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Discussion Starter #1
The short answer is $10k over msrp.

The story goes like this...
I visited Symbolic of La Jolla three weeks ago because I wanted to see some different colors before I order mine. The sales guy started up a conversation. He told me the wait list is 2 years. Now, I had just got off the phone with other Lotus dealers and they confirmed their wait list was 12 to 14 months. I took the 2 year comment as merely a line to get me to think about paying extra to have a car sooner. I just left it alone.

I called back on Friday to see if they had any different colors and got a different salesman. This one told me the wait list was 3 years. I laughed out loud and told him it is not 3 years. He got upset with me for telling him he was wrong and asked me why I thought it wasn't 3 years. Now, I was fully aware of the "try to get me to pay more" game he was playing and was sufficiently irritated at this point to see what would happen so I told him..."I won't have to wait 3 years because I am going to pay above msrp." His attitude changed in heart beat and said, "Oh, then you can have a car in no time then." He told me to ask for him when I came in.

I drove down that afternoon and was looking at a nice silver and oddly enough a cool looking purple elise. This sales guy spotted me and asked if I was the one he just spoke to on the phone. I told him I was and he went straight into... "How much over msrp are you willing to pay?" I asked, "How much are you asking?". He said, "What color do you want?". I mentioned a color and he said, "For $10k over msrp the next one is yours." He went on to say, "For $10k over msrp you can drive that purple or that silver one home right now." So... the salesmen at symbolic went from telling me I had to wait 2 years, to 3 years to drive this home now for $10k extra.

The next question I asked is what you are all no doubt interested in. "Isn't someone waiting to take delivery of this purple and silver car?" I asked. He responded, "What options do you want on your car?". We talked for another 5 minutes and I asked again if anyone was waiting for those cars and whether or not I would be bumping them. He answered me right away this time with, "Those are my cars. I bought them, they belong to me." I ended it by saying I wanted a different color.

We all know the cars are scarce and there are lots of people waiting for cars. So, if he really does own them he bumped someone else to get them. I won't state any other conclusion I just wanted to share that conversation with you all. I left out my interpretation of his body language and other tells that I thought hinted at his intention in favor of sharing that experience and leaving you to make up your own minds.

I won't mention the salesman's name because I tend to think that salesmen do what they have to in order to sell whatever their product is and make a living. If the managers allow or foster that kind of environment then the salesmen are really just kind of stuck with it and will do what they have to. So, I would hold the managers responsible for the manner in which a customer is treated in any particular shop and give the salesman the benefit of the doubt. I am trying to be positive.

I visit Symbolic once in a while and I have always felt like I was treated badly there until I mentioned I would like to pay extra to bump someone on the list. Then I was given lots of attention and felt even worse. I live in San Diego but I will be going a long way out of my way to get on the list with someone that I felt answered me honestly and with an intent to make my experience a fun one, like it should be. I like to think most of you are like me and dying for you cars to arrive. I can't bump any of you, I would feel awful. If anyone is waiting for a purple or silver car from Symbolic then you want to call to see about delivery. I think I could have driven your car home last Friday.

That's too bad too. Lotus might get a reputation as having poor customer relations and it isn't their fault. Anyone want to share their two cents?
 

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Good story. Unfortunately, it has been the case since the start. Many dealers show signs of padding their lists with cars marked for markup. Some have disclosed this to those on the wait list, some have not. Some have even gone as far as claiming that and 'extra' car magically showed up as a mistake, or 'gift' from Lotus.

Not all dealers are like this.... but you are right. This is the conceptual equal of mother drinking and smoking during her pregnancy if you ask me.
 

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man, what options were on that aubergine car? i want pix in the sunlight! :D
 

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That's really too bad, but does seem to be common. Fortunately, there *are* still dealers out there who could be considered trustworthy; check out the dealer forum of this message board for more info. Californians are fortunate to have many Lotus dealers to choose from (6?).
 

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It has been speculated that Symbolic has ordered 10 cars underneath the basic waiting list to sell at above MSRP. Not sure of the exact amount. I was able to confirm that they did submit my order to Lotus back when second round orders were asked for, but I have no idea in what order it was submitted relative to the wait list.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I spoke to another dealer and they said someone occasionally changes their mind after their car was ordered and when it arrives they put it on the floor and sell it instead of giving it to the next person that ordered the same car if their is a match. Because they told me this up front I might be okay with that. I'm not saying I wouldn't be frustrated to see my exact car on the floor because someone didn't want it while I am still waiting. However, the fact they said it right up front at least matters a little and gets them points for honesty in my oppinion. Other dealers were also at least pretending to be as excited to sell me a lotus as I am to buy one if not genuinely glad to have a serious customer give them consideration. I am going to give that place my business.

You are right... those of us in CA have a few options as far as where to spend our money. You would think that they would work toward happy customers in that case.

Imagine.... you wait patiently for your car, the dealer gets it and sells it, then next month a price increase is announced.... ouch.
 

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LotusLust said:
man, what options were on that aubergine car? i want pix in the sunlight! :D
 

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It would have been interesting to see his reaction if you would have made him some offer over MSRP. He may have jumped at it!
 

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so here is my question about the aubergine color...you saw it "in the plastic"

looking at the pix on the puresportscar site is the color close in the 2nd and 3rd pix where it is next to a red elise? if it is indeed a good deep color like that i like it.

i am actually considering aubergine after seeing a vette in a very similar paint. who cares if people yell ***!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
pianomaniac said:
It would have been interesting to see his reaction if you would have made him some offer over MSRP. He may have jumped at it!
The discussion was about $10k over and there was no question... he was ready to sell them for that or to take the next one delivered of the color I wanted away from the guy on the list and give it to me.


It is indeed a nice deep, rich color. My buddy has a purple M and he loves it. He has grey leather in it and I have to admit it doesn't look bad at all. It's easy on the eyes but I make sure to give him some grief about it whenever the opportunity arises. :p
 

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This agrees with my Symbolic dealings.

When I found out how far away the MSRP car list was, I asked what it would take to get one of the first 10. There was no beating around the bush.. $10k would do ya. Wait a while and they'll start calling the +$5k people.. I understand there's a list there too.

The general impression I got is that the next car to sell for MSRP (after Randy's) will be when they can't move them off the showroom floor for MSRP+, and no sooner.
 

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So you think what Symbolic is doing is the American, red/white/blue, freedom and democracy, capitalism system that is great, wonderful, best in the world, etc.


Ground Loop said:
This agrees with my Symbolic dealings.

When I found out how far away the MSRP car list was, I asked what it would take to get one of the first 10. There was no beating around the bush.. $10k would do ya. Wait a while and they'll start calling the +$5k people.. I understand there's a list there too.

The general impression I got is that the next car to sell for MSRP (after Randy's) will be when they can't move them off the showroom floor for MSRP+, and no sooner.
 

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Not a pretty picture.

It doesn't sound like they have a list of 'preferred or repeat' customers. Just high bidders.
 

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I do know they have given some repeat customers first dibs on cars, some at MSRP or close to it.

It will be nice when a deposit holder on ET finally reports that they received their car from Symbolic. I wonder how many cars they've delivered thus far.
 

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I am so glad i ordered from Ascot !
 

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I'm on the Symbolic "Beverly Hills" list. My order was placed in the second set of 10. I was told that my car was "in build" on August 4th. When I recently asked about the status of my car, I was once again told that it is "in build". I suggested that it should be on a ship by now, as it doesn't take that long to build a damn car, so Symbolic then suggested that they were expecting an update on built cars' ETAs. That was a week ago and I haven't received any VIN or indication that my car is on the way.

Mentally, I added two months to the initial build info, so I'm hoping that my car arrives in early October. Realistically, I'm not allowing myself to get excited. And rather than asking Symbolic for more info I'm accepting that I'm doomed to uncertainty and further waiting. The car will arrive when it gets here.

By the way, Symbolic did confirm that I would be paying the price increase, as if there was any doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I should think the factory would have the VIN when building your order for you. You could track your car from factory to floor. Then you scout Symbolic and raise all mighty hell when you see your VIN and a salesman trying to sell it to someone else. Come to think of it... that may be exactly why they don't give you your VIN. huh... Who would have thought car salesmen were a bit slimy eh?

If you find a dealer that treats you well then pass the info along. Give your business based on referral only. If the shady dealers see they are losing business to others that treat customers better maybe they will follow suit. I'm not holding breath though. I can only go to a dealer that someone recommends.
 

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LotusLust said:
so here is my question about the aubergine color...you saw it "in the plastic"

looking at the pix on the puresportscar site is the color close in the 2nd and 3rd pix where it is next to a red elise? if it is indeed a good deep color like that i like it.

i am actually considering aubergine after seeing a vette in a very similar paint. who cares if people yell ***!! :D
I saw the same car.

I went to Symbolic to see the car in person. On my way down, I was dead set on that color. After seeing it, I ordered red. If it was two shades deeper, it would be dynamite, but as it sits, it's a little too "Lakers". If darker purple is a serious color, this is a silly color... I won't say it's quite Barney, but it's close. Takes something away from the car - which is too bad because the Esprit purple of days past would be an amazing color on the Elise & I would assuredly be getting that color if it were offered.

Funny thing - I brought my camera down to get some good pics of it. Forgot to bring it in the first time... was so discouraged with the color, I didn't bother going back to get the pics.

ptooey.
 
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