Lotus Cars USA

How to contact Lotus Cars USA (LCU)

You can reach Lotus Cars USA (LCU) by phone at 1-800-24-LOTUS. Or you can visit their web site at www.lotuscars.com.

LCU recently moved to a new facility at 2236 Northmont Parkway, Duluth, GA. For those who attended LOG-16 or LOG-18; this is about 1 mile North of Pleasant Hill Road and Gwinnett Place Mall.

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The best customer service in the world

Buy another supercar and you may pay more, but you won't get more when it comes to customer service. Owning an Esprit is an experience like none other. Not only is this an extremely exotic supercar with outstanding looks, but the company has one of the best relationships with their customer of any car company in the world. I first realized this even before I bought my first Esprit.

When I was considering buying my first Esprit, I called Lotus Cars USA to get the warranty history on the vehicle. I spoke to a very nice gentleman named Gary Razetti. I provided him with the serial number of the car (65066) and he proceeded to tell me everything about the history of the car. This in itself was pretty amazing I thought. Try doing that with a Ford or Chevrolet. However, my good impression turned to utter amazement when I called him back several months later. I told him that I was calling to thank him again for his help and to let him know that I had bought the Esprit. He said "Oh, 65066?"! I was so impressed that he had remembered the serial number after just one phone conversation.

Since then, my experiences with the staff at LCU has been nothing short of spectacular. I have called the president, Arnie Johnson, on many occasions just to chat and he has always been willing to spend half an hour or more on the phone talking with me about our shared passion for these cars. What other car company have you ever heard of where you can simply call the president "just to chat". Porsche? Ferrari? Lamborghini? I think not. 

The help doesn't end there. There's people like Dwayne Shumate who are always willing to lend a helping hand with his technical expertise. He has been kind enough to provide me with some of the information you see here. Dave Simkin, who provides his vast Lotus knowledge by frequently leaping from his lurking status to help answer questions on the Lotus TurboEsprit mailing list.

When you visit the LCU headquarters right outside Atlanta, Georgia they welcome you with open arms. You are not just a customer, you are a family member. You can peruse through the bins where they stockpile their inventory of Lotus parts and walk though the service bay where the cars are prepped for delivery to the dealers.

The help isn't limited to me either. Many Esprit owners have lauded the efforts of LCU to assist them with their cars. This help extends to people who buy the cars second hand. That is to say that they do not discriminate only to first time buyers. The help has even extended to fellow owners that have been lent Lotus-specific tools that would have been too expensive to buy for one-time use. Furthermore, people like Arnie, Dwayne, and Dave also lend their expertise to do-it-yourself-ers; recognizing that often taking your Esprit to a Lotus dealer may not be physically or financially feasible. At other times, LCU has even done or authorized repairs to be done under warranty after the "official" warranty  has expired.

Finally, they are always willing to sponsor Lotus events like the annual Lotus Owners Gathering or the Atlanta Historic Races. The often provide a free banquet/buffet and hand out awards during the frequent concours.

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The story changes

Unfortunately, as the phrase goes "everything good must come to an end". So has happened to Esprit production and so has recently happened to the quality of service at our favorite Mecca: LCU. In 2004, with the long-awaited introduction of the federalized version of the Lotus Elise on the nearby horizon, LCU was cast into turmoil. Our beloved leader, CEO, and friend, Arnie Johnson, a longtime champion of Esprit owners and the one figure who fought for years to bring the Elise to the USA hastily left LCU prior to the car's introduction.

Apparently, and in a blow that left many stunned, Arnie was offered a position that would have equated to a demotion within the organization. In his place, parent company Lotus Cars, Ltd. brought former Mazda employee, John English. Many were very disappointed, but decided to take the diplomatic "wait-and-see" attitude to determine if Mr. English had what it took to be a suitable replacement. Regrettably, reports in the past year, however, have not been promising. Many have complained that he lacks the passion for the marque that drives most Lotus owners and their former leader. As a sad indication, during the introduction of Mr. English to attendees at the 2004 Lotus Owners' Gathering, the audience ignored and continued talking over Mr. English as he unsuccessfully  attempted to address the public.

Since then, there have been reports that many things have changed at LCU; not the least of which is that Esprit owners report they suddenly feel like second-class citizens to Elise owners. With the current competition in the automotive market and the imminent introduction of an Esprit replacement for the 2007 model year, we can all but hope that LCU will see the error of its ways and start treating current Esprit owners with the respect they deserve.

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