In November, 2002, GolfCarCatalog.com learned that Lido Motors has closed its doors. Lee Iacocca is no longer associated with the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle that bears his name. Bob Holmes, President and CEO of Lido Motors USA, has also left. It is rumored that Lee and Scott Stevens, owners of Western Motors in Desert Hot Springs, California, may resume production of this NEV under the title “Lido by Western”.
In October 2003, we learned that the four-seater Sedan is still in production, but we have not been able to obtain any information on dealer locations or parts availability.
It makes a lot of sense to move Lido Headquarters from LA to the factory site at Desert Hot Springs, California. They are building new offices and theyll be where the action is. Lido is being manufactured at Western Golf Cars, a long time high quality custom golf car producer. The Lido facility, however, is a separate entity.
Minor Design Changes
Lido has made a slight change in the roof line, but this required a change in tooling a temporary slowdown. But it now appears that they are ready to rev up to full production capacity.
Assembly Line Production
It stands to reason that Lee Iacocca would produce any vehicle in (how else?) an assembly line. That line has now been set up. At the time of our second interview with CEO Holmes, the line was set up to produce the four-seat model, which is now called the Sedan.
Custom golf cars, for the most part, have traditionally been built by a team of worker bees surrounding a single car and building it piece by piece to completion. The production line system has a series of work stations (Lido’s factory uses 17 stations) where the cars move along and a certain part of the assembly is performed at each station.
The obvious advantage to a production line is that it is a lot faster and more cars can be produced in the same amount of time. Most importantly, however, is that all vehicles have a consistent quality. The disadvantage of the production line is every car is going to come out the end looking the same. An advantage of a single station production is that different customization could possibly be done on every car produced. The disadvantage here is that production is considerably slower.
To make a production line effective, the workers at each station must be trained and practice to achieve their task(s) in a precise length of time. It takes a while to set this up. When this system gets all tuned up, the units should come flying off the line.
In this learning curve the Lido line is presently building the Sedan and turning out about 10 cars a day. Holmes says that production rate should rise dramatically in the near future.
The Two-Seater Coupe Emerges
Since we first wrote about the three Lido models (in Chapter I), the two-seater has been more clearly defined as a vehicle produced as a golf vehicle. As you can see from the pictures, there is a molded rear piece that gives two deep well bag holders, two sand bottle holders, a ball and club washer holder, an ice chest and other storage areas. The two-seater should be cranked up on the production line about the middle of October. Even though this vehicle is designed specifically for Golf, it is still a road legal NEV that can be used for local travel.
A Truck by any Other Name…
The US Dept of Transportation has decided that if you call a vehicle a truck, then it must meet all of the Federal safety requirements of a truck. Of course, if the Lido was to meet all the requirements, it wouldn’t really be a NEV anymore. So Lido has settled on the name Runabout for this truck-like model.
Lido is playing the distribution of their new NEVs very cautiously. Holmes said, “Weve tested the design every way we can and we test each individual car. But when youre building something new, there are always chances of issues appearing.” For this reason, Lido is keeping the initial sales and distribution program close to home. This means they will be primarily sold in Southern California. Eventually, they plan to expand into Arizona and then across the South into Florida.
When we asked Mr. Holmes if someone could buy a Lido in any other part of the country, he answered, “Absolutely!” Lido is concentrating its sales and distribution in a small area for now, but they are prepared to sell and deliver cars to anyone who wants one. In a recent visit to E-Z-GO headquarters, we learned that two Lido Sedans had just been delivered and on their way to Hilton Head, South Carolina, for examination.
Color Customization, an Affordable Option
Because of the production line system, all cars in the line will be the same color for that day’s cycle. But Holmes informed us that for only a $100 charge, customers can choose almost any color they desire. Furthermore, they will do a custom paint designs for a $350. “How about flames and stallions?” he asked.
“NEVs and Their Environment Must Develop Together”
Acknowledging the so-so reception of the market to other NEVs, Lido is actively working with the public to create an environment more friendly to NEVs. They are going to the Towns, the Counties and the State Officials. Theyre going to city planners, environmentalists, air quality organizations, law enforcement and anyone else concerned. They are introducing the NEVs, explaining how they most likely will be used by the public and getting people and facilities cranked up to meld this new method of transportation into our society.
There are recommendations that certain streets in town be designated as NEV-acceptable (but not exclusive), with signage and perhaps road stripes, etc. They are lending law enforcement agencies vehicles for familiarization by their officers. “We must prepare the environment as well as produce the vehicle,” says Holmes.
Besides environmental issues, Lido is taking steps to ensure that their NEV is the most accessible, user-friendly model yet. Instead of just releasing their design, they’ve subjected it to rigourous real-world tests to assess its strengths and weakness and make improvements. And they’ve taken notes where their competitors have slipped up. The Bombardier was rather hard to enter and exit, and golfers had trouble in remembering to pull a hand brake rather than the standard foot pedal brake. The GEM had some rather flimsy body parts that raised eyebrows, and the “futuristic look” did not go over well with the more conservative buyers. Lido has taken note of all these problems and hope that their design will overcome all of them.
Models and Options
All three models carry the same base price tag of $10,000. When we asked Holmes why each model was the same price, he explained: “The production cost of the molded ‘Golf Package’ is within pennies of the cost to produce the less complicated four-seat Sedan. The cost for the fiberglass utility bed on the Runabout equalizes that cost again.” But even if the models are the same price, they each come in three different packages. There is the Standard ($10,000), Deluxe ($12,500), and Woody ($15,000). We’ve broken up what each package includes below:
|Range (in miles)||40||40||40|
|Front Seat Belts|
|Rear Seat Belts|
|Safety Glass Windshield|
|Reverse Warning Indicator|
|Left Sideview Mirror|
|Right Sideview Mirror|
|Locking Steering Column|
|Tilting Steering Column|
|License Plate Illumination|
|Fresh Air Intakes|
|Interior Trim||Vinyl||Vinyl, Velour||Vinyl, Velour, “Soft Touch”|
|Interior Trim Colors||Tan||Tan, Grey, Mocha||Tan, Grey, Mocha|
|Exterior Trim||Wood Side Panels|
|Exterior Colors||White, Bright Red||White, Bright Red, Silver Metallic, Viper Green, Sea Foam, Oyster, Midnight Blue, Sienna Red||White, Bright Red, Silver Metallic, Viper Green, Sea Foam, Oyster, Midnight Blue, Sienna Red|