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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Forgive the long post.

I was at my dealers today, putting in my order as requested before Jan 12th - but I've held off giving them the £10k until they can confirm something for me. Bear with me for a bit.

As I understand it (and I may be wrong, feel free to correct me), when you order a bog-standard car, you pay a deposit (10% sometimes), and a few days, or maybe a few weeks later, the factory confirms it has your order & the build is underway, and then it's too late to back out. At that point, your deposit becomes non-refundable, so that if you lose all your money at the gee-gees or fall under a bus before the car is delivered, the dealer has the 10% to cover any losses they might incur. Car gets built & arrives a month or two later, and you pay the balance. Fair enough, you couldn't expect them to start building your car without some sort of commitment from you, nor compensation if for reasons beyoind their control, you don't go ahead.

With more unusual/expensive cars with a waiting list (and again I may be wrong here), they'll usually take a small holding deposit (eg £1500 for the R8, or £1000 for the V8 Vantage I have my name down for), but that's all they ask for til they get to the stage where your name gets to the top of the list and it's time to confirm your spec, pay your larger deposit, and send the order off to the factory to get built for delivery 2 months later.

But with the R8, we're being asked for £10k by 12th Jan, with no idea when the car's going to be built or delivered. There's a national list of buyers in date order from the time of lodging the £1500 deposit, so individual dealers (or at least my dealer) don't know where their customers are on that list - their No.1 buyer could be No.100 nationally for all they know. I'm No.3 apparently (having been told I was No.2 originally, not that it matters if it's a national list), and they're hopeful my car should be late 2007, but it might not arrive til 2008! I won't be told til after Jan 12th. And - they're not 100% sure that if the date's not acceptable, that I'll be able to get my £10k back! This is after being assured my car would be one of the very first, sometime in mid-2007 (before the idea of the national list came to light). I can see that sometime between now & the start of the build, they'll have to order stuff in & have some idea of how many cars they have to build, how much mustang leather or whatever to buy, so a "point of no return" maybe 3 montrhs before it goes to build would be necessary, but possibly 12 whole months seems too long to me.

This situation isn't acceptable to me on 3 counts.

What if I have an accident, or run into financial difficulties, or who knows what, between now & the build-start date (or their last date to order enough mustang leather)? Why should my money go down the swanny when there's been no loss on their part?

And what if the delivery date turns out to be in 2036? This was the year that the salesman suggested in jest as an example in our discussion - he was sympathetic to my concerns, btw, and is finding out more. Am I expected to wait or lose my £10k?

Finally, losing a year's interest on £1500 I can live with. A year or more's interest on £10k, I'd be less keen to wave goodbye to.

Am I being a divvy, or are Audi getting this wrong, given their lack of experience in the £80k+ car market?

Cheers

Andy
 

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You made a lot of valid points. My dealer has not even gone anywhere near this extra 10K deposit and I have not brought it up myself. Given that my order dates back to 2004, have already bought three audis before and have another three on order - I will be mighty pissed off if he does mention it.

Apart from your reasons there are others. I was abroad for the launch party as it was half term so I have never seen the car / specifying it is difficult to say the least as no one has actually driven one - look at the confusion and interest in the gearbox options and leather options and we have more information than the dealers (my dealer could not even tell me what interior it was in those photos in the extended leather forum).

The leap in the dark seems to be for all the buyers with all risks minimised for audi, especially as a heavily spec'd car will be 90K + which pits the R8 against a number of quality sports cars (all of which you can see and test drive).

My dealer has said there may be a glimmer of hope I might be able to see one before the January deadline (probably in London) and did not absolutely rule out a drive (I am not holding my breath) so I intend to wait until the deadline date before specifying in case any more info comes out.
 

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Just a quick info regarding possible test drive of R8. Since first press members drive impression will be on 17th January 2007 in Las Vegas as I already posted here there is NO CHANCE to drive a car before APRIL 2007 at any dealer in Continental Europe! Dealers from all over the world will have a chance to test drive R8 also in Las Vegas but, in mid February. This info is directly from Audi(my friend in regional director of sales for Audi in Europe).
First dealers cars will be delivered in mid April(continental Europe-LH drive) so, if you can not go to Vegas in February(and this trip will basically depend a lot on your dealer-is your local Audi dealer on the Audi list for Vegas dealers/VIP costumers R8 presentation or not?) only chance to try R8 is to seek dealer somewhere in continental Europe who will receive its R8 in April.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm pretty much ok with ordering a brand new car before seeing it or driving it - it's part of the fun/risk of going for the new car on the block.

What I'm not happy about is lodging a £10k deposit that might turn out to be non-refundable, for a car that will be a year out-of-date by the time I'm forced to still take delivery, even if I don't like it or can't afford it!

I've bought 3 Audis this year from my dealer, and have also informed them I'd like to buy an A5 later this year, but I'm still also ok with the £10k deposit, as long as it's nearer to Audi's own point of no return, not potentially a year or more beforehand!
 

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I guess Audi are trying to weed out the speculators and the dreamers from the truly serious. Although I suspect the speculators will think nothing of placing a 10k deposit. AFAIK Audi are liasing with Bentley to find out who were the speculators on the Bentley GT and probably demote them on the list having taken their (non-refundable?) deposit. Are Audi trying to avoid the dealer forecourts being filled with 6 month old 500-1500 mile cars a la Aston AMV8? After all why pay list for an AMV8 when you can pick up with hardly any mileage and 10k off. I am not sure that being the earliest on any exotic sports car list gets to drive the car before speccing, that appears to be part and parcel of the fun. I do think that the problem for many here is that the R8 and Audi are a bit of an unknown quantity in the rarefied world of exotic sports cars. With Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche don't you just place the deposit and wait confident in the knowledge that the product will be good and the shirt on your back is safe?

I don't mind ordering the car without driving it but would prefer to at the very least see the car in the metal, especially a 85-90k car. I do think Audi handled the whole UK lauch thing very badly as anyone who had their name on the list should have at least been offered an invite. I live in Scotland but would have been more than happy to trek south with the hope of actually seeing the car. I have been assured that the spec you place with the extra deposit is provisional and can be changed prior to a cut-off date before build commences. Whether the deposit is refundable or not is a moot point. I can't see why not, as long as it is prior to the build cut-off date as there appears to be a long list of potential owners only too glad of an earlier delivery.
 

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Some very interesting point being put acrosss in here ... so, for what it's worth ... here's my 2p worth ...

I think many people with orders are prepared to take a risk to get their hands on the car they've been seeing glimpses of since the concept was shown at Frankfurt in 2003 ... I know I am, but driving an RS4 everyday (same engine and similar(ish) quattro drive, or so I understand it) has given me an excellent insight into the engines' ability ... the levels of grip in the RS4 are excellent and with less weight and a lower centre of gravity ... the R8 should be a great car to drive ... so I'm prepared to take the chance that ithe R8 will not be a dog to drive.

Anyway, back to the three points originally raised in the initial post of this thread ...
1. Regardless of how much money you put down as a deposit on any car ... Audi will never lose because they will always be able to sell the car if its built if you "have an accident, or run into financial difficulties" and can't go through with the purchase ... so imho it is up to you to decide whether you are prepared to agree to their terms and conditions.
2. As for how long you wait and what happens to your deposit ... again it's up to you to get as much information as possible and make the best decision for yourself ... based on the terms and conditions and any other information you can find out at the time you need to make such a decision ... although I do agree that if the wait is significantly beyond what we (R8 customers) are being led to believe (mid 2007 for the first UK deliveries) should mean you have some way of getting out of the agreement if the car has not entered the build process in a timely manner ... after all, even at this point, Audi will not lose out ... as the car hasn't been built and they've been able to use your deposit for the whole time they've had it ... and they get to remove your car from the build schedule ... so they should be able to refund your deposit ... imho.
3. I suspect that my response to this is fairly obvious ... if you've read my responses to points 1 and 2 above. £10,000 at 7% annual interest only amounts to £700 ... which for anyone who can afford to buy three Audi's in a year and possibly getting an A5 in the next year ... makes me wonder how much such a person would actually miss the £700 worth of interest in January 2008 ... obviously they might need the money earned from the £10,000 quite significantly ... but all I can say is that if I had been able to buy three new cars in the last year ... have a deposit down for a fourth (the R8) and be looking to buy an A5 in the next year ... I'd not be too bothered at losing around £700 worth of interest if I had to wait a year ... or maybe a bit more ... for my car.

Obviously all the above is just ... imho ... and any views (expressed or interpreted) are my own ... I appreciate that everyone will feel differently and none of the above is directed towards anybody ... and niether is it meant to annoy anyone if they do not agree with my thoughts.
 

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I think he'd be doing very well to get7% ! realistically he could expect 5% - less tax . ie. about £300 that's if Audi had his money for a whole year. Hardly significant for someone who buys 3 Audi's in a year? perhaps he'd rather the car was £1,000 more, and Audi gave interest on the deposits held?


W
 

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I think he'd be doing very well to get7% ! realistically he could expect 5% - less tax . ie. about £300 that's if Audi had his money for a whole year. Hardly significant for someone who buys 3 Audi's in a year? perhaps he'd rather the car was £1,000 more, and Audi gave interest on the deposits held?


W
I was being deliberately generous with my 7% figure ... in the hope that someone would put me right with something more realistic ... helping me emphasise my point that parting with £10,000 for a year ... doesn’t realistically dent your finances very much.

However, if all that Audi did with 400 UK deposits of £10,000 was to put them into high interest investments for six months ... they could potentially earn a few more thousand £ ... but I think they’d be using it to purchase materials and consumables etc etc to continue running their business ... in the greater scheme of things ... it’s not a huge amount of money to individuals buying and Audi as a large scale global corporation.
 

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Hi AndyW,

See my post dated 25th December in the thread "Ordered R8's". I have already told both my dealer and Audi UK's marketing director that they are not getting £10K from me unless it is in an interest bearing account for the duration !

I'm quite happy to increase my deposit to a few thousand pounds, but no more than that at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Hi all

Thanks for your comments, interesting to hear other perspectives on the situation.

1. Regardless of how much money you put down as a deposit on any car ... Audi will never lose because they will always be able to sell the car if its built if you "have an accident, or run into financial difficulties" and can't go through with the purchase ... so imho it is up to you to decide whether you are prepared to agree to their terms and conditions.
2. As for how long you wait and what happens to your deposit ... again it's up to you to get as much information as possible and make the best decision for yourself ... based on the terms and conditions and any other information you can find out at the time you need to make such a decision ... although I do agree that if the wait is significantly beyond what we (R8 customers) are being led to believe (mid 2007 for the first UK deliveries) should mean you have some way of getting out of the agreement if the car has not entered the build process in a timely manner ... after all, even at this point, Audi will not lose out ... as the car hasn't been built and they've been able to use your deposit for the whole time they've had it ... and they get to remove your car from the build schedule ... so they should be able to refund your deposit ... imho.
3. I suspect that my response to this is fairly obvious ... if you've read my responses to points 1 and 2 above. £10,000 at 7% annual interest only amounts to £700 ... which for anyone who can afford to buy three Audi's in a year and possibly getting an A5 in the next year ... makes me wonder how much such a person would actually miss the £700 worth of interest in January 2008 ... obviously they might need the money earned from the £10,000 quite significantly ... but all I can say is that if I had been able to buy three new cars in the last year ... have a deposit down for a fourth (the R8) and be looking to buy an A5 in the next year ... I'd not be too bothered at losing around £700 worth of interest if I had to wait a year ... or maybe a bit more ... for my car.
Cheers Paul - what you're saying in 1 & 2 is absolutely correct; it's up to me to make a decision based on the terms & conditions Audi give me. Trouble is, they haven't given me any! This is my real gripe, that Audi haven't supplied their customers with the information needed to make a sensible decision, yet are setting short(ish) deadlines for us to give them big chunks of cash. If they say I have to give them a deposit of £10k by 12th Jan, and I can't have it back even if they subsequently tell me delivery isn't til 2010, or even if I've had a terrible paper-shredder/finger incident & can't drive any more, at least I'll have the info I need, and I can then decide whether to proceed with lodging the deposit, based on that.

Realistically he could expect 5% - less tax . ie. about £300...Hardly significant for someone who buys 3 Audi's in a year

W
fyi I don't change my car every 3 months! The 3 cars were 2 company cars for employees & an A4 for the Mrs, not that it matters - it may only be £300, but it's my £300! And without a known delivery date, who knows how long Audi might have the £10k for? You're right though, in the scheme of things, it's no big deal - but it's not what other manufacturers at this level do AFAIK.

Cheers

Andy
 

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Still agree with Andy on most of these issues. It may not be a lot of money but I cant see how anyone can be impressed with audi's handling of this launch so far. One of the main reasons this website is so interesting is because we need the info from it as audi is giving everybody the mushroom treatment (keeping us in the dark and feeding us you know what). One issue that no one has picked up on is that not everybody is being asked for this 10K deposit. Does this mean the dealers are using their own initiative and some are being a bit greedier than others and massaging their own cashflow?

John
 

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Still agree with Andy on most of these issues. It may not be a lot of money but I cant see how anyone can be impressed with audi's handling of this launch so far. One of the main reasons this website is so interesting is because we need the info from it as audi is giving everybody the mushroom treatment (keeping us in the dark and feeding us you know what).
Indeed ... I'm sure things could have been handled better ... although I will say my dealer seems to be doing what he can to keep me in the picture ... but it actually seems Audi HQ is the main problem ... in not pushing the information out to the appropriate people ... i.e. the dealers and more importantly, the customers - aka us lot on here for starters!
One issue that no one has picked up on is that not everybody is being asked for this 10K deposit. Does this mean the dealers are using their own initiative and some are being a bit greedier than others and massaging their own cashflow?
It does seem that different dealers are asking for the money at different times ... the thread on here where this was raised was started at the beginning of November ... I wasn't asked by my dealer for the money until the middle of December ... sometime after I'd picked up my customer order pack.

I don't think you will get a definitive answer to this question until after the extended deadline of January the 12th 2007 ... if after this point some people here have been able to specify their R8 and maintain their position in the build schedule ... I think we need people to be bold and stand up and be counted so others who have stumped up the additional funds can demand to know from Audi just what is going on with the deposit monies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, I gave my £10k deposit to my dealer today, and this is what he told me. I'm not therefore saying it's gospel of course :)


The deadline for placing one of these initial orders has been extended to the end of January.

Once they have all the orders, Audi will then create a list of them all, in order of initial interest shown, and that's the order in which they will be considered (and probably manufactured, subject to any constraints as below).

Sometime after the end of Jan, maybe a month or so, Audi will contact the dealer to state the customer's place in the queue (it might have to take into account individual trim, for example), to state the date when the build will be confirmed (ie the logistical point of no return - this may be a week away, or a few weeks away, or a few months, depending on place in the queue), and when the actual build will start, which might be from say June onwards (or more like end of the year for me).

Customers will then know when their car should be delivered, and have the time between that contact from Audi to their dealer, and the build-confirmed date, to back out with a full refund, or amend their order. Delivery might be delayed if you go from normal spec to lime green metallic individual paint.


On that basis, I was happy to proceed. Aparently, once Audi have my initial order form that came with the pack (why no mention of lumbar support, piano black trim, or coloured stitching on that list btw?), I'll then fill in a "normal" Audi order form, and it'll proceed as above.

Like I said, this is all from my dealer - he may have got it wrong, or I may have misunderstood.

Hope it helps though.

Cheers

Andy
 
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