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Squandered opportunity?


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The costliest model Lotus had ever developed, the Evora aimed to combine Elise dynamism with refinement, 2+2 practicality and the electronic tech to make this a liveable Lotus. So liveable, Hethel reckoned, that it would sell 2000 a year. Sales barely reached half that in its best year, and while the car improved and power climbed, so did the price, turning the Evora into a niche seller. It’s far from a bad car, and the chassis is sensational, but annoyingly for Lotus, Porsche – mostly – does it better.”

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/features/squandered-opportunities-cars-fell-short

AKA the best car that nobody knows about. 🤦‍♂️ 

 

(This one’s for you, Tim). ;)

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

But is he wrong? Price wise I would say not. 

My view of where Lotus sit now is that the prices are way off the mark over the complete range. 

Just my 2p.

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That's 4p @Mark030358.  Bet that's down to the damned Brexit inflation in it?

I think the price thing has been done to death to be honest. Yes, the cars a bit too expensive, I would say that for 2017 and 2018 the Evora pricing was off by around £8-10k.  A new loaded 400 for around £72k list (I suspect most 400's were actually purchased new for £67-74k), a 410 sport at £78-80k loaded and a new GT410 loaded at £80-85k would have been better than the £80, £90, and £100k Lotus seemed to want to push to.  The GT430 sold well especially in the UK and to be honest the performance, fit, build and looks for £120k was and is superb, but I wonder how many more might have sold at £105-£115k fully loaded and a bargain at that price in my humble opinion.

However, with the new gen 911, the prices are starting to rise high, and to be honest with the 410 Evora you get a sub 4 second 0-100kmh car that is well built, solid feeling, and whilst not as plush as a 911 (purely because Porsche can share the switchgear/interiors across 250k cars a year to Lotus' total output of 1600-2000. Scale counts for an awful lot in the motor industry - cost, price, quality are the three key drivers of scale.

I still think the bloody biggest issue was nobody outside of the die hard enthusiasts and journalists knew a bloody damned thing about the Evora. Best kept secret in the motoring world and a total and utter marketing bollock dropped from Lotus. After winning COTY they should have got behind it and gone for it...

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Early well looked after NA or S have to be the bargain of the decade from price point of view £28 to £35 when put against its rivals of the same vintage.

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27 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

but I wonder how many more might have sold at £105-£115k fully loaded and a bargain at that price in my humble opinion.

Spot on Andy. There is no doubt its a great car, 430 is a peach.

cheers

ps sorry for the inflation :)

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A lot of the blame falls on Lotus, noone knows enough about their cars. In my group of friends I am the first to buy a Lotus and it has absolutly stunned them.

The build quality is far better than they expected. I keep hearing "I thought it would be much smaller" - "its a proper sized sports car" I dont think it is clear to most of the population that there are other models and they are all very different - I used to think the Evora was just a slighly larger "lotus" with back seats.

 

 

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LOL, We have 4 and had 5 cars from those lists!!

2xEvora, 2xMini, 1xBeetle

Either we know what we're doing and are skilled at picking out the little known gems, or are completely mad. 

 

Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

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27 minutes ago, Colin P said:

1xBeetle

OMG. Really?  You're dead to me.  :blobfire:

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Lotus is just not an aspirational marque (brand) for 99% of car buyers. And very few car drivers want the sensory overload that driving a Lotus brings. Combine those two (almost certain) facts and it won't matter what car Lotus makes, it will not sell them in large numbers.

Lotus got the business model correct with the Elise S1. 800 cars a year. When it was a hit, they got excited and ramped up production. And increased overheads. That led to trouble.

The late Bobby Bell was spot on; Lotus cars should be made in limited supply with steady year on year production numbers. 

If Lotus think they can sell 3000, 4000, 5000, etc.. cars per annum they are deluded. Morgan sell 800 a year and make money. McLaren sell 4500 a year (2018) but have invested billions in a business model that Lotus cannot hope (and should not try) to emulate. 

Lotus need to find a business model that works for the long term. I suspect that is 1,500 to 2,000 cars per annum. 

If Geely think they can use the Lotus name to sell thousands of cars, they will need to invest very heavily (a la McLaren) and even then, I am not convinced the Lotus name will have the pull of McLaren.

On the Evora, which I love and totally agree the NA is a second-hand bargain (I bought mine in 2018), to be fair to Lotus on the 2000 per annum, the car was launched when the largest economic shock since 1929 hit the world. So they were unlucky. Since 2014, Lotus have given up on selling a base model and have concentrated on fast and increasingly aggressive looking Evora. The tiny sales reflect that very niche model line-up. And with no low-powered Elise or Exige, it is no wonder Lotus car sales are low at present. 1600 worldwide sales in 2018 is surprisingly good given the nature of the cars; but I wonder if they make money at that level and if all were sold at list or near list.

If they do make money at 1600 car per annum and it provides for R&D for new models, Lotus should be happy with that. I suspect their over-heads at present mean they need more sales to make a genuine profit and provide for future R&D. Chasing more sales is the wrong path in my view. 

Justin

 

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48 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

OMG. Really?  You're dead to me.  :blobfire:

It belongs to 19 year old son. He has been a Beetle/Camper nut since he was about 5 and we looked at buying a 1969 Beetle, but he was sensible enough to realise that as his daily it probably wasn't the wisest idea. Credit to him his head told him that a 2012 (at least it's not the mk1!!!) version was a better call until he gets his own garage and can afford to insure 2 cars. It drives pretty well and is a damn site better than a Corsa (and he's found that the ladies seem to like it :yes:).

Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

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It's all stacked in favour of Porsche. Too big to fail too big to not squander loadsa dollars on journo marketing etc.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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@jep - I'm sorry but chasing sales is what a business is there for, unless it is a third sector social enterprise!

I do think though that too big an aspiration has been the undoing of many a good company, with a good workforce and a good product. That and greed from the Directors/Investors running it.

Porsche sells 250k cars a year but as a per a previous post of mine you get Mclaren, Lambo, Ferrari, Bentley all surviving well, with good new models on around 3.5k to 9k cars per year. However, these are all cars in the higher price bracket (e.g. £100k plus per car starting price to £1m).

I do think Lotus has a valuable brand. The love and recognition is out there and not a day goes  past on this forum when a "people's reaction to you lotus xxx" yet again points out that people just do not know, or realise, that lotus is still alive and pumping out new cars, yet alone, GREAT new cars! So, if more people knew, more people could be tempted to buy. The fact is that the conversion rate from test drive to new owner for Lotus dealers is amongst the best in the world. So I would argue that people don't want the more raw, visceral, involved nature of the Lotus because they just do not know you can have that, and still have a great practical car too. The competition at below £100k is largely anodyne, dull and lifeless samey old samey old euro coupe/saloon with a big engine that goes roar with 17 cupholders and lots of electronics that are as usual as 80% of the buttons on the TV remote you never use but are convinced you need! :)

None of us are experts and can predict the future, however, instead of us enthusiasts saying "they'll never do it", let's encourage Lotus to get the brand out there, get people noticing the cars, and get people in them. My NA evora impressed everyone who got in it including Aston owners. My 410 sport is very well made and finished - the carbon at the price point puts McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari to shame to be honest in terms of the amount of it and the quality of it.

Lotus will only be successful if people can access the brand and the products. So let's all do our bit and make sure we drive the damned things loud and hard for everyone to see and experience.....

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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3 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

Lotus will only be successful if people can access the brand and the products. So let's all do our bit and make sure we drive the damned things loud and hard for everyone to see and experience.....

Yep - we are each brand ambassadors after all!

I was filling up with fuel on Sunday morning, and two guys in front of me said "oh look, an Elise"...and when I pointed out it was an Evora they said "A what?!"

The S1 suffered from journalists 'critical acclaim' - a car they loved but ultimately weren't recommending*, I do think if Lotus had launched with the 400 (so therefore: more power, lower and thinner sills and general increase in interior space) they would have seen a better sales volume.

* I'm no insider but I do wonder how much marketing budget from other sports brands like Porsche help to pin up magazines in return for positive spins on their cars.

There was an Evo video a few months back (at Anglesey with Sutcliffe driving I think) which pitched a 911 GT2 RS against other cars, one of which was the Exige cup 430 and in that video, it was surprisingly evident that, out of corners, were distinct pauses before accelerating - now either thats down to not being confident enough with the car to push it or it slowed the lap time down enough so that it didn't win.

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Wasn't it JMG who was responsible for the recent price hikes? They were expensive before but not outrageously so, yet these days the RRP seems to illicit a proper eyebrow raise and I'm not sure if the Evora is capable of justifying its current price-tag.

The same accusation was levelled towards the V8 Esprit when it was first launched. A year or two later, the response from Lotus was a huge price drop in percentage terms (£60k down to £50k) for a model that was marketed as being a stripped out version. Once that base had been established an even more expensive version was released (the £65k S350). 

JMG has just done the pricing structuring the wrong way around! 

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22 hours ago, C8RKH said:

I still think the bloody biggest issue was nobody outside of the die hard enthusiasts and journalists knew a bloody damned thing about the Evora. Best kept secret in the motoring world and a total and utter marketing bollock dropped from Lotus. After winning COTY they should have got behind it and gone for it...

Think absolutely the same. 

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3 hours ago, C8RKH said:

Lotus will only be successful if people can access the brand and the products. So let's all do our bit and make sure we drive the damned things loud and hard for everyone to see and experience.....

Yes and no … drive yes. But talking is a bit useless. I tried but gave it up with a lough.

Factory advertising in car magazines for the Evora especially in Germany (911 territory) would have helped a lot. Really. Tests in German magazines happened exactly 3 or 4 times since 2009.
And 2011 the Evora S won a test against the 997 S without problems. Not by price. Simply by performance and usability.  

Germany: I am basically really fed up telling people at the gas station while filling up that no, no, this is not a new Tesla …!!! 😉
And I am more than fed up telling a 911 guy what an Lotus Evora is. No it is not a kit car. Yes Lotus still builds cars.  No it does not break down always. Engine by Toyota? Oh rubbish. Look at my flat six it has history … so I wont explain why a flat six ist ein Scheißdrecksmotor in terms of economy, maintenance, durability and emissions and I wont explain about positioning it in the car at the right place either. 
And I wont explain why I like that special car because it is just pointless information for ordinary "Rolexed" sports car drivers.
They don´t get it because it is not high speed and horsepower and Autobahn image. 

Also in Germany the Evora is the fatty Lotus if you talk to all the old school Elise drivers and they look down on you because you dare to have heated seats …

Owning an Evora is something without image and without fame. But the driving is rewarding if you tune the car just slightly different than the factory did.
A tuning budget of roughly 10.000.- EUR is needed to make it much more Lotus, more quality and more GT and forget the talking 🙂

But I am 100% sure it will change completely with the the next cars coming from Lotus (Geely).
Lotus will be the biggest growing Luxury car brand in the world soon. And any new Evora and our old cars will step up in recognition quickly.
 

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On 04/02/2019 at 19:23, scotty435 said:

Early well looked after NA or S have to be the bargain of the decade from price point of view £28 to £35

Damn @scotty435, prices seem to be dropping again, this one is only £23.99 :) One careful owner but missing a wing mirror as usual.....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Scalextric-C3379-Lotus-Evora-No-48-1-32-Scale-Slot-Car/1066290775?iid=382645587042&chn=ps

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Squandered oportunity... no

what Lotus Achieved with the 400 or 4XX is amazing, and this video which has been posted elsewhere very much covers most of the points, however,

Sorry guys, you’re  lucky lotus still exists, and what they achieved is a seriously accomplished sports coupe on a budget that many manufactures would spend on just an interior, as an example.

They are hand made with little automation, and combined with western wages doesn’t help. Before anyone jumps up and down, Australia just lost all its motor manufacturing for the same reason.

Ive just spent a day ( 4 X 25minute section) on track at Australia’s most famous race cuircuit with 112 Lotus’s at Mount Panarara Bathurst NSW Organised by the Australian Lotus Guys at Simply Sports Cars with 10 out 10 score for the event.

It isn’t a converted airport but a dedicated race circuit from 1938 that is is normally a tourist road with 60k speed limit and is only opened a couple of times a year for Australia’s most famous race events, that attracts competitors from around the world. Top to bottom it’s 570 feet high, over 6.213ks, as a road car the Evora 400 is just staggering, from a company with next to no budget even by Porsche budget standards

The Evora it isn’t a squandered opportunity, just a missed marketing opportunity, the Evora to me is that good.

Mark (?) from lotus was at the event an from the presentations he gave the “lotus life style” is alive and well and truly alive. I asked him about this Forum and yes they do monitor it and take notice of the comments.

I hope that the new models have new names as I believe the Evora series is special.

 

 

 

Edited by au-yt
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Spot on. 

I got into a post on Pistonheads last week where most people were saying that the Evora was massively overpriced and one person said that he looked at the Evora at 72k and thought it was too expensive, so bought a new McLaren 570 instead!!

I think Road and Track magazine said something along the lines of.....the 400 gives you 90% of the performance of McLaren 650 but for less than half the price.

It's peoples perception of it's worth that needs to change with better marketing/product awareness.

Edited by Bibs
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I really adore my Evora, by far the best car I have owned or even been in. And now with the TVS1900 it's even better. I'll never sell it :wub:

I can't recall a single negative reaction when out and about either. It is true that most people, even car fans seem to know nothing about it. So yes, a missed opportunity for Lotus, but for those of us lucky to have one, oh boy :happydance:

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I don't get the "hate" from Lotus owners that comes through re the Evora to be honest and how it does not look special enough etc. I have a picture of my 410Sport as my desktop background on my laptop and started up a presentation via smart wall at work yesterday and thr 5 guys in the room all wanted to stare at it.  3 thought it was a Ferrari (it's a side on picture from the rear quarter angle) and were shocked (in a good way to hear it was a Lotus) and 3 did not know Lotus still made cars!

Maybe we are just too familiar with the product, but the Evora DOES have presence, does look superb, and does turn heads - however reading some posts on here you'd never believe it.

Yes I'm a fanboy, but christ, if Lotus owners ca't be positive about it then what chance do we have against Porsche?  A customer of mine is a real petrol head, he has a Boxster that he and the missus use for European road trips and a 911 GT2 that he cherishes and drives.  When I told him last year I had bought a 410Sport his only response was "bloody hell, that's a hell of a car that for Lotus to push out".  A second person, a colleague with a McLaren 570 responded when i told them with "bloody hell, that's a sub 4 second car and a lot of car for the money".

 

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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2 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

Yes I'm a fanboy, but christ, if Lotus owners ca't be positive about it then what chance do we have against Porsche?  A customer of mine is a real petrol head, he has a Boxster that he and the missus use for European road trips and a 911 GT2 that he cherishes and drives.  When I told him last year I had bought a 410Sport his only response was "bloody hell, that's a hell of a car that for Lotus to push out".  A second person, a colleague with a McLaren 570 responded when i told them with "bloody hell, that's a sub 4 second car and a lot of car for the money".

 

You must ask these guys why they did not have bought the Evora then if they think it is so great!
The answer is simple: Lotus did not shout and scream about it like the other sports car brands would do!
It is the same with Lotus dealers. Both groups selling the Evora a silent about it.
 

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2 hours ago, Steffen_Leitgeb-LSWGmbh said:

You must ask these guys why they did not have bought the Evora then if they think it is so great!
The answer is simple: Lotus did not shout and scream about it like the other sports car brands would do!
It is the same with Lotus dealers. Both groups selling the Evora a silent about it.
 

I think it's more likely to be a Porsche owner......usually second hand, that would never buy a new car anyway, banging on about the Cayman S being 15k cheaper and 'forgetting' that the Cayman is now a 2.5L 4 pot with 350ps and most importantly that it needs another 10k of options to make it usable and probably more importantly.....resaleable

If these people actually took a base 911 and added in the usual options, very quickly the price increases to about 10k more than a 400.

Somehow they expect Lotus to produce a hand built car like the 400 at a significantly cheaper price than a Cayman S.

Another poster summed it up in a later a comment along the lines of....'Lotus isn't interested on keyboard warriors on forums like Pistonheads, who have no intention of ever buying a new car from anyone'.

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