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The number may index which dealer your deposit is with, as well as when you made the deposit, and the last two numbers may be where you are in the dealer's queue. For example, when I placed my order I was number 45, but later my sales guy told me it looked like there was a cancellation and I might be moving up in the queue. I notice on my confirmation number that the last two numbers are 44, which would fit what my salesman told me where I'd be.

That's all just a guess though. At least we know we're officially in Lotus' queue.
 

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Hopefully this means 2 shifts are planned.
Well Matt Windle did say "If we have to go to a second shift, then we have to" so that sounds like he's prepared to do that if it becomes necessary. They'll probably wait until they have actual orders though to determine that. I expect they'll match up orders to the list of people they've confirmed have placed deposits, to make sure there's no inventory-stocking monkey business from a dealer trying to get more cars through fake deposits/orders.

Because they probably already have more deposits than the planned first year production, they may want to open orders sooner rather than later, so if they do have to put on a second shift, they can get that ball rolling in time to make it work. It takes time to not only hire and train the people necessary, but determine how many extra parts and assemblies they're going to need to order. They're going to need a decent lead time for all of that so that it's ready when production begins.

There's a lot riding on all of this.
 

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Quick update for those, like me, who were concerned about not getting an email. I followed up with Lotus and this morning Isabelle (Relationship Manager in Hethel) was able to figure out that I was unsubscribed from emails. She resubscribed me and I got the email with a reference number! :)

Anyway, I'm not putting this out here so everyone bombards Lotus, but just to ease people's minds. If you're on a list with a dealer, you have a reference number. You may just not be subscribed to receive updates. But your dealer will be made aware and in the coming months we will be able to sit in the car and choose our options/go over pricing with the dealer, etc.

P.S. I don't think the reference number means anything, feels randomly generated.
Glad you got it sorted out.

I think the main value of the reference number is to show that Lotus is acknowledging your deposit to help them forecast how many they're going to need to produce. If they decide to put on a second shift, they need to get that process in motion now, to hire the people necessary, train them, and order more parts and assemblies. They don't want to over-buy or under-buy. For a company like Lotus, adding a second shift isn't a simple or easy proposition. The tsunami of deposits has to be both exciting and a bit terrifying for them at the same time, but it's certainly better than having little to no interest in the car.

Whether everyone realizes it or not, this is actually an historic moment; not only for Lotus, but for being the end of an era that's lasted over 100 years. Glad I'm getting to see it and be a part of it in a small way.
 
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