Lotus Elise: Rumors from Karl:
From: Karl Franz Marquez <kmarquez@GE-Harris.COM>
Subject: US Elise News
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 16:13:13 -0500
I spoke to Bob Patterson at LCU. I mentioned the rumors I had heard on the list regarding the Elise and he had the following to say:
Hydro-Aluminium is working at full capacity making the chassis for the Elise. The only way Lotus could produce more cars would be if this company doubled their number of extrusion making machines. These are apparently too expensive for them to afford. Unless another company starts building chassis for Lotus, production cannot be increased.
Backlog of Elises is increasing. During a trip to the factory, Arnie Johnson was told they built 64 Elise within a week period. Orders for 70 new Elises were placed that same week.
Production in the Proton plant has still not begun to the best of his knowledge.
The Elise seen during LOG17 was shipped to the Detroit Lotus group. He heard that it made a recent appearance in the tv show "Good Morning America".
To his knowledge, the only Elise sold in the USA belongs to Ed Sweeny of Colorado. He apparently bought a demo model in a German dealership. He then drove it around Europe and back to England where he took a factory tour. During his visit at the Hethel plant, Lotus removed the engine and sent the car (sans-engine) to the US. This is the car that some have reported was spotted at the Ferrari of Denver dealership. Mr. Sweeny still owns the engine and may have it shipped to the US as a separate engine, not attached to a vehicle. The reunion of body and engine may happen covertly sometime afterwards.
He also read the article on the Elise in the January edition of CAR and wants to send it to the factory so they know how we really feel. I guess LCU really is in touch with what its enthusiasts want.
Karl (Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy) Franz :-)