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Is the UK direct selling model working?

Scruff111S

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Do you think this new Lotus UK business model of direct selling is working? I certainly don't. Do you think there will be a review of this method of selling, and possibly revert back to dealer selling?
 
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Scruff111S

Scruff111S

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As a millennial I feel qualified enough to say I don’t really want anything different to any of the other voices on here.

The lack of communication and dealer relationship has left a very cold feeling to the new business model compared to other brands. But it’s still encouraging to see the number of die-hard Lotus fans that will endure the nonsense for what should be a very special car 😎
Agreed. As a long term Lotus enthusiast, I have come very close to cancelling on a number of occasions. In my view, this business model of direct selling is not working. I much prefer going to the dealer to buy a car, as I have done with all my previous cars. If this method continues, i will not be buying another Lotus that's for sure.
 

digilotus

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Depends who you ask. Vehicle manufacturer's finance departments will say its working (larger profit margins). Customers and impacted dealers will say its not. Car manufacturers are businesses so I'm afraid we're probably going to see more of this in future.
 
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Scruff111S

Scruff111S

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Depends who you ask. Vehicle manufacturer's finance departments will say its working (larger profit margins). Customers and impacted dealers will say its not. Car manufacturers are businesses so I'm afraid we're probably going to see more of this in future.
It is all well and good for Lotus. But having been ordered by Lotus to make many changes to their showrooms, ie the new corporate identity. I think this is really bad for the dealers, how are they supposed to make an honest buck?
 

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They still get paid for selling, delivering and maintaining cars. Just differently.

Firms like Caffyns wouldn’t sign up as new agents if they didn’t think they could make money.
 

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I think the direct selling model will work from a customer perspective, eventually. At the moment it is all so new only a few people have been through the whole process, and with the delays and waiting times it isn't running as it should. In theory once everything is up to speed it should be very simple to use and dealers/agents can still be involved in a similar way if the customer wishes i.e. go into the dealer and spec/order it with them, or it can all be done at home. If there were no delays or supply issues etc and there wasn't a big waiting list then in theory you would spec your car online, pay the reservation fee, wait a couple months then get your checkout email and choose options like service plan, then 2 weeks later get your delivery slot. Super easy and smooth. It is just with the constant changes, delays, new car, new manufacturing process etc that it seems like it isn't working. If it wasn't the direct sales model and the dealers were all in control it would be exactly the same, except we would call the dealer for info, who would then call Lotus only to be told nothing or "soon" and pass it back to us. Same issues, but less direct.
 

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I'm guessing the model is being pushed by Geely, they already operate it with Polestar and I've read that Volvo is also going to be transitioning across as they move towards electric only.

I think I'm with scoates on this one, there may currently be issues, but would anything be improved at the moment with a traditional dealer model? As things settle down hopefully things will work better.
 

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The cars would still be delayed if it wasn't an agency model, you'd just have someone else to pass on the 'soon' message. Mercedes and BMW are also moving to an agency model so Lotus are definitely not on their own with this. 👀
 

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Mercedes moved to an agency model and the dealers love it as it significantly reduces working capital, it eliminates lost sales to other areas as the Manufacturer controls price. There are other advantages.

Lotus will take some time to acquire customer facing skills and agency skills.....it won't be quick in my view.

I have just tested their ability by requesting a change to spec ( body colour and stitch ) as my build slot has been moved from July/November to April 23. Porsche have just requested my spec on a car to be built mid Jan 23, say 8 weeks away. If Lotus need to move my build date to a later date because of colour change 18 weeks hence then they are trapped in their production process. Paint and leather are Euro sourced.
 

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I have just tested their ability by requesting a change to spec ( body colour and stitch ) as my build slot has been moved from July/November to April 23. Porsche have just requested my spec on a car to be built mid Jan 23, say 8 weeks away. If Lotus need to move my build date to a later date because of colour change 18 weeks hence then they are trapped in their production process. Paint and leather are Euro sourced.

Agree that it's good Porsche let you change spec until much later but it doesn't always work out as planned... Our Porsche arrived earlier this year without some of the bits ordered in spec and ultimately they just said you don't have to have the car if you don't want it. Hopefully Lotus solving this problem earlier in the process will help prevent these issues further down the line. 🤞
 

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No It isn't working and won't for a while yet but who knows in the long run. If cars are reliable and need little aftercare other than servicing there is a chance. If they have lots of faults L O T U S... Then its going to be another early mclaren which will be a disaster.
 
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