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Future of the Evora in the USA

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I wish Lotus well, but they should look at the second gen NSX as a cautionary tale.  Honda tried to make a budget Porsche 918/LaFerrari hybrid supercar.  What they appear to have ended up doing is creating a car that has more tech than any other car close to its price point.  That is the good part.  The bad part is that the car is not appreciably better than other cars in its price point and is, in some ways, arguably worse.  I would argue that the NSX is not selling because no one is interested in tech for the sake of tech that does not result in a better car.

 By most performance metrics, the car’s performance is nothing special given its competition.  The car does have instant torque due to its electric motors, but turbo lag in turbo charged cars has gotten to be negligible.   It’s not like the old days where there was a very appreciable lag before the turbos spooled up.  The other major feature of the car is true torque vectoring which allows for a car that is very easy to drive fast.  The downside is that these positives as accomplished by Honda requires 3 electric motors and a battery pack, resulting in a relatively heavy car with few reviewers commenting on any emotional appeal of the car.

I just wonder if engineers are thinking about whether the EVs/hybrids are actually fun to drive, which is the whole point of sports/super cars.

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So here is a little update on how bad Lotus does business.  I got back yesterday from being in the UK for the last 32 days.  My phone and email were working fine. I just received a phone call from my dealer.  Without reconfirming the specifications between the original order sheet and the new order sheet.  They have started building my car.  It is through paint and in assembly.  They have managed to paint the car the wrong color Blue and installed a standard not Titanium exhaust system.  As far as the other options I have no clue.  No updated order sheet so no way of knowing.

How can they know what options customers want if they have changed the car and car options?  They have just built them regardless of the specification changes.  They have built cars without a new signed order sheet.  My order sheet has wing options checked!

  My request from day one was to see my car in production and to pick it up at the Factory.  My trip was planned and started because I needed to be over in the UK to accomplish such a task.  30 days was a big enough window.  Yes, I made a holiday of it.  (Part of the reason that they had to go public to the dealers that they had downgraded the cars because I called them out on it during my visit.)  So I was in the UK when they started production. No call. No email. No update.  So now I'm back in the states and the car is wrong.  They are saying that they I can order another one with no build date or finish date.  So it's now the middle of May.  When would I get another car? September?October? Winter2020?  How is this anyway for Lotus to be conducting business. Geely really has a problem to fix.

The worst part is Ryan Watson. I have never dealt with someone that is so arrogant and belittling when talking to a customer.  As far as I'm concerned he should not be running sales in the United States.  He has screwed over 60 customers without a hesitation or care.  I can't believe that he is still working for the company.  I've met people in corporate at Lotus. People that really do care about cars.  People that I would want to do business with over and over.  Watson is not one of those people. This a complete public relations nightmare for Lotus and he's the one holding the banner.

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Wow ken2020 what a mess.  Hopefully you'll get your car built the way you ordered it.  Keep us updated, please! 

I didn't get as far along in the process as you did (bailed after the "1st draft" was sent to all of us on the preorder list) but I just had a bad feeling about the whole thing.  Didn't like the "YOU NEED TO LET US KNOW ASAP" pressure tactic despite the final specs of the car being up in the air and what they did tell us was rather underwhelming as far as being much of an upgrade over my 400.  Then a few weeks ago when they knocked another 20k off the price, they asked me again.  Slightly more palatable but still I just couldn't justify the cost difference at all.

 

Hopefully Geely will get the right executives in the right places to help market these cars.    

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I really don't understand any of this.  It shouldn't be rocket science.

If Lotus want to 'lock' customers in, then just ask for a nominal (refundable) deposit, subject to final confirmation of the vehicle specification.  They certainly have appeared to also suggest that the car on offer would be a much higher spec than the one they have subsequently decided to manufacture.

On no account should they be making cars until they have a signed order sheet, regardless of the final specification.

That said, I have to say that this is completely the opposite of my experience, but it obviously doesn't excuse it.

A company can spend millions on marketing initiatives/campaigns, but when this happens it can undue all that hard work and set them back in a sales region for years.

 

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Appalling situations good luck getting that lot sorted, It took me a year to get the subwoofer fitted to my car that the car was ordered with.

and when they did get the amp and the subwoofer there was no wiring loom installed.  

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Very sorry to hear about your buying experience @ken2020 It would appear that US customers are not getting the right level of support on the sales side.

Ordering a hand built sports car to personal specification; and then being able to view it on the production line during the build process is a 'bucket list' event for most petrol heads.

My own recent experience of ordering a Lotus from new was first class, (including a few significant tweaks to the agreed spec mid-way through the build process). At every stage any changes were confirmed and agreed by email to follow-up phone conversations. My dealer arranged & coordinated the visit to Hethel to view the car at the 3/4 complete stage. This in itself plus the hosted factory tour with Scott Walker was excellent. It was a memorable experience and it's a pity that things have gone so badly wrong for you. I hope that things improve significantly from now on.

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6 minutes ago, blindside said:

My own recent experience of ordering a Lotus from new was first class, (including a few significant tweaks to the agreed spec mid-way through the build process). At every stage any changes were confirmed and agreed by email to follow-up phone conversations. My dealer arranged & coordinated the visit to Hethel to view the car at the 3/4 complete stage. This in itself plus the hosted factory tour with Scott Walker was excellent. It was a memorable experience and it's a pity that things have gone so badly wrong for you. I hope that things improve significantly from now on

A friend has recently done similar with a new Exige and he was very happy with the service.  Perhaps the issue here is that it is the saleperson managing this purchase that isn't bringing the service together as required.

 

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That's a valid point.........I also managed to get a free factory visit prior to receiving the car.  I didn't quite time it right to see mine on the production line, but it was very good all the same.

Usually from an 'arse covering exercise' if nothing else, the sales person would want to get every detail of the agreed specification signed off correctly before pressing ahead with production.  This would be a poor business practice in any field of sales.  

 

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11 hours ago, blindside said:

Very sorry to hear about your buying experience @ken2020 It would appear that US customers are not getting the right level of support on the sales side.

Ordering a hand built sports car to personal specification; and then being able to view it on the production line during the build process is a 'bucket list' event for most petrol heads.

My own recent experience of ordering a Lotus from new was first class, (including a few significant tweaks to the agreed spec mid-way through the build process). At every stage any changes were confirmed and agreed by email to follow-up phone conversations. My dealer arranged & coordinated the visit to Hethel to view the car at the 3/4 complete stage. This in itself plus the hosted factory tour with Scott Walker was excellent. It was a memorable experience and it's a pity that things have gone so badly wrong for you. I hope that things improve significantly from now on.

Thank you Blindside for your kind words. From my view of seeing things first hand. The problem comes down to one employee of Lotus. 

40 years ago I was given my favorite toy and that was a Model 72 Peterson replica. It's been 19 years since I first worked on a Elise ( It was a totaled race car that I rebuilt from the chassis up). It was a amazing experience.

I have dreamed of owning a Lotus ever since. Going to the factory, even though my car was delayed. Well it was everything and more. Having the pleasure of spending a day with Scott Walker is amazing. I feel very lucky because of it.  What a great guy. If only we had that kind of caring and excitement for the US side of things.  He does a amazing job and that has to be the reason that the sales experience being so much better in the UK.

 

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10 hours ago, Simon Bateman said:

That's a valid point.........I also managed to get a free factory visit prior to receiving the car.  I didn't quite time it right to see mine on the production line, but it was very good all the same.

Usually from an 'arse covering exercise' if nothing else, the sales person would want to get every detail of the agreed specification signed off correctly before pressing ahead with production.  This would be a poor business practice in any field of sales.  

 

I believe you to be on the money with your assessment. This is not a dealership problem.  I actually pity the dealers in the States because they can't keep the doors open selling Lotus.  This is a problem with the Lotus US sales management. My contact with Lotus personal in the UK has been admirable. 

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Hi Ken

This is so disturbing, I have been a ‘Lotus fan’ for 56 years, started at Hethel in 68 building Elan, Europa’s and +2’s.  From 2000-2014 I worked on the Driver Training Academy and ran the factory tours.  The Bahar period was ‘interesting’ for sure, the Gales period.....I have nothing positive to say but I’m hoping once Geely get a hold of things, things will improve.  It doesn’t excuse the way you have been treated and hopefully someone at Hethel will pick up on this and get back to you.

Its a shame we couldn’t have contacted each other when you were over........next time, or might see you at the Lotus Owners Gathering in August.

 

Good Luck

Richard

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Richard,  Thank you for the kind offer of friendship.  It would be great to sit and talk about cars. Perspectives between the two countries is intriguing.  

It's very strange when a customer is a enthusiast. A enthusiast who has spent years working to a point where he can afford such a car as Lotus. I thought that I was going to get hard repercussions from online members for posting my inability to get a proper car sold to me.  In fact, I feel the opposite. I'm am not alone. Lotus has purposely mislead 60 customers.  They have used high pressure sales and misleading information to move cars.  I have the order sheets and the short deadlines to place the order. I was at the factory when nobody could explain. Explain why the US cars in build didn't have the correct components. I have been on the phone while the head of US sales tried to belittle and bully me.  On the phone because he had stopped emailing me. Probably because he didn't want anything more in writing. He definitely wasn't calling to apologize that the car wasn't as promised or even close.  Ryan Watson was above such a thought to a customer. What a POS!  I was never wrong. In the end he tried to throw the dealer under the bus. The dealer wasn't misleading. I was in the office when the phone calls were made to him at Lotus before I wrote the check.

Sure, I might have been the most proactive buyer.  I did go to the UK with a Holiday planned around possible build dates.  I did ask the right questions.  I enjoyed my Holiday.  I have a lot more to explore in the UK. 30 days isn't even enough to see all that it has to offer.  The point however is still that they have screwed the US market on purpose.   

I shouldn't have a care in the world right now. My life is good, real good. I have everything in life that a person should.  I should be looking forward to my car coming in a few weeks.  I should have driven it on Hethel at completion. 

I would love to pop over for a gathering in August. Tickets are relatively cheap right now.  With the way this is going. I might have to buy a McClaren, Lambo or Ferrari but those cars don't really interest me.  Maybe another Tesla with Ludicrous mode. Hell my wife's Tesla that hauls the kids around is faster 0-60 than a Lotus. Who knows. 

I'm starting to think that Lotus never planned on getting the GT model crash tested for the States.  They just stuck a 400 nose on it and left it at that.  No initiative. No want for the US market.  Lotus has lost thousands of sales in the US because they didn't want to install newer airbags in the Elise or Exige. What a terrible business plan. What shortsightedness. 

The one thing that I know is that the odds of Lotus getting things right is very low.  I don't see them fixing anything anytime soon.

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I hear you clearly. I know for a fact my sells rep was dealing with him directly. He managed to mess up the order of my Evora 400. Ryan Watson is a JACKA$$.

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A comment on the latest Jay Leno video on the 400. Page linked below.

Is the Evora available in America....... says a bit

 

 

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It was only filmed a month ago. 

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1 hour ago, Bibs said:

It was only filmed a month ago. 

Maybe I'm thinking of the Esprit one he did!

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This is a really interesting thread. It certainly would appear that Lotus cars has a problem with Lotus USA, sounds like they have a bunch of Bullsh1t artists running the show who need to be replaced. I can only honestly say that I have always had a very positive experience when dealing directly with Lotus Cars in the UK, and with the dealerships I have had dealings with in the UK, a shame that you can’t enjoy the same experience in the USA. Hopefully the Guys at Hethel will read this thread with interest and start asking questions and kicking arses.

Regarding the change in spec of the Evora GT for the US market, I sort of get it. There is no way that a carbon fibre front splitter, or indeed any carbon in an impact zone would pass impact tests. You only have to see how the stuff shatters in a GT race to see that. I’m not so sure what the problem with the new look front bumper made of polycarbonate would be though. As for someone mentioning that the car would now ‘only’ do 0 - 60 in 3.8 instead of 3.6 secs…… I really don’t know anyone would notice the difference in 0.2 secs or many would have the skill to extract that performance in any event.

Hopping the situation with Lotus USA gets resolved for you guys, and that you start to get a better dealership network before too long. As has been said before, Lotus really do need to start upping their public awareness and doing some proper PR if they want to sell any cars.

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@BreezeYour opinion is spot on.  The customer service all funnels through one person that needs to be replaced.  Dealing with the UK is a positive experience.  It's the proper channels way that is rough for the US.  The distance between the pond use to be great but now it's just milleseconds away. With VOIP phone numbers it's not even long distance charges.

This thread has been read!  Lotus is finally starting to reach out. What will come of it is yet to be seen.  I have hope still that I might almost get the car that I ordered.  Probably in another 6 months😫 So much for being one of the first cars in the US.

Carbon splitters are legal in the US. Other manufacturers test them and don't fail. Lots of examples out there.  I've been told from different sources, different reasons for the front failing. The truth is another story. One that the US may never know.  The poly-carbonate GT front bumper would have been a fine substitute.  The 400 bumper is not!  We were never told that the car would have a Carbon front bumper.  A poly-carbonate front bumper and a carbon splitter ( in a box next to the car) with "Race Use Only" would have been sufficient.  The vibe for the other goodies that was deleted. Is now starting to become a extra charge accessory package. A price that doesn't add up. Which is crazy as it was part of the original 430GT.

As far as performance.  Speed is relative.  As long as it's under 4 seconds then it's a Supercar in my opinion.

Doing proper PR and advertising is great. If they have product that they actually want to sell. In a market that they actually want to commit to.  If they can't keep 30-60 die hard customers happy with the right car. How can they go after a different demographic?  A Porsche buyer would never stick around through this type of treatment. 

Thanks for the Italian insight. 

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I had the opportunity to speak directly to LOTUS's  international sales manager Mark Fullalove (yep that's his name) his comment when asked about the US market was at this point in time with only one model in the US the level of marketing will stay the same until they more models to sell.

The 400 has been getting some very good press through YouTube with Matt Farrah, and Jay Leno, is cleaver and inexpensive but not as reaching patience is the key here, yes they could sell more but the return on investment isn't there until more models are available. Makes the cars exclusive.

As for the number of dealers,  North America is the same physical size as Australia and we have 3 dealers....mine is 2 hours away.

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On 16/05/2019 at 06:17, blindside said:

Very sorry to hear about your buying experience @ken2020 It would appear that US customers are not getting the right level of support on the sales side.

Ordering a hand built sports car to personal specification; and then being able to view it on the production line during the build process is a 'bucket list' event for most petrol heads.

My own recent experience of ordering a Lotus from new was first class, (including a few significant tweaks to the agreed spec mid-way through the build process). At every stage any changes were confirmed and agreed by email to follow-up phone conversations. My dealer arranged & coordinated the visit to Hethel to view the car at the 3/4 complete stage. This in itself plus the hosted factory tour with Scott Walker was excellent. It was a memorable experience and it's a pity that things have gone so badly wrong for you. I hope that things improve significantly from now on.

Not what we get on this side of the ocean, even my 2012 build I planned a trip to factory in window it should have been on the line, no.  I tried an at factory preorder customization and also a later post order spec tweak to no avail.  But I ordered a Sport 410 in 2017 without trying for special custom bits and got what I ordered at least after a few months of post delivery sorting. Then in 2018 I wait listed for the GT430, but with similar stories as above I ran as the car morphized into the Evora GT of unknowns, other than it seems to end as a base car much cheaper than my 410 but with lots to add from the option sheet to even make it a 410, save for 22 extra Hp and a 430 rear end and a-panels, which by this time my 410 seems to only be missing the 430 rear bumper.  

 

All I see is that X number (30-60-90?) of dedicated US Lotus customers got shafted by the company, and our dealers didn't get a nice ride either.

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