Shear Speedster


So, I know an expert who builds his own car and all. If I send him my own design of supercar and he builds it for 100-200k. (700+ hp, cool design, etc) with all the safety spec's and tests met. so it's street legal and all dat. can I just go to an exotic car dealership and sell my car to them for a greater price? 250k+ 
like it woudln't be an amateur crap car with just nice body kit. i'm talking about a legit super car. something you'd see on tv and dealerships. nice interior, nice engine, nice exterior, a unique head turner... 
can it be nice enough so that more ppl can want it and i can start a small business? 
is this realistic? or are there more complicated processes that i should know about? 
and yes, I do have money for this project and i have always wnated to design my own car.


Best Answer
Some things to think about: 

1) Got a patent on your design? 
2) No exotic dealer will usually even entertain a one-off design that's not backed by a legitimate factory. If you go under (and most will), they're stuck. 
3) How are you going to warranty the vehicle? Got millions in the bank to back this up? 
4) Are you even a registered corporation, LLC, etc? 
5) You claim it will cost $100-200K to build this. Based on what? A guess? Have you put any business sense or thought into what it would take to turn a profit? (Hint: there is a TON of cost involved with creation/manufacturing/distribution of a vehicle. If you plan on selling a vehicle that cost $200K to make for $250K, I guarantee you that you will be out of business before your first sale.) 
6) If this car really does cost you that much to make, do you have any idea on what you would need to retail it for in order to turn a profit? 
7) Do you have any business experience? Entrepreneurship? 
8) Any thoughts on trying to create/market/sell a one-off exotic in this economy? People are unloading luxury items by the millions (RV's, boats, exotic cars, condos, etc.), why would they want to go out and purchase YOUR supercar? 
9) (And this is a BIG one!) Have you bothered to research the insurance, bonds, capital, etc that it will take to even get off the ground? 
10) Despite all of the above, do you have investors that believe in your product, since it hasn't been created nor sold? 

And those are just for starters... 

I admire anyone's aspirations, but it takes serious cash and serious investors to pull this off.
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Other Answers (3)

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  • STEVEN F answered 5 years ago
    If your friend can custom built ONE for $100K, the retail value is about $60K.
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  • Old Man Dirt answered 5 years ago
    It take a lot of work to get a design that is workable! Even with a engineering team mistakes happen on calculations on how a car will behave at speed. Have you computed the center of gravity, or roll moments? 
    There are a lot of sites that help in car design and some with implementation, now I am posting my latest one that I found below. The reason that I found it was because I wanted to know how a independent rear suspension should behave in a corner as the wheel deflects under load. Because I too am working on my own design and I know that a great suspension does not happen with just a pen and paper. 
    If you want to build a great car, study up on what works, what doesn't and figure out how to build it yourself. 
    Some place I read something that a custom car maker said about making cars for novice designers- 
    "They start from the wrong place, too often they start with the outside and hope that everything will fit" 
    An automobile has to be designed from the inside out and from the ground up.


John C
 answered 5 years ago

unfortunately it will never work. You will find that the numbers will not work. The cost to design and build one (or 100) will never be profitable. For example the McLaren F1 (not a one person design by any stretch of the imagination) never made money. The only way that a venture like this would be possible is it you came up with some new amazing material or some fancy power adder that you have patented. Otherwise why are you any different from anyone else? I dont mean to discourage you, go ahead and try, but it is very unlikely that as a business venture it will be successful. Sure you will have a awesome new car with your name on it, and a million dollars less in your bank account, but what then? 

I too have designed some cool cars(with some interesting new technology), and have gone as far a write a business plan. But it quickly becomes obvious that its not a big money maker. You will see just how much of a supercar (veyron, enzo, ect) cost is in the name. When small start up companies try and do it they dont have the ability to make big money because they cant sell there name. A good resent example is the SSC (areo, or what ever it's called), but there are dozens of others in the last decade. And just out of comment, a "kit car" will never be able to sell for more than it costs to build. 

Good luck, i would be interested to see one of your sketch's.


I am a mechanical engineer and a business major. And to be honest your question requires a much more complicated answer than would be appropriate here. Thats why it takes a company to build a new car, start by surrounding yourself with people who can help.

 The benefits and negatives of a hand built car are one in the same: No two cars are alike.                                                        The main value of being hand assembled ("built") car is the snob appeal                                        I guess a few other things come into play: 1) What as hand built; 2) How difficult is the process to assemble/build; 3) Who's doing the building.

1. As it relates to the Elise, the engine is not hand build (thankfully). So, engine and power train-wise, I think that's a plus. I think the tolerances needs to be extremely precise when it comes to the mechanical parts of an engine and transmission. 

2. I've heard the assembly process is rather simple and the Elise is a simple car to build/work on (once the clams come off).

3. I think the major being of "hand build" is the interior and if its done by craftsmen who have experience in their trade (as opposed to some guy that gets hired to put piece a into piece b. With say a leather craftsman, you get the aesthetic expertises that you would not get from a machine.                                                                                                                               After viewing both the S1 and S2 Elise assembly lines during several visits to Hethel, I think it is pretty clear that "hand assembled" is the correct term for the production process. Many parts that go into the car are outsourced, and those parts are in turn produced by machine to maintain tolerance and reliablity specs. Once the parts are in place at the factory, a completed car rolls off the assembly line about every 30 minutes. Since Lotus has been building this basic car in this way for 7-8 years, it should not be surprising that both the part sourcing and assembly processes are efficient and cost effective.                                                                                        I was just pondering that statement because it is one you hear associated with innate quality and value. Many of the most prized and exclusive carsin the world are partially so because they're "hand-built"; however, logically, what's really better about a hand-made car?

I assume the advantages are fit and finish, to a degree, and the emotion-based notion that since talented folks built this by hand lends to higher quaility or that more heart and soul was poured into it. Another advantage would be customization/personalization, which isn't offered in the Elise anyhow. What am I missing?

I assume the disadvantages are also fit and finish to a degree, increased labor costs, and greater possibility of imperfections due to by human error. What am I missing?

 It's an interesting thought, but I'm not sure 'hand-built' really means what it used to. Early Ferraris were just that -- panels beaters worked the metal over wooden horses, and even the forge was in-house. When Ford looked at their operation in the 60s, they were shocked at the 'old world' techniques still in use. Clearly, those times are gone, with the rare exceptions of true artisans who work on vintage cars. It's a dying art.

Now, it used to be said that Porsches were 'hand-built' up until the early 90s. The cars then spent something like an average 80 hours in quality control, fixing all the problems prior to sale. It almost sank the company, and then they hired Japanese advisors who brought in, among other things, mechanization. Build quality improved, profits increased, and the company was turned around. Or at least that's one way to tell the story.

Now, is the Elise 'hand built?' It may be largely hand-assembled, but the parts are machined. I don't know what to say about quality control and fit/finish. It's better than in the older Loti, but nowhere near that of other 'sport luxury' cars. 

I think the 'value' in this car is in the engineering. Not in 'hand-building,' so much.

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