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Discussion Starter #1
I just got off the phone with my dealer (SVAG), I canceled my
deposit. When I put down my deposit I was told that I was 34th
in line. In Oct. 2003 I happened to speak with Brent Smith at
Smith Volvo in San Luis Obispo and he said that he only had 11
deposits so I called my salesman (Joe Loyaza) at SVAG and told
him I was cancelling my deposit. He asked why and I told him I
was going to buy from Smith Volvo because I could secure the
number 12 position and get my car that much sooner.

At this
point he offered (HE OFFERED!) to move my deposit to a "top 20"
position. I said fine figuring I'd probably be in approx. the same
time frame for delivery. A couple of weeks ago I phoned again to
check in, I told Joe that I had read at different places that the first
10 or so orders were being taken and did he have any idea how
long until the next 10 or so orders would be taken. He told me
that SVAG had not taken any orders at all.


I double checked with
other members on the board and a couple of what I consider to
be reliable posters responded that indeed they had been
contacted to place orders. So I called Joe back and asked about
the confusion his response was that "there is all kinds of info
posted on the web and that I should be carefull what I believe".


At
this point I was getting a little nervous about Joe so I asked him
to confirm my "top 20" position, he told me he "did not know what
number I was and that they did not have an official list, they were
going to process orders in order that the deposits were placed".
I reminded him of our previous arrangement and he said that he
"remembered the arrangement but that we have a new sales
manager and I'm not sure if he'll let me do that" and " I'll have to
check with him and call you back , I'm with a customer". I said
"O.K. call me back" and gave him my number.

Today (a couple of
weeks later) I called him back and he said that he had called me
back and left a message (which I never received) telling me that
I was #34 on the list and would get my car this summer. I asked
why I was not in the "top 20" per our arrangement and he said
"it's not my decision it's for my sales manager to decide but don't
worry about I'm going to be getting 180 cars this year you'll get it
this summer for sure. I asked how I was supposed to trust him
enough to believe that I would get my car this summer and I said
that if he would not honor his previous offer that we had both
agreed upon I would have to reconsider my purchase. He told
me that was fine he would "just sell the car for 5 or 10 grand
more to someone else". I asked to speak to his sales manager
and he said " o.k., but you'll get alot farther with me than him". I
asked was it his decision or his sales managers, he said it was
the sales managers. I asked to speak with the sales manager
once more.

When the sales manager got on the phone I
explained the entire sequence of events to him and he asked me
"do you have something in writing that says top 20" . I said "no,
but just ask Joe he'll confirm it" immediately he responded that
"Joe said that he did not say that". I told him I would be surprised
if Joe had lied to me or him and that Joe and I were just
discussing it, maybe he could get Joe on phone and we could
clear this up. His response was " maybe I should just send you
your money back" and since by now I had no faith at all in SVAG
I said 'I think that's a good Idea, goodbye".

I fell in love with Lotus in the seventies when my father used to
take me to the dealership in South San Franciso if I remember
correctly. I was only a boy then but I remember the car quite well.
Ever since I have lusted after exotics, hoping that some day I
would be able to afford what ever car I wanted. Well, a couple of
years ago I started looking for a car and found out about the euro
Elise. I fell in love with Lotus all over again but decided I did not
want to import the car without the engine and hope that the
honda engine implant would work out o.k.. So I waited and
looked around at other options but never pulled the trigger. I just
could not get that Elise out of my head. When I heard Lotus was
finally, really bringing the Elise to the U.S. I went down and put
my deposit in. Finally I would get the car I had wanted since my
childhood.


If anyone at Lotus is interested here is some of my demographic
information. And I know that you can't do anthing about what
your dealers do. I just thought you might be interested in who
they are turning away to bulid loyalty with other manufacturers:

Male
42 years of age
Married
My occupation: General Manager of a mid sized Print Shop
My wifes occupation: Doctor of Osteopathy
Incomes: both well into 6 figures
Debts: None, other than a $2200. a month mortage
Hobbies: Big game Fishing, My 32' Luhrs Sportfisher, Driving
fast cars sideways
First sports car Karhmann Ghia
Third sports car was a Porsche 914
Current sports car is a "02 BMW M COUPE
Next sports car is maybe a Noble but probably not a Lotus
After that who knows maybe some future Nobel or even a
Ferrari, but again probably not a Lotus.

DAMN SHAME!! DON'T YA THINK

So in theory the #34 spot is open at SVAG if you want to do
business with folks like that and pay the extra 5 to 10 grand.

Best Regards,
Drifter
 

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Yet another car salesman being a carsalesman.

I'm sorry that you've had such a terrible experience. I know it won't help but you should just forward this to Arnie Johnson. Who knows. Goodluck.
 

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That's unfortunate. Sounds like you need a new dealer. I have had too many similar experiences recently, with a variety of businesses/individuals. Decline of Western Civilization? Perhaps.

Not all bad, though. By ordering a bit later, you may have access to a wider variety of options.
 

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Drifter: I'm with SVAG as well. I put my deposit down in early Oct 2003 with a saleman who was not named Joe (I will keep his identity anonymous as not to piss anyone off). This was about 7-10 days before the R&T cover story hit newsstands.

When I put my deposit down, I asked for my list position, and was told essentially, "You're somewhere in the 40s... we haven't coalatted the list positions yet, because we have different saleman taking orders, so it's rather difficult, and I can't tell you your exact number unless I coalate now, which I can't do... But we will be taking orders in the exact sequence of deposit dates, so sit tight, we won't skip you. The first orders will go to the people who put deposits in before the buzz began. When their orders are taken, we'll get the list straightened out, and this will all happen way before anyone in the 40s ever needs to order."

So that was enough to placate me. I have since called two more times (the second time this morning, actually), and talked to my salesman, and he pretty much told me the same story. Today he even said he'd check my position, and then came back, and repeated, "Yeah, you're in the 40s."

Am I happy about the vagueness? No. But I don't have enough money to buy the car for $5000 over MSRP, so I'm caught between a rock and hard place. And, for what it's worth, my saleman's story has been consistent each time, and people on this board have already placed orders with SVAG for MSRP. And it seems that their very early list positions have indeed been honored.

But what does bug me is the hint of chicanery going on at SVAG. Consider: I placed the deposit the first week of Oct and was told I'm in the 40s; no specific list position though. You, meanwhile, were given a specific, *lower* position of #34... Odd, unless orders were streaming in a few each day, and you beat me by a few days.

Drifter: What day in Oct, exactly, did you place your deposit? If it's any day past the first week, then I'll be P.O.ed. I mean, I don't mind waiting for my turn, I just don't like the idea that poor book-keeping will rob me of a proper delivery. Nor am I heartened by the fact that some salesman will give specific list positions, and others don't. (But, of course, if positions ultimately turn out to be meaningless, it doesn't really matter.)

Meanwhile, there's this SVAG story from another thread on this board: "I am trying to figure out when I will be able to order mine. I thought I was in 40ish but somehow 2 days ago when I called they told me I am on #76."

The "40ish to #76" guy later posted: "I put deposit on 11/08 so in a month period they got 30+ orders."

Sounds reasonable enough -- 30 deposits during the month after the R&T article hit -- but why in the world was he led to believe he was in the 40s? I put down the deposit a full month earlier and was told *I'm* in the 40s.

Some other SVAG thoughts:

- Today, my salesman said they are getting very few dropouts, and that when people do dropout, everyone moves forward; they don't buy the car for themselves to sell at a markup. Well, here's hoping that he's telling the truth. My saleman's words conflict directly with what Joe told you.

- 180 cars this year sounds incredibly unlikely; sounds like this guy is willing to tell you anything to keep you on his sell sheet. Not a good sign.

- My salesman has repeatedly cautioned me that they have no idea when the first cars are arriving; that he personally thinks it won't be until June, and that all he can promise me is MSRP, and that deposit-holders will be called for orders according to the dates of their deposits. So, he is either being a very upfront guy in his general "gloomy pragmatism," or he is setting me up mentally for a later delivery date so that the dealership can finagle list positions at will, i.e., "promise low and no matter what happens, you'll either appear to be a perfectly honest guy who delivered late or a hero who delivered earlier than expected."

- Was told that SVAG knows nothing of sports exhaust options, headlight options, stone guard options, nothing. That was a bit disconcerting... I mean, I know about the plans for these options, and I'm just a random schmuck.

Other SVAG deposit holders: Who is interested in sharing notes? I am going to start a thread in the Regions/California section of this board to see if there is interest in sharing notes as April approaches; maybe we can even arrange a text chat to get to the bottom of all this.
 

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It's very discouraging to hear stories like this.

Unfortunately would seem that early on some of the dealers were glad to take your money, then they started to see the demand of the car and potential for profit so they're shafting people.

FWIW, Lotus of Atlanta has been a great bunch to deal with (the list actually started with me). Giving in writing MSRP and position in line. Also, many of the other dealers have been as good noting some of the posts on the board here.

I'm hoping some of these bad dealers will shake out and disappear to be replaced by better dealers. I guess time will tell.
Chris:(
 

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Drifter,

Don't give up on Lotus. I agree that a lousy dealer does reflect poorly on Lotus. Please keep in mind that Lotus really only has limited control over their dealers.

Stay in the que if you can or get on someone elses list. Don't allow a crummy dealer experience ruin your long-time love affair with Lotus. You may have to wait a bit longer but you will have better/more options to choose from. Besides you currently drive one very cool and unique car that should help you bide the time. :)
 

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Drifter- Sorry to hear that. Had talked with Joe when I test drove the demo car in July. Let's just say I made sure he wasn't going to be my salesperson. From doing a little checking I think he's a buddy of the GM that was brought over from the east coast. Had major problems dealing with the GM & Joe in confirming my spot. Given, I saw the list & knew I was #9 (with old GM). It was indeed frustrating. Have found the old time mangers there (Jack, Graham) first rate. Having the right salesperson makes all the differance in the world. Sorry it got to that point for you.
 

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Meanwhile, there's this SVAG story from another thread on this board: "I am trying to figure out when I will be able to order mine. I thought I was in 40ish but somehow 2 days ago when I called they told me I am on #76."

The "40ish to #76" guy later posted: "I put deposit on 11/08 so in a month period they got 30+ orders."
I am the person who posted that. My salesman is Joe as well. The reason led me to think I was at 40ish is when I put deposit Joe said "Last week I counted MY LIST, there were 40 some people on the list". I guess they have multiple lists then, maybe each salesman has his own list? :confused:

Yesterday,2/05/04, I went back to SVAG to put the deposit for exige. Joe mentioned there is one guy who is selling his Elise spot for $5k. If I want it, the next Elise will be mine. I was a little surprised. I really don't know if someone is actually selling the spot or they are trying to make money at this time by not giving cars to customers.

Anyways, since I decided to wait on exige so I don't really care when I will be getting Elise now. This time I learned the lesson and asked Joe to put the number on the exige deposit form and he wrote "#1 on Lotus exige list". So once Lotus decides to sell exige in the States, I will be bugging them everyday.

Soloe2Elise
 

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Solo2Elise said:
I am the person who posted that. My salesman is Joe as well. The reason led me to think I was at 40ish is when I put deposit Joe said "Last week I counted MY LIST, there were 40 some people on the list". I guess they have multiple lists then, maybe each salesman has his own list? :confused:

Yesterday,2/05/04, I went back to SVAG to put the deposit for exige. Joe mentioned there is one guy who is selling his Elise spot for $5k. If I want it, the next Elise will be mine. I was a little surprised. I really don't know if someone is actually selling the spot or they are trying to make money at this time by not giving cars to customers.

Anyways, since I decided to wait on exige so I don't really care when I will be getting Elise now. This time I learned the lesson and asked Joe to put the number on the exige deposit form and he wrote "#1 on Lotus exige list". So once Lotus decides to sell exige in the States, I will be bugging them everyday.

Soloe2Elise
There has been no confirmation that the Exige will ever be sold in the USA.
 

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Derek said:
There has been no confirmation that the Exige will ever be sold in the USA.
Yes, understand that but it doesn't hurt putting a deposit for exige while I still have deposit for Elise and since I don't expect my Elise will be delivered till the end of year or possibly next year.
 

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Wow, i worked with graham pike at SVAG and he was great

edit: this thread made me paranoid, so i emailed graham and he just sent me word that i've actually been moved up to 29th (origionally was 31st)! I'm thrilled!
 

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Derek said:
There has been no confirmation that the Exige will ever be sold in the USA.
And... your... point......... isssssssss??????? ;)

I put down my deposit on the Elise when there wasn't more than a rumor and not a bit of evidence to support it. 2 1/2 years later.. I have an elise.

If you deposit, they will build.
 

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I have had a deposit at SVAG since the first week of November. At the time, I was told by Graham? that no list had been compiled and that people's orders would be taken in the order the deposits were received (ie by date/ time). I received a receipt that stated the date and "MSRP at time of delivery". I spoke to Jack yesterday and was told, after a plausible delay to rumage through the pile to find my slip, that I was number 69. I would have to say that based on what I have read from others that have deposits at SVAG, that these numbers are accurate and that Joe is being somewhat misleading/ cavaleir/ irresposible with his customers. On the other hand, I think that even if you have the misfortune of dealing with Joe, you would still get your car in the order that your deposit was received. Jack also mentioned that he expects my car to be in the first years alottment, not that I think Jack knows more than anyone else, but I can always hope.
 

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Genjuro said:
And... your... point......... isssssssss??????? ;)

I put down my deposit on the Elise when there wasn't more than a rumor and not a bit of evidence to support it. 2 1/2 years later.. I have an elise.

If you deposit, they will build.
Tell that to the people that put down deposits on the M250 back in 1999.
 
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