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Does anybody have experience or information about Behlman Mid Rivers Lotus in St. Peters (which is in the St. Louis area)? They seem to be the only Lotus dealer in Missouri.

Unfortunately, the name "Behlman" does not inspire confidence. They run a large Pontiac dealership, with a horrific reputation (confirmed by the BBB page, quote "The Bureau has received numerous complaints against this firm. Many of the complainants have alleged defects in the cars purchased and difficulty in obtaining repairs."). The Lotus dealership has one BBB complaint (resolved), but it's fairly new (started 2002, member of the BBB since March 2003).

Alternatives are quite far away, the closest is in Chicago (Fox Valley Motorcars). I wouldn't even mind getting a car from there, but I would still be stuck with the local dealership in case I needed warranty work. :(
 

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Behlmann Mid-Rivers Lotus is NOT affiliated with the van people.

Dave Behlmann is the owner and GM of Mid-Rivers Lotus. He is very upfront about getting people happily involved with a Lotus. He has spent a lot of money to improve the place and has hired a first class, Lotus USA trained mechanic Tom Cullen. Tom now works on my Esprit as well as many from around St. Louis, Kansas City, etc. This is NOT and I repeat NOT the same dealership we had under the previous owners.

Behlmann Mid-Rivers Lotus is VERY excited about the Elise and is very supportive of our local Lotus club, the St. Louis Area Lotus Lovers (STALLS). You can visit the STALLS web site at www.kamainc.com/STALLS/home.html

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Mid-Rivers Lotus or STALLS.

Mark Pfeffer - Grand Poobah STALLS
(314) 889-0572
[email protected]

STALLS Web Site
 

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Thanks, Mark. I had intended to update this after going there to put down the deposit a couple of weeks ago:

The dealership doesn't look very impressive from the outside. It's fairly small, and combined with a used car dealership. The showroom is quite nice, though. The sales guy I talked to was very low key, and unusually non-pushy for a car salesperson. I had to tell him that I really wanted to put down a deposit before he pulled out a form. That was fine with me, I don't like the typical car sales style at all. Another plus point was that he didn't pretend to know things that are open (like options, allocation numbers and delivery dates), he didn't have a problem admitting that he was still waiting for more information from Lotus. I wasn't overwhelmed, but it was good enough to make me comfortable buying a car there.

The best part came when I asked about their shop. He brought me next door, and introduced me to Tom (the mechanic Mark mentions in his post). It turns out that he's a long time road racer and driving instructor, used to autocross, and that we both know some of the same people. We talked about cars for quite a while, and he's definitely a Lotus enthusiast, and a car nut in general. In addition to his impressive existing experience, he's also scheduled for Elise training. He's exactly the kind of person that I would want to work on my car.

So in summary, I got a solid impression from sales, and an excellent impression from the shop. Since you only need sales once, I left with a very positive feeling.
 
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