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Discussion Starter #1
HI All,
Just back from a meeting with John English, I've got the answer to a few questions:

1. When will the first cars arrive?

First cars will arrive in Mid June, this will be a relatively small shipment, with rest of shipments being substantially larger. Two ports for elise deliveries (don't know if this will be the case with first shipment), E. Coast - Charleston from there containers transported to Brunswick GA. W. Coast - LA with containers transported to San Diego, these are the distribution centers. Company has been shipping volvos for about 30 years very experienced with expensive car transport .

2. Any plans on price increase?

NO PLANS FOR PRICE INCREASE FOR FORSEEABLE FUTURE! (barring incidents beyond Lotus control)

3. Is the Exige coming?

Is yet to be determined, probably will examine this issue in 6-9 months.

4. US designed clothing/accessory line?

Got "sales pitch" from large apparel manufacturer yesterday, plan is to have US designed/style apparel from shirts, jackets, etc. High quality, moderate price.

5. Cars will come with 3 year 36,000 mile warranty, also roadside assistance package. An extended warranty will also be available.

6.Dealer/Servicing?

LCU will NOT have non-dealer service centers, they presently have 41 dealers, they plan to expand to areas not presently served.

7. Plans to improve communications?

Big issue with John, he's aware of a lot of the issues with lack of information coming out about the cars, build, etc. They still have only a handful of people working at LCU and it's his full intention to see that the communication situation will be improved. BTW> John did mention, he's a visitor to elisetalk and pays attention to what's posted here, he's got a very positive impression of the knowledge base we have here. Realizes this is definately a niche car "we're not talking about chevy luminas here!"

8. Website?

They've been talking to various web designers about redoing the LCU website, it's a high priority.

9. He's very interested in maintaining good relations with the elise bbs' and Lotus clubs as he feels these are exc. advertisement for the product.

10. As to Arnie leaving Lotus, said he never actually met Arnie, had wished that he would have stayed on in the position offered him as he was a great asset to Lotus.


The impression I came away with, they're incredibly busy dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's" but everyone there, including John, are committed to bringing this car and to make it an enjoyable experience. He did state that it's a totally different mindset going from a large capacity car manufacturer to a micro manufacturer, but he seems genuinely enthusiastic.

While there, talked with CLyde who's still thrilled with the Tahoe autocross experience, he said he learned an incredible amount in just one afternoon as to the capabilities of the car. Also talked with Mark O'Shaughnessy who arranged my meeting (thanks very much Mark!) and Dave Simkin who's been conducting dealer service classes. Andy Plante has relocated from Lotus UK and has been there a month or two now.

The new LCU is quite nice, high ceilinged and well let, nice Saffron yellow elise on display in the entry area.

Chris
 

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Chris thanks for the info, and thanks to John English for providing it...
 

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Thanks Chris! Sounds positive!

(jd... laughing at your avatar) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to add:

Asked him where he saw Lotus in the US in 3-5 years,
He said in 5 years he hopes to have 2-3 different models of different price and performance

Also, what's his top priority for the next 6 months.

Getting the cars here, refining and smoothing the process and making lots of happy people
CHris
 

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Thanks Chris,

Anything else on the shipments and allocations? The first one being small...is that 3 cars per dealer? Also you said the next shipments being substantially larger. Any mention of when the 2nd, 3rd shipment comes and how many? All dealers getting equal numbers?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He didn't know exact numbers per shipment, just the first would be relatively small (not nearly as big as we all want it). But subsequent shipments would be normalized at a much higher rate, ie just as with the ramping up of production, the shipping process is initially with the first batch kind of a ramping up.


I was just relieved to here that we wouldn't have 250 sweaty, smoking longshoremen taking the cars out of the container.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm just happy that I think we can work with the guy actually responsible for the day to day running of LCU>

Chris:)
 

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I guess my question should have been did he mention how long after the first shipment the next one will come? Will they be monthly? I just figure thats when we will see customers cars rolling in...
 

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Sorry to be a pain Chris!

I meant to add, did he mention that all dealers know their allocations? Another post by Randy claims they do. If so my dealership is full of crap.
 

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Donovan said:
Sorry to be a pain Chris!

I meant to add, did he mention that all dealers know their allocations? Another post by Randy claims they do. If so my dealership is full of crap.
I can confirm that my dealership knows their allocation up till August at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
They won't know how many or what cars will be in the first shipment until they get confirm from Lotus UK. Also didn't think to ask him how frequent the shipments would be until on the way home, darnit!!

We didn't discuss allocation, I've been under the impression that the allocation numbers for the first two-three months were released at Birmingham dealer meeting?

Chris
 

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Thank You

Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to do this interview.

It is unfortunate that Mr. English did not provide more information about the size and timing of the near term shipments (i.e. 60-100 in mid June; 80-150 every two weeks after that). I am number 8 at Overseas Motors in Dallas and I would like to get an idea of when the car is coming. My wife would like to ride/drive in it but she is 5 months pregant and if comes past mid-July, I am not sure she will be able to enjoy the car. OK, she might be able to get her in the passenger seat, but getting out may be embarassing or least a significant struggle.

3. I hope they hold off on announcing the Exige until I at least get my car, the temptation may be too great!

5. Great news on the roadside assistance and possibilty of extended warranty.

6. Dealer/Servicing I am OK for now as I am with 30 miles of my dealer (still same metro area), but what if I am on a trip? Tow to the nearest Lotus Dealer, I hope that roadside assitance has a long tow clause (i.e. nearest Dealer)

7. Goods words, and I guess this interview is a good start. But, let us see some continuing action!


Thanks Again,
Greg
 

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Two ports for elise deliveries (don't know if this will be the case with first shipment),
The first ship will only be one boat going to the east coast. All cars will then be transported via truck to their final destinations away from the port of entry.

West coast cars should be 3-4 days after the east coast cars arrive at dealers for this one shipment.

Subsequent shipments will use two ships going to east and west coasts.
 

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From my dealership, I have heard that the cars are on the water now, but they still don't know how many they are getting in the first shipment. So when does Lotus UK confirm the number? When they actaully arrive here in the port? Maybe my dealer aleady knows and they aren't saying?
 

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Randy Chase said:
The first ship will only be one boat going to the east coast. All cars will then be transported via truck to their final destinations away from the port of entry.

West coast cars should be 3-4 days after the east coast cars arrive at dealers for this one shipment.

Subsequent shipments will use two ships going to east and west coasts.

Randy,

What about hold up at ports, US Customs, DOT, and EPA? I have been in the import biz for the past 8 years. I have seen brand new Porsches held up at ports for weeks because of our wounderful DOT. Believe me our Gov. has the power to do it.

When my dealer said he would see his Demo end of June early July I think he was on target.

Mitch
 

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The target date was June 15th. Assume two weeks for transport. If boats are on the water, that allows a few days I think for customs. I would think the skids would be greased and there would not be delays here. It's not like a small order for a couple of customers.
 
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