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As an owner of a small business, I have to know what my target customer wants, not only to serve them better, but for my own survival.
I am the first to admit that I have no idea what it takes for a large auto corporation to succeed, but the philosphies can't be alot different than most businesses. Have a defined customer base, determine thier needs, and provide them with a product and support that possibly no other business could provide.
Lotus has a potential perfect product with the Elise. Obviously, not a large production car by any means, but a near perfect sports car that fills a niche offered by no other manufacturer.
So what's one of the the best formulas for success in business? Know your customers needs/desires.
I've heard a few intances where some of the members of this forum have unusally direct communication with Lotus administration, not seen in the giants of the industry. They state how nice it is that Lotus seems to respond to there ideas. (didn't someone in the COM, and a laser blue fan each take credit for tose colors being available, through thier persistance with Lotus?) Even though we occasionally hear a story about an idea from an enthusiest getting through, I can't help but feel that Lotus has no clue (or does not care), what thier target customers feel or want. This makes absolutely no business sence, for any business at any level.
I suspect that this forum, thanks to Randy, has the best group of Elise enthusiests. What an opportunity it is for Lotus to understand what it's target customerer's desires are! Lotus should have someone manning this forum, taking notes/ideas and presenting this concerns to the higher ups at Lotus.
Lotus has done a pathetic job of not only communicating to the customer, but amasingly the dealers have also been left in the dark. As a small company they should be able to do much better. I seriously question the future of Lotus and the Elise, unless major customer relations issues are addressed.

---off my soapbox--- (and I didn't even address the regretable Arnie situation)
 

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HD,

Lotus has been experiencing serious growing pains over the last several months. That may not be acceptable to some, but for me, it's understandable, as my company has been doing the same recently. It's hard enough to find new personnel, get them trained, and manage them on top of your existing workload, but to have to maintain customer relations, too?!? It all gets overwhelming. Anyhow, the good news is that everything should settle down soon enough.
 

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So how often do you hear about new things a the big automakers before cars roll off the line? How often can you call the HQ of Ford and talk to the CEO?

Let's put it in perspective people.
 

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I think the excitement of all the cars eating up the track in Alabama has just gotten everyone on edge cause we know how great the car is going to be and they are so close yet so far. There timeline really isn't all that far off from what they have been saying. It just get's harder as the date get's closer. Ironic, as the date get's closer we become more critical LOL:D
 

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HOCKYDOC said:

I suspect that this forum, thanks to Randy, has the best group of Elise enthusiests. What an opportunity it is for Lotus to understand what it's target customerer's desires are! Lotus should have someone manning this forum, taking notes/ideas and presenting this concerns to the higher ups at Lotus.
I agree to some extent. I wanted to point out that there are a few Lotus people from Hethel that do read the forum, a few of them have signed on. I do get an occasioanal email commenting on something that was on the forum, and I guess we all know about the April 1 fire fun.

But other manufacturers do get a little more involved with communicating to the fanbase. Toyota dd with the MR2 when I was involved in the International MR2 Owners Club. I have seen representatives on the RX-8, Miata, Mini forums. I am sure it happens elsewhere.

We have over 1000 posters, but for every one of us, there are many more than stop by and just read. Many of the people here are opinion leaders when it comes to cars. I personally have spread the gospel of the Elise elsewhere, and have done so for 3 years. I am active on, and administer, a non-car forum with over 35,000 members and they are probably all sick of me talking about the Elise.

I think it would be smart for Lotus to get a little more involved. Let Clyde post again. Give us some direct answers. 10 minutes a day from someone would go a long way towards a very positive response.
 

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Re: Re: What Are Those Bloody Lotus Chaps Thinking?

Randy Chase said:
10 minutes a day from someone would go a long way towards a very positive response.
Please, it takes longer than that to read alll the posts in one day.:D However, it would be to their benefit to provide some responses. They do need to leave some information to be broken by the automobile press.

I previously followed the big Corvette boards closely. No one in any higher level position posted to my knowledge. Occasionally they would have a chat that someone would be on, or they would do a short interview. I realize Lotus is different than GM, but Proton is not. They have to be careful, as someone is always happy to sue. Most companies are very careful about who, what and how information is released.

Greg
 

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Lotus response

After making my deposit last October and getting involved with Elise forums, I decided to e-mail Lotus regarding limited slip differential and exhaust systems, each a separate e-mail. I received two replies from David Massey and one from Tony Shute at Lotus within a day or two. That surprised me, because I doubt there are many manufacturers whose personnel would respond directly. The other thing that surprised me was they wrote they are always happy to hear from customers, to know what we want.
Finally, Lotus may be the only manufacturer of production cars whose staff is so full of real car people...people intimately involved in motorsports and genuinely involved with their product beyond selling it. No, they are not perfect, but what other company would build a car like the Elise, a car that the general public just doesn't understand?
 

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Re: Re: What Are Those Bloody Lotus Chaps Thinking?

Randy Chase said:
Let Clyde post again. Give us some direct answers. 10 minutes a day from someone would go a long way towards a very positive response.
Yikes, did they put a gag order on Clyde? I just thought he was too busy to reply to the posts.

If we could start a thread with some basic questions that someone could answer, even once a week it would be helpful.

Most companies have staff meetings to let their employees know what is going on, so why cant Lotus let its purchasers or dealers know what is happening? It seems like their is no downward communication from the main office, even the dealers are clueless in most cases.

As has previously been mentioned, Lotus is busy right now and is focusing on producing the cars is their top priority. The customer should contact the dealer for information first, instead of calling Lotus headquarters and asking them.

There are some dealers that post here, and maybe they could ask Lotus to answer some of the most basic ones, and then they could reply back once a week. Hello :wave: is anybody from Lotus listening?


We could have the Top Ten Questions:

1. When will the cars be shipped?

2. What is the estimated number of cars being shipped to the US
for the following month? Or at least let the dealers know when to expect the cars and tell them how many they are getting so they can tell us.

3. How often are cars shipped, and how long does it take to arrive after being shipped and going thru customs?

4. What are the other options that are available- different exhausts, lotus logo in headrest, driving lights, clear bra and what is their cost?

5. How far in advance will we be notified of our cars arrival?
(Some of us have to get financing and insurance arraigned)

6. Can we get a VIN number before the car arrives so we can get car insurance?

7- 10. Other questions people may have.
 

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Spoke with Clyde recently, he's quite busy with the impending arrival of the car, now more than ever.

I did give him a gentle reminder to drop by elisetalk for a visit when he gets the time, perhaps after the cars start arriving.
Chris
 

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7. how long does it take to build an elise

8. how are the dealers notified of a certain customers car
build date, my boxster, was order and a build confirm was given to champion and I new when it would get here within two weeks

9. are all cars for east preped at lotus in atlanta, at Jax port, where on west coast, are they shipped with plastic, wrapped, shipping gue all over them.


10. Where is Chapman buried?
 

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MitchT said:
7. how long does it take to build an elise

8. how are the dealers notified of a certain customers car
build date, my boxster, was order and a build confirm was given to champion and I new when it would get here within two weeks

9. are all cars for east preped at lotus in atlanta, at Jax port, where on west coast, are they shipped with plastic, wrapped, shipping gue all over them.


10. Where is Chapman buried?
10. In 'The Sacred Tomb Of
The Enthusiast'. He's three slots down from Mr. Brown of Aston-Martin.
 

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To the best of my knowledge the cars will be shipped from UK in containers, containers will be offloaded and go to a distribution facility one on the east coast one on the west.

Only certain cars will actually come to Lotus USA, the rest will go directly to dealer. Minimal cleanup should be needed..

10. Actually, Chunky (Chapman) is reputed to be alive and well in Brazil (legend has it!:D )
Chris:D
 

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zvezdah1 said:
10. Actually, Chunky (Chapman) is reputed to be alive and well in Brazil (legend has it!
Argentina, not Brazil... There has even been sightings of him... But he doesn't get around as much as Elvis, so the sightings are more rare...

Tim Mullen
 

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Arno said:

Get used to it... :D :D :D

Bye, Arno.
HD, I'm with you on this and I find Arno's (comming from a long time lotus owner) an ominous statement of what seems to lay ahead for us. My biggest fear is getting an abosulutely kick in the pants car and then have the whole thing fizzle away in a few years with us scrambling for parts/service, thank god for the 'yota lump.
 
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