chase wrote:
Agreed. My expectations about sales changed after owning one. Great car, but very much a niche market.
Randy (and anyone else who owns and Elise now), can you expand on this?

I have to admit that I've been thinking about the C6 'Vette also. I am not looking for a weekend track car. Truthfully, I plan to just cruise up-and-down the coast and canyon roads 95% of the time. The other 5% might be Autocross Practice days and the occassional track day.

I have a daily driver, so I won't rely upon the Elise for anything but fun, sunny days and driving up-and-down Angeles Crest and the canyon roads around Malibu. But how would the Elise be for those long, weekend drives for two up the coast? Or touring around the back-roads of California?

Bob
 

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Hey Bob. I think I kinda did expand on it... but probably not very articulately.

It really is not the car's fitness for those tasks. I proved to myself that the Elise is a freaking great car to travel in (assuming you can travel light). It's a wonderful car for cruising and for twisties and canyons. Really, I enjoy the hell out of driving it to the post office and back.

It is that when you compare it to other cars, it becomes more apparent that it is indeed what it was intended to be...a no nonsense lightweight performance vehicle that can scoot and turn heads.

And really... most people do not want that. Not really.

If I only wanted a track toy, I would not buy the Elise. Now someone else certainly might, because the cost of the Elise is not that great to them relatively. But I could easily build a killer track car for far less money and with much less concern over hurting it. In fact, a 250cc Superkart can be had for less than $10,000 and you will go 0-60 in UNDER 3 seconds, great fun as long as you can stay alive. :)

No... the Elise to me is a compromise car. A track and street car. And the compromises are not that great... but how many people do you see really driving track cars around LA? Most people really do like the luxury, the gadgets, the cupholders, more storage.

I really think that even among car guys.. a lot of people will not be in this market. They will respect the car. They may like it. But then they will climb into their car and enjoy it for what it is.

The Elise is not cheap enough or available enough to attract a lot of the market also. When you pay $50k out the door... you either have enough disposable income... or you really like this car. For those with disposable income... well, I think the ones willing to live with this car are a small subset. They may be used to better service, treatment, and again those luxury things. This is not a BMW or Porsche.

After owning the car... it really hits home to me that Lotus hit the mark with this car. But that target audience is smaller than I used to think. Hype always dies down. It already has been. There will be newer and cooler cars that will get more press.

P.S. My personal opinion Bob is that you should not get the C6. The Elise in my opinion will be perfect for you.
 
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