That was the reason my friend and I put our deposits at Auto Europe in MI instead. They only wanted $2000.00 and theirs is fully-refundable. And from what I hear, they were rude and up-ity to my friend also. I'd recommend the trip up I-75 to get a better deal and friendlier service. Jim Michel is our salesman's name.
I did exactly the same thing. Originally when I put my deposit down a year ago, MAG was not accepting deposits. I felt like they could care less. I was promised they would call and nothing. I only live two or three miles from MAG and still am willing to drive to Michigan. Brad what number in line are you?
My experience with MAG was TOTALLY the opposite.My salesman(Shawn Sheppard) was professional in every way, gave me a tour of the dealership,service dept.etc.He was very knowledgeable and, in no way, a "typical "car salesman.I look forward to working with him.
I'm #1 on Shawn's list. I've had an overall positive experience. I think some of the negative opinions may be due to the fact the MAG was refusing to take deposits until the official word had been given from Lotus even though some other dealerships were.
Went to MAG yesterday (not my first time dealing with them, but I chalked other bad experiences at the BMW store up to "flukes").
Found the salesman (Shawn Sheppard) to be a complete pompous @ss.
Very curt and unprofessional when I called him on the phone - seemed totally disinterested in selling me the car.
When I arrived at the dealership 30 minutes later to view the car, he was speaking on the phone with a customer about the Elise. He told said customer that he was "on a very short [priveleged] list"with an opportunity to buy one of the Elises they now had in. Worked the guy over the phone while I standing there. I heard him incorrectly inform said customer of what comprised a Touring Package.
After finishing with the phone customer, he seemed very reluctant to even show me the car (he didn't even go and get the keys until later).
Told me that I needed to place a $2500 non-refundable deposit. No test drives until May, and if I was unhappy with that policy, I could "just wait until May". Made it clear that there was no way I would ever be able to take my wife on out on the test drive "when and if they occur".
Told me there were two (2) Loti at the dealership - the red one we were viewing and a Nightfall blue one. But he would not show me the Nightfall model.
As if to clinch this completely p!ss-poor experience, on our way back upstairs I asked if he had any literature or an order sheet. He told me, "give me a minute, and I'll get it for you". Once we reached the showroom, though, he began speaking with another salesman's customer (I can only guess he trying to close down a deal and get a piece of the commission).
My wife and I waited around the showroom another 20 minutes in plain site of him, and Shawn never again acknowledged us or made any attempt to get us the materials he promised. We left in disgust without even a "thanks for stoppin by" from him.
I suppose some of the elitism behavior is to expected when the Elise is sitting next to Astons and Ferraris. BUT it is "only" a $40K car. I can take a $45K Z06 or Esclade on on overnight drive from GM, and I can't buy a test drive at this dealer. Utterly disgusting.
What's worse, this is hardly my first encounter. I was with a friend no less than a month ago when he experienced the same thing trying to buy a $27K (used) M3 - they flat-out refused him a test drive down the road at MAG BMW until he came in and "talked numbers".
Their service department butchered our MINI when we took it in for service.
I will be researching the MI, IL, and PA dealerships. There is no was MAG is getting any of my money after this latest debacle.
My experience with MAG has been quite pleasant thusfar. The staff has been very helpful and has not promised anything based on speculation. Overall, a very professional organization based on my experience.
Call Dave Behlmann (636) 397-2700 at Mid-Rivers Lotus in St. Louis. The president of Lotus Ltd., Roy Collins from Cleveland, bought his 2003 Esprit V8 from Behlmann after having a similar experience with MAG.
I can assure you there will be no run around with Dave and he will treat you with the utmost respect.
I posted this on the 'MAG Deliveries' thread in the Rumors & News section, but it's actually more relevant here. Since others have come forth w/names, I'll volunteer the info that my salesperson was Shawn Sheppard. I currently own an Audi TT that I service at MAG, and if you'd like to hear about that, you can PM me.
From the other thread:
Just came back from a test drive at MAG, a saffron yellow car without LSS or touring.
The test drive was a dispiriting event, actually, though not through any fault of the car. Here's what happened-
The salesman pulled the car out of the showroom and told me to hop in on the passenger side. He drove out for toward highway 33 and cornered hard through the on ramp. As he accelerated to merge, he comments that it's still in it's break-in period. He accelerates moderately hard anyway. As I'm looking around the cabin, we slow down. As quickly as we got on the highway, we're off of it, the next exit up. He pulls around to the on-ramp going back to the dealership and stops there(!) for me to take over.
I do, and yeah, it was nice. The driving position was fantastic, it fits like a glove. The acceleration, while strong, wasn't outrageous, but since I wasn't able to go above 4000rpm due to traffic I guess that's to be expected. Merging into the lunch-hour congestion was a bit of an ordeal with the limited rear visibility.
Right now, I'd like to tell you about how amazing the handling was, how precise the steering, how powerful the brakes were. But, taking the expected route back to the dealership in very heavy traffic, I had no chance to get any feel for how the car does in what it's supposed to do well. My test drive was over in less than 5 minutes.
I mentioned this to the salesman, and his response was, "well, that's our test drive. We don't want people sliding our cars off of the road." I had no intentions of goint 9/10ths, but I didn't get the opportunity to even go beyond 3/10ths!
While pleading my case, he cut me off and said, "we have 66 people who have ordered these cars 'sight unseen'. If you're not 67, someone else will be." With that, he walked away. He clearly couldn't care less whether or not I put a deposit down.
So my conundrum is this: I love the car but have serious reservations about the dealer. Lotus is grouped w/MAGs 'High-Line' cars (ie Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, Rolls-Royce). A $40,000 car is not what they're used to selling, and I feel fairly certain that this (along with the waiting list) is why I was treated so poorly. Even if the service experience proves to be acceptable, I have hard time thinking about spending my money with these guys on principle alone.
Obviously you wouldn't want to buy a car from this arrogant pr*ck. However, sometimes individuals overstep their bounds - his attitude may not be an accurate reflection of the dealership's customer service policies. I would recommend finding out who the general manager and/or owner is and bringing this unacceptable behavior to their attention; you may get a better response, especially if they value long term repeat business and good customer relations.
If not, find another dealer - this car is too good to pass up!...
I do sympathise a bit with the Lotus sales people. I was at Ascot a few days ago and Curt (salesguy) got calls the entire time about the Elise. I was there less than an hour and he was on the phone a very good part of the time talking Elise stuff. He gets calls everyday from people way down on the list asking when it will be there.
This doesn't excuse rude behaviour though. I have spoken to the MAG people many times & they have been professional & courtious. Maybe you got them on bad days, maybe I got them on a good day.
Remember Salespeople are people too. They get people annoying them all the time for test drives, times, dates, etc etc. Give them at least a little break.