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Discussion Starter #1
With virtually all Lotus dealerships being a subset of the dealers' primary product lines, there are a few that are co-located with GM franchises. Not aware of any part of Chrysler/Dodge, but there may be some.

Are any of you concerned for, or aware of, any Lotus dealers at risk because GM or Chrysler is shutting down their 'parent' dealership?

I know Criswell, and I believe Rothrock are GM/Chevy dealers. But I also believe they are fairly robust GM dealers and move a fair amount of product.
 

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That's a great question!

Are any of you concerned for, or aware of, any Lotus dealers at risk because GM or Chrysler is shutting down their 'parent' dealership?
Pretty sure some of these Lotus dealers will disappear in this latest example of corporate restructuring. :eek:
 

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Criswell and Rothrock are very substantial GM dealers. There should not be any concern with their ability to weather this storm.

What people are less apt to notice is that Bentley dealers lost their floorplanning (inventory financing) a few weeks ago. Those dealers are in much worse shape.
 

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I agree with Wallabyguy, Rothrock will weather the storm.....as a Chevy dealer. As for Lotus ...... sales has been very slow, for a long time now, that concerns me. I dont know how other Lotus dealers are doing here in this area but things have got to pick up for all of us or..........
 

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I *THINK* if a GM/whatever dealer is going to absorb a Lotus franchise, it must be a fairly well off dealership...
I agree...BUT, If the interest in the secondary product isnt there how long do you think it will remain??? Im just really concerned at this point.
 

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Criswell and Rothrock are very substantial GM dealers. There should not be any concern with their ability to weather this storm.

What people are less apt to notice is that Bentley dealers lost their floorplanning (inventory financing) a few weeks ago. Those dealers are in much worse shape.

Actually we have sold 4 Bently's this month, doing great!! rotfl
 

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Charlie,

I wasn't referring to sales as much as dealer funding. That said, John Eagle appears to be a great organization and I fully expect that your success with Bentley will continue with Lotus as well.
I think so, the community interest and support has been amazing so far! Lets just hope we can keep vehicles moving through. As for Lotus though its been pretty slow right now. Bently and Aston are getting an incredible amount of interest. I sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that there has never been a dealer in town that supported those 2 marqs.....
 

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The Lotus line is STALE! The same product has been around since 2005! A few extra horse power here and there......STALE!! I wonder why sales are down.........

People who love this product have them....... Senario.........(I want you to buy a 2008-2009 with 20 more horse power that will make you trade your current Lotus in RIGHT?)....................Lotus has dropped the ball........Sorry Lotus faithful. The Evora is 2 years too late like the Camaro is for Chevy :(
 

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Sales volume certainly wasnt protective for many Chrysler dealerships, despite the way Chrysler spins how they made their decisions as to who is out. Rumor has it they used the opportunity to eliminate some dealerships that for a variety of reasons were thorns in their side. There was a dealer on CNBC last night - top 100 in sales in the US - given the boot...I heard of a Jeep dealer in Long Island - similar situation. I dont know about GM...but I wouldnt assume that having strong sales guarantees you wont be closed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re Lotus being kept as a secondary product line...both Rothrock and Criswell remained Lotus dealers all through the very lean Esprit years, when maybe they'd sell one or two cars a year, less than 100 per year nationwide among all dealers.

That said, IF Lotus keeps the COST of retaining dealerships high, that might hurt them. One dealer told me they are not sending their tech (they have only 1, I think) to school to learn to install the Lotus SC...saying the cost for the training is too high against their anticipated demand for installs, and the $$$ they would make (or not) on each install. If Lotus insists their dealers must pay for and get this kind of training, you may see more dealers opt out.

As for the product line being state, I can see the point, but I don't know if it's a simple as that.

There are still MANY people that don't know what the car is, have never seen one before, or who know what it is, lust for it, but see it as unattainable. It still draws attention, wanted and unwanted, from Vette, Porsche, S2000, EVO, 350/370Z etc.

I was glad to get my first Elise with all available options at the time for under $50K on the road. Even at that, one had to rationalize the cost, but there was nothing rational about it.

The cost for even a base Elise now I think has gone beyond the tolerance for the average Lotus buyer who is willing to allow the car its shortcomings and compromises for the sake of the experience.

Now with lots of very, very low mileage used cars on the market at or near the $30K point, why would anyone pay $50K for a new car unless you are immovable on choices of color and options? Aside from the SC, the upgrades from year to year are marginable for most people. Come to think of it, perhaps that DOES speak to the point about being stale.

I love my Exige S, but I got an outrageous deal on a leftover new 07 that was cheaper than my Elise off the lot. I would have never considered the car if I had to go MSRP.

I'd like a 260, but at its MSRP, I just think Lotus is stretching the value point to a place where it makes sense for a very, very few.
 

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Yes the price point is getting up there....Now that Lotus has released the SC upgrade path, if I had to do it over again I would not have bought an elise SC. I would have picked up a used elise, slapped on the SC, did a few upgrades and saved a good chunk of $$$....
 

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This thread has hit on a point which has always been a sore subject with me. With a few exceptions, the dealer network is a mess. So many of the dealers have no idea how to sell the product nor do they understand the community. The product for the US is far from stale. It is the 5th MY for the car here and there have been just as many upgrades and changes as Porsche would make with any of their lines over the same period. Most vehicles are on a 5-6 year revamp program and too be honest, Lotus has made some great improvements over the past few years. Revisions are coming in the next 12-18 months and that's a publicly known fact.

There is still plenty of buyers out there if the dealers are willing to seek them out. The problem often falls that because of the other brands the dealerships sell and their volumes/ profit margins, the sales force and management don't place an importance on the Lotus line. That's a crime. It's an injustice to the company and the community. Further, it is pathetic that these are often the same dealers that gouged clients when the Elise was hot. Now they can't understand why they have no customer loyalty. Really? What's worse is we're about to go through it all over again with the Evora. These dealers will pound their chest and put fees and "market adjustments" on the Evora. Frankly, these dealers should be removed from the network, not rewarded for their bad behavior.

The Lotus training isn't that expensive. Typically you are talking about a couple of hundred dollars and a round trip Southwest ticket. Too much? Really? I would be so forward as to say, do you really want to buy or service at a dealer who isn't willing to invest in their staff's proper training? I am willing to bet if that dealer took a peak at their dealer agreement with Lotus, they'd find that failure to train their staff is a violation.

Am I saying that a dealership can survive on Lotus alone with the current line-up? No, you ned to also maintain, at least, a decent pre-owned inventory and complimentary products.

Not that I know anything about how to sell Lotuses or operate a franchise...........
 

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The Lotus line is STALE! The same product has been around since 2005! A few extra horse power here and there......STALE!! I wonder why sales are down.........

People who love this product have them....... Senario.........(I want you to buy a 2008-2009 with 20 more horse power that will make you trade your current Lotus in RIGHT?)....................Lotus has dropped the ball........Sorry Lotus faithful. The Evora is 2 years too late like the Camaro is for Chevy :(
Do yourself a favor and stick to what you know because its become evident that over the past few months, you nor the dealership whom employs you have a clue about the Lotus business. I wonder how many deposits you have for Evora, I'm willing to bet close to none. Why would you? You don't even take the time to know the community but rather post your fustration on why you can't sell. The Lotus faithful have nothing to feel sorry for but you sir are just plain pathetic. Rant over.....that felt good to get off my chest :)
 

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So many of the dealers have no idea how to sell the product nor do they understand the community....The problem often falls that because of the other brands the dealerships sell and their volumes/ profit margins, the sales force and management don't place an importance on the Lotus line. That's a crime. It's an injustice to the company and the community. Further, it is pathetic that these are often the same dealers that gouged clients when the Elise was hot. Now they can't understand why they have no customer loyalty. Really? What's worse is we're about to go through it all over again with the Evora. These dealers will pound their chest and put fees and "market adjustments" on the Evora. Frankly, these dealers should be removed from the network, not rewarded for their bad behavior.
I agree with you but looking at it from Lotus USA's perspective, they came from a scenario were 7 years ago they were only selling a few hundred (if that many) Espirits and the dealer network was probably sufficient at the time. Then with the Elise, they needed to support a distribution of 2,500 cars. I think lack of dealers would be one reason someone may pass on a Lotus so they had to let some undesireable dealers into the fold. On top of that you had some politics that brought in some dealers at the cost of good dealers (SouthBay Lotus, cough, cough).

My guess is at this point, it's probably dealer education or that will be done by the regional sales reps on the Lotus brand and customer base. As the Evora gains a foot hold, Lotus USA would be in a better position to attract dealers that are a better fit for them.
 

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I did not have high hopes for this thread, but I was wrong. It has all kinds of good stuff. :)
 
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