Warranty & Servicing The Emira (With No Local Dealer)

falconexe

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Hi everyone. I am a current Emira pre-order holder, but I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head. My closest Lotus dealer is 5 hours away in a different state. I called the out of state dealer I am buying the car from and they confirmed that any warranty work usually needs to be completed by a Lotus dealer/certified service center.

Since have neither, I am very curious where/how current Lotus owners, that find themselves in the same situation, deal with this conundrum. I suppose it is possible that Lotus will build a dealership in my state over the next 2 years while I wait, but I doubt it. Furthermore, I have yet to find a "partner" dealership that can or will officially service the Lotus.

What do you do for oil changes, clutches, electrical issues, etc.? I have found an aftermarket European tune shop that has offered to assist with anything I need, but I am the kind of guy that takes the car to the dealership for peace of mind.

Any suggestions or thoughts? Are you also worried about this? Would this be something that would push you over the edge to cancel your pre-order?

Thanks for your help!
 

Mike-engel

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Hi everyone. I am a current Emira pre-order holder, but I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head. My closest Lotus dealer is 5 hours away in a different state. I called the out of state dealer I am buying the car from and they confirmed that any warranty work usually needs to be completed by a Lotus dealer/certified service center.

Since have neither, I am very curious where/how current Lotus owners, that find themselves in the same situation, deal with this conundrum. I suppose it is possible that Lotus will build a dealership in my state over the next 2 years while I wait, but I doubt it. Furthermore, I have yet to find a "partner" dealership that can or will officially service the Lotus.

What do you do for oil changes, clutches, electrical issues, etc.? I have found an aftermarket European tune shop that has offered to assist with anything I need, but I am the kind of guy that takes the car to the dealership for peace of mind.

Any suggestions or thoughts? Are you also worried about this? Would this be something that would push you over the edge to cancel your pre-order?

Thanks for your help!
This is a great question, and a problem for lotus that I’ve alluded to in other posts. In the American market, you need a strong and widespread dealer network to sell cars in large numbers. Just look at how many GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. dealers there are in neighboring locales. Heck, you often find competing dealers with the same brands in the same city. Then there is Lotus, a brand that probably 90% of Americans have never heard of, let alone driven or have an affinity for. They’ve sold a couple of niche “go carts” and one sport GT type car in the states in small numbers over the last 20 years, and in low volumes. The dealer network is very limited and even at those dealers other brands dominate. The beauty of lotus is that for many elements of building a car they source parts from other manufacturers rather than developed those things from scratch. Why reinvent the wheel. So the truth is that the mechanicals can be managed by mechanics that service other brands. But they themselves may not know this and wouldn’t have access to the manufacturers official service manuals to address the peculiarities of the lotus setup. For example, the V6 is tuned differently on an Evora than on a Camry. But these should be manageable as educational challenges to overcome. If I were lotus, I would be on the phone with Toyota and Mercedes and working out service agreements across their dealer network, offering training and resources to their technicians in volumes appropriate to their markets. One doesn’t have to be a full service lotus dealer to provide basic maintenance and minor repairs. A dealer doesn’t have to sell a car to service it. The dealer network for sales can be spread out, as buying is a one time experience. But service, that’s a different beast! And for lotus, proper servicing of these cars is critical to their long term strategy. If there are barriers to service, cars might not be serviced properly and may develop reliability issues. That bleeds over to reputation, and soon you’ve got a consumer confidence problem on your hands. Lotus ABSOLUTELY needs to have a solution to overcome this barrier!

with regard to your specific conundrum, if you are near SLC, I thought there was a high end car dealer (Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc.) who has Lotus signage on the outside of their building. I believe it is around Main Street near 300S. I could be off by a couple of blocks. You might inquire with them. Or, depending on which engine/trans you go with you might contact a trusted Toyota or Mercedes dealer in SLC to discuss servicing. Doesn’t help with warranty stuff, but at least you could address the basics that way.

FWIW I am in the same boat. My nearest dealer is 5 hours away (Winston-Salem, NC). I live in Charlottesville Virginia. Lotus….HELP! TomE, perhaps you could add this to your list of questions for Lotus leaders.
 

TomE

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I agree Lotus have really got to sort this out or risk losing the opportunity to sell more in the US.

The announcement in April of their new retailing strategy, opening of the first new-style dealership in Bahrain and the recent overhaul of the UK dealer network suggest there's a plan. It would be a huge help for Emira sales if Lotus said what that plan was in the US!

I've wondered before whether the Geely parentage might help them, by using their sister companies as service agents. I think there are nearly 300 Volvo dealers in the US. Or maybe Mercedes dealers to service the AMG-engined cars?
 

Mike-engel

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I agree Lotus have really got to sort this out or risk losing the opportunity to sell more in the US.

The announcement in April of their new retailing strategy, opening of the first new-style dealership in Bahrain and the recent overhaul of the UK dealer network suggest there's a plan. It would be a huge help for Emira sales if Lotus said what that plan was in the US!

I've wondered before whether the Geely parentage might help them, by using their sister companies as service agents. I think there are nearly 300 Volvo dealers in the US. Or maybe Mercedes dealers to service the AMG-engined cars?
The Volvo connection is a great idea! Perhaps we should work for lotus? Or better yet, be external consultants 😊
 

TomE

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The Volvo connection is a great idea! Perhaps we should work for lotus? Or better yet, be external consultants 😊
I've been waiting for that call a long time now! But everyone on the internet is an armchair expert :)
 

VL3X

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I'm in a similar boat.. Closest dealer is ~2.5 hrs away.. So figure 10 hours of travel time if I need to bring it there and leave it for a while. That's really not attractive to potential buyers.. Especially when considering a first edition vehicle that being built in a new facility. Who knows though.. Maybe some of the automated processes will actually reduce the chance of issues requiring warranty work.

So in short, I have no answers for you, but I feel your pain.
 

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