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Dear All:
Having seen what has transpired, I have to conclude that my good faith, non-refundable cash deposit and specs to my order amounts to nothing more than this arbitrary number on "the list".
For those of you who are more experienced in this sort of thing, does anyone have an educated speculation as to how long individuals will continue to pay significant dollars OVER MSRP for our cars? My guess is that "the list" won't actually become effective until they run out of buyers willing to pay huge preimums over MSRP. What concerns me is the extraordinarily limited number of cars that will be produced. I'm horrified at the possibility that when they actually do get around to sell cars to individuals on "the list", MSRP will have been raised, and it would amount to us paying a premium anyway.
Or is this the "uncertainty" that you always hear when you contact your dealership to ascertain any data whatsoever on your order?
- dechien
P.S. Is it time to embrace the darkness?
 

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I don't believe that a huge number of cars have been diverted - I think that most cars are going to people on the lists. And I believe that much of the diverting that is going on for market sales will abate as more cars hit the shores and more and more cars will go to people on the list over the next several months.

I think that the feeding frenzy will abate somewhat by the end of the year. I'd be very surprised if any cars fetch close to $10,000 over MSRP once the first 1000 cars have arrived. However, I wouldn't be surprised if some people continue to pay a modest premium for quite some time, particularly if the lists continue to remain clogged and there is more than a year's wait to get a car. I also believe that many people have placed more than one deposit, so as they receive their cars the lists may clear a bit faster than one might expect. Also, some people are going to find that the Elise is not suited to their tastes or needs, so I believe that some used cars will come to market over the next several months.

All of this is based on total speculation on my part, not experience.
 

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I agree.

Having lived with my car for a while now... I find my prior expectation, that the demand will increase as the cars hit the streets... because they will be more visible... to be true.

BUT... I am also realizing that indeed, this will not be the car for everyone. It is a special car, a purposeful car. But it will always be a niche car with few amenities, hard to get in and out, interesting roof system, *possible* reliability issues.

You will see more used cars on the market. I really think so. Eventually the number of cars being sold will meet the demand. The only question in my mind is how long is that? 1 year? 2 years? I don't know. But the bubble will deflate.

dechien, I believe the dealerships for the most part are honoring the lists. Some of populated the lists with fake people or employees or whatever to get some spots. A number of cars are being sold between dealerships... perhaps to not tip off Lotus or for some other reason.

Dealer 1 puts Tom Smith as order number 1. Gets car. Sells car to Dealer 2 (at a good mark up) who claims they got an extra car or bought it at an auction. They sell it for market value.

See? http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48084
 

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Supply will meet demand by late next year. Pent-up demand is driving the current frenzied state. The natural take rate for a car of this type is under 2k/yr. IMHO. LCU will likely offer 'special editions' and hopefully an Exige to keep the interest up in years 3 & 4.

Of course a mid level car and a new Esprit will also help demand for the Elise. Most Americans don't know Lotus. LCU needs to boost their brand in this country to generate more interest.

I'm excited about their prospects. Hopefully they'll keep their focus. We'll all benefit if they do. Come on Lotus!!!!!
 

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class action?

has anyone considered a class action suit against Lotus and/or its dealers for their practice of allowing "extra" cars to be sold when the dealers have enough deposits to sell out their 2200 per year import limit?

i've been thinking about this and wonder whether we could find a lawyer to take this one up. dealers have taken our money promising us a car at an agreed upon price, and now cars are showing up that are diverted for open floor sales.

perhaps a suit will expose exactly where the deception is occuring and force the "company (ies)" to clean up their act.

i would venture to guess that Proton would not want any bad exposure considering they received an exemption from our federal government to sell their car on our shores.

whadayathink????
 

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Re: class action?

raggedy1 said:
i've been thinking about this and wonder whether we could find a lawyer to take this one up. dealers have taken our money promising us a car at an agreed upon price, and now cars are showing up that are diverted for open floor sales.

whadayathink????
Me? I think it's the worst idea ever posted to EliseTalk.

If you think dealers have taken our money, you have no idea the depths to which lawyers can plumb your wallet.

When it's all said and done, everyone involved will wonder if their arsehole ever had wrinkles at all.

Lotus will pull out of the US, dealers will go back to selling Bentleys, and the lawyers will drive off in their new Bentley GT Continental after another job well done.

If I had a nickle for every time a class action lawsuit netted me a nickle..
 

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Re: class action?

raggedy1 said:
has anyone considered a class action suit against Lotus and/or its dealers for their practice of allowing "extra" cars to be sold when the dealers have enough deposits to sell out their 2200 per year import limit?

How did I know you were from the same state as me. Is this California's standard answer to everything.

If you're serious about your proposal, then you are probably not the sort of person who should be buying an Elise based on Lotus' history of reliability.

Oh well, it was probably just a brain fart - we all have 'em:D :D
 

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The Elise is simply an unusually desirable sports car with way more demand in the USA than supply.

My experience is this: I wanted an E36 M3 when they first came out in May 1994. Very desirable car, but supply was greater than Elise. They carried a dealer markup for about 6 months. I bought mine in March 1995, and got a discount. I don't think it will happen that fast with the Elise. Mark-ups for at least a year, maybe 18 months, given that the first year production is sold out and there are still long waiting lists.

The truth is that Lotus would love to get enough cars in the pipeline to bring the price down to MSRP. They just don't seem to be able to ramp up production fast enough.

Look at Ferrari. I think it is difficult to buy a new 360 Modena for sticker even now, 5 or 6 years after introduction, and a year before the 430 debuts.

Such is the life of rabid sports car freaks. :mad:
 

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Re: Re: class action?

Ground Loop said:
Me? I think it's the worst idea ever posted to EliseTalk.

If you think dealers have taken our money, you have no idea the depths to which lawyers can plumb your wallet.

When it's all said and done, everyone involved will wonder if their arsehole ever had wrinkles at all.

Lotus will pull out of the US, dealers will go back to selling Bentleys, and the lawyers will drive off in their new Bentley GT Continental after another job well done.

If I had a nickle for every time a class action lawsuit netted me a nickle..
i threw that idea out there to generate a certain response and i got it, thanks.

if you've seen some of my other posts you'll see that I am not a fan of lawyers (no offense, i think).

yes, too many lawsuits in CA that's for sure. lawyers and their clients are bringing our society to a grinding halt...
 

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Randy Chase said:
dechien, I believe the dealerships for the most part are honoring the lists. Some of populated the lists with fake people or employees or whatever to get some spots. A number of cars are being sold between dealerships... perhaps to not tip off Lotus or for some other reason.

Dealer 1 puts Tom Smith as order number 1. Gets car. Sells car to Dealer 2 (at a good mark up) who claims they got an extra car or bought it at an auction. They sell it for market value.

See? http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48084
I don't agree with this theory, In my opinion there are no "gift" cars and their are no auctions. There is no incentive for dealer A
to bypass his clients so that he can auction the car to dealer B
and allow dealer B to recieve a 12k markup. The incentive is for dealer A to keep 100% of the markup done with his car.

If I was going to screw people on my list I would want to keep the money myself, not share it. The cars being sold at market value are...

1) Cars ordered for this very purpose last January ignoring the list
people.
2) Cars declined by the customer who ordered it that the dealer
isn't offering to other people on the list.
3)Cars ordered by list people that have arrived and are being sold at markup while the orderee is told "Lotus isn't communicating, we don't have a build date, or vin for your car"


Steve
 

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Sownman said:
I don't agree with this theory, In my opinion there are no "gift" cars and their are no auctions. There is no incentive for dealer A
to bypass his clients so that he can auction the car to dealer B
and allow dealer B to recieve a 12k markup.


Steve
Dealer A may not be in a market that would support a 12 k markup. So perhaps Dealer A is content to sell his car for a 6 k markup to Dealer B, who then can turn around and sell it for a 12 k markup. Or perhaps Dealer A doesn't want to be so obvious about marking up cars, so he can hide his tracks by selling the car to another dealer rather than directly to a customer.

I also believe that some dealers skimmed some cars off the top of the list to sell for their own purposes. In most cases, those already are accounted for when we are given our spots on the list.

I rather doubt that dealers are simply bypassing people on their list and selling customer cars on the open market. That would be too easy to trace.
 

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Randy Chase said:
dechien, I believe the dealerships for the most part are honoring the lists. Some of populated the lists with fake people or employees or whatever to get some spots. A number of cars are being sold between dealerships... perhaps to not tip off Lotus or for some other reason.

Dealer 1 puts Tom Smith as order number 1. Gets car. Sells car to Dealer 2 (at a good mark up) who claims they got an extra car or bought it at an auction. They sell it for market value.

See? http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=48084
I don't agree with this theory, In my opinion there are no "gift" cars and their are no auctions. There is no incentive for dealer A
to bypass his clients so that he can auction the car to dealer B
and allow dealer B to recieve a 12k markup. The incentive is for dealer A to keep 100% of the markup done with his car.

If I was going to screw people on my list I would want to keep the money myself, not share it. The cars being sold at market value are...

1) Cars ordered for this very purpose last January ignoring the list
people.
2) Cars declined by the customer who ordered it that the dealer
isn't offering to other people on the list.
3)Cars ordered by list people that have arrived and are being sold at markup while the orderee is told "Lotus isn't ommunicating, we don't have a build date, or vin for your car"


Steve
 

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The "extra cars" are most likely reserved spots from customers that have dropped off the list. It is the dealers perogative on whether to bump people up on that list or take that spot for themselves and sell it at market value. You would hope they would bump their customers on the list up but they are a business that wants to maximize their bottom line just like everyone else. Guess what they will most likely do?
 

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Sownman said:
I don't agree with this theory,
But we do know that dealers selling to other dealers is not just a theory, though everything else was speculation or wild assed thinking. :)

Found this at my dealer today...
Someone ordered this through our sales and leasing office.

"you work at symbolic?"


Nope.... Thats just the place that my dealer got it from to sell to someone else.
 

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Dollar value compared to the British pound is decreasing at an ever alarming rate. Add to this development the fact that Lotus fully realizes the Elise can easily command 'much higher than current MSRP pricing', evident by what dealers are already doing, and it won't be long before 'Hethel' says to themselves, "we, and not the dealers, should be the ones to overly benefit from the true value of these cars and by bringing the unit cost to the dealer 'up substantially', they will make the profit we intended for them to make and we will reap the windfalls associated with these highly desired automobiles which is 'as it should be'."
 

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Ridge, I firmly believe that Lotus sees the bigger picture and understands that it is quite normal to see speculation and price frenzies on a new release. That has been true for most hot sports cars. But we did not see Honda raise the MSRP on the S2000s when they first came out. Or Minis. Or whatever... the dealers just made more cash for a short time...or some time.

In this case, the normal thing to have happened would have been that MSRP would be $39,985 and we would all be paying market prices. I am thankful that Lotus took the position of trying to make the dealers sell at MSRP. Originally the plan was to insist all the dealers sell at MSRP, as they do in the UK. But to the surprise of Hethel... that was not legal.

But the other side of the coin is indeed the dollar vs the pound. Financial calculations were done to make sure there was enough profit margin for the dealers, for LCU, and for the factory at $38,500. Yet.. the profit margin on the car was reduced by around $6-7k because of the value of the dollar. That comes out of the margins. Some of that was recouped at $39,985. Some of that is made up for in the options and paint. But the margins are so thin on this car now, that LCU can't hire people, that dealers are not making enough to make it a priority when they can just as easily sell a Ferarri and make 10 times the profit or more.

I do not think you will see Lotus raising the price substantially to take advtantage of the market now. They see the Elise as the ticket to get market share in USA and move people up to the other two models coming in the next two years.
 

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The thread title really answers the question. The issue is one entirely of supply and demand. Possible dealer slight-of-hand is only a minor blip.
For the first three years of the Elise's life, we had sizeable waiting lists in the UK, and we represent a quarter of the potential US market in number terms and less than that in disposable income terms.
Lotus's car manufacturing wing is minute in volume terms compared to most car manufacturers. Lotus do not have the capacity to dramatically increase production, nor are its owners prepared to fund such potential. Lotus cater for a niche market and it makes economic sense to keep supply marginally below demand in order to avoid seasonal spikes and troughs (stockpiles cost money).
Just to put it into context, after Lotus exhibited the M250, they apparently received some 4000 deposits($1750 each) for this car over the following 18 months. Yet the still went ahead and cancelled it.
 

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We just have to hope the Vauxhall and Opel versions tank in the market and free up all that mfg space....
 

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It's their money that financed the new production line and their Quality Control Systems that brought Lotus's production standards into the 21st century. The Vauxhall/Opel venture was always condemmed to a footnote in motoring history, afterall WallMart caviar does not pull in the conniseurs.
 
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