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Lotus and the future


Toua

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Im like frustrated with Lotus but the hypocrit thing is that I dont even own any lotus cars. I know they they are a great company but why are they falling so far behind ferrari, lamboghini, porche, etc. I know they compete but .... grrrr..even the NSX out sell lotus in all the Esprit production.

it seems like the Elise is all what lotus has as a car.

Maybe Kimbers or somebody with lotus company knowledge can answer this question.. and dont say because of money.

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Well... in the eyes of the public they've never had the same recognition/respect as Ferrari/Lambo

This is nothing new, they haven't "fallen behind", since introducing the Elise they're more popular than they have been since hte 60s with the Elan.

Even though in the mid 80s they were faster and handled better than competing Ferraris/Lambos... and were probably just as reliable.

Even a V8 Esprit will outaccelerate a 360 Modena.

I like the Elise. But it's not an Esprit.

The Esprit is more of a raw car than the NSX, and therefore less desirable to 99.99% of the car buying population who has that much money and could care less about performance over image.

But Lotus should have a better image than Honda, shouldn't it?

In reality, who knows what a Lotus is? It has NO image to most people. Whereas Honda has an established reputation for reliability at least.

That is why James Bond should drive the new Esprit, no matter how ugly it is :D or even an Exige. But please not the new Europa... that thing should be hid in a shed somewhere.

You should reallize how few people knew what it is. That doesn't happen to Ferrari, Lambo, or Honda owners. Well... they do think they know what our cars our... they think they're Ferraris anyway :)

slade

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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IMO it is simply that the Italians and the Italian exotic cars exude more romance and sex appeal. The James Bond branding helped, but it is more than one person..its a culture that the English cant capture and the Italians own..

The NSX, well.. technology, performance, reliability and dammed good pricing sells cars.

If you set no goals you shall surely reach them..

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British cars have had sexy images before. Even things like the MGB and Austin Healey Sprite were percieved as sexy, and were tremendously popular

It's the fact that no one knows what a Lotus is in the first place IMO

need I say...

Jaguar_61_E-Type_Coupe_White_sf1.jpg

F1_wp0_800.jpg

It's not racial:D

slade

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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i like british motorcars because british car companies used to be independent and single minded. that's not true anymore, at least of the historical marques. neither joining forces with toyota or ford will make better lotus cars. lotus needs to pan any and all mediocre employees and scale down production. all car companies start with little funding, so there is no excuse for a failing one not to make a comeback.

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As Slade said - is it about brand awareness?

Lotus were I guess once better known for motor racing and the man that was Colin Chapman. Latterly they are known for engineering and no doubt the financial issues they suffered.

But what about the cars?

We know what they are for sure but what about the public around us? The number of people that yell "nice Ferrari" or "nice Lambo" because they don't know what it is we drive or aspire to drive is amazing. Nearly fell off my drivers seat when someone once pointed and yelled "look at the Esprit"!

I would disagree that they are behind the times - a trip to the factory (recommended as part of their track day) would show certainly that they don't live too far behind the times. Admittedly they aren't a Ford or GM in production scale but the people at the plant believe in their product. Even the chap I spoke to finishing an Elise owns a last of line V8 so it definitely runs in their veins.

So indeed what is the big deal? Like any bigish firm Lotus are no doubt doing what they need to continue in business, and hopefully in the process bring products to market that people want. In doing so they might fail with some and succeed with others - note the Europa debate - but this is down to taste as much as anything. We love the Esprit - thats our taste. Others love the Elise - a damned fine car to drive especially on a track.

Either way, all that matters is that the company contine to survive to bring a product to us that we will buy in the future - just in time for fossil resources to run out and for it to be put in a museum for historical viewing!

Just a lunchtime 2p there..

Simon

94 S4

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Regardless on the views expressed you missed the point in your first post Teigan, Sadly it is Money.

To produce a motor car these days is considerably more expensive than of yesteryear where driver error could be blamed for all sorts of mechanical discrepencies, admittedly this has not really been an issue with Lotus's historically, but Lotus have to abide by the same rigorous standards and control procedures. Which unless you are intent on building 250 cars a year (ala Westfield) you will have to adhere to and be expected by a more savvy buying public to excel in.

Society and technology change, sadly the the government remains beauracratic!

Furthermore, LOTUS has Kudos, it has charm and it has the reputation that all good british sportscars have of being unreliable, but then again how many people think of Ferrari and Lambo as reliable? Being typically British I feel we are often to keen to put down our great acheievements. Lets wait and see what Lotus actually role out..................then if its crap WE WILL BLAME IT ON PROTON and pretend it never exsisted! haha :)

DB

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Well put Simon :(

Im not really bothered by the fact that Lotus hasnt got the brand recognition of Ferrari or Lamborghini :)

The fact that not everyone and his dog is wearing a Lotus shirt/pants/shoes/watch/etc.etc.(except me) :(

Arent we enjoying a product that is quite exclusive and rare? :(

That counts more for me than Joe Braindamage actually knowing who made my car :(

Edited by WayneB
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I am kind happy that most people dont know what a Esprit is; however, the new Esprit better be aggressive styling and have enough horsepower to compete with ferrari. If we have a f430 killer then I am happy.

Yes, Honda has a reputation of being reliable and fast. The NSX is a very nice car and it handles very well.

I think lotus needs something like the Bugatti to put it on the map and hopefully its the new Esprit.

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Upon trying to register my Esprit here in Rhode Island, the DMV clerk asked "Who makes that?" Uuuhhh - Lotus. "Yes but who makes it?" Took more than 30 minutes to explain and even then (with title, insurance card and sales documents) she remained dubious.

Most people say "Wow, look at that Lamborghini!" Only twice has someone correctly identified it as a Lotus. One lady, working behind the counter at a gas station asked "Is that one of those kit cars?" I responded "Well, it is hand built." :)

Stay well,

Paul

'01 Esprit - Intercooled, Chipped & Quaifed

'07 Hummer H3 - 315's & Adventure Pkg

[email protected]

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i like british motorcars because british car companies used to be independent and single minded.  that's not true anymore, at least of the historical marques.  neither joining forces with toyota or ford will make better lotus cars.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i agree with the sentiment but don't agree why Ford would be bad for Lotus. I see no historical precendent to warrant such an opinion. Can you tell me more?

lotus needs to pan any and all mediocre employees and scale down production.  all car companies start with little funding, so there is no excuse for a failing one not to make a comeback.

I have some understanding of business and I think this would be a big step back for Lotus. I doubt Lotus is big enough to have mediocre employees at any level. All the mass sackings in the last ten years should show that.

People I think might be mediocre are those at the top. Lotus genious is in its unsung employees that have to do what they are told even when they know it is substandard.

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People I think might be mediocre are those at the top. Lotus genious is in its unsung employees that have to do what they are told even when they know it is substandard.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

how true of this comment.

I think if Lotus as a business will only survive if they can adapt to the changes.

Some of the changes in the car business is not only sports car. I think Lotus can find a market for a 2 door coupe 2+2. I am confident, that if such a car like that exist in the Lotus lineup, it will succed. And of course, have the standards, leather, a/c, power everything. ABS. etc. for ~$30,000.

Another thing that bothers me is the secretiveness of the new Esprit. I understand its a secret and all, but, if the press keeps on getting information of the new car, it can generate media exposure to Lotus. And maybe increase some interest in the company.

You have to spend money to make money! That is how you invest. So I think Lotus should just spend money into the new Esprit and make it one hell of car and wait for its investment in the car to pay off. Look at Bugatti and the new 16.4. They went completely over budget and the new car is already sold out for the year.

I just want a ferrari killer and porche smoker from the lotus and expect nothing less then out of this world handling.

I have always loved the esprit since I saw it in Pretty Women. Its my dream car next to the Zonda. I have defended it with my RICE BURNING FRIENDS and will continue to do so until I can afford one.

Until then, Lotus needs to show the world why it was on top of the racing and supercar market. And the new Esprit better be able to whip ass.

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i agree with the sentiment but don't agree why Ford would be bad for Lotus. I see no historical precendent to warrant such an opinion. Can you tell me more?

I have some understanding of business and I think this would be a big step back for Lotus. I doubt Lotus is big enough to have mediocre employees at any level. All the mass sackings in the last ten years should show that.

People I think might be mediocre are those at the top. Lotus genious is in its unsung employees that have to do what they are told even when they know it is substandard.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i do think ford would be welcome life support short term. but a crutch like that will prevent ever building self reliance.

i agree that management is ultimately to blame and yes they can be canned.

however, when attached to a governing entity like proton or ford, certain management is uncannable.

all car companies should develop a backbone and stop just mimicing eachother designwise.

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I'm not saying I don't enjoy anonymity, I was merely explaining the situation :)

slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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Im like frustrated with Lotus but the hypocrit thing is that I dont even own any lotus cars.  I know they they are a great company but why are they falling so far behind ferrari, lamboghini, porche, etc.  I know they compete but .... grrrr..even the NSX out sell lotus in all the Esprit production.

it seems like the Elise is all what lotus has as a car.

Maybe Kimbers or somebody with lotus company knowledge can answer this question.. and dont say because of money.

Hi mate.

Been watching this one and reading the replies. It's really difficult for me to comment. I remember what it was like and I know what it's like now so I do know, but I have to take a rain check on the situation today.

One thing I would say is that, with Lotus, it's never been about outselling Honda or Porsche. They used to see themselves more in the Ferrari area, but cheaper. I know that in the UK their image isn't brilliant, partly to their old adversary Clarkson who always seems to have it in for them (in the past). Unfortunately he's the most listened to Automotive critic (I think thats the best term for him) in the UK.

That the Esprit hasn't outsold the competition despite 30 years of production doesn't suprise me and as you can see by the comments, in some ways it's a plus! In the "Old days" the company made it's money in Engineering for other companies (which included Tanks - yes thats tanks, Isuzu's, Rovers (SDi), electric trikes, etc etc etc). The cars were their show item for the engineering....kind of a look what we can do on a shoe string budget. Infact I know that they used to lose over

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Hey guys you all keep talking about Ferrari and Lambo, well ermm, here's a pic for you. Dad hasn't always been at Lotus. Oh the other one is an original design drawing for the Vector....another one touched by the hand of Kimbers.

What I'm saying is believe me when I say Lambo's image is better than the actual thing. At least with Lotus's it's the other way round!

post-1044-1134516386.jpg

post-1044-1134516396.jpg

post-1044-1134516422.jpg

Edited by Kimbers

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Got a red X on the third image :)

Did your dad leave Lamborghini as a result of the VW people arriving?

Was it his idea to buy Jerry Wygerts Vector Aeromotive ?

Dad left because he died and had to be resuccitated by his collegue. Basically ill health. But it only stopped him for a year or so before he got back into things.

It was a deal put together by dad with his employers at Timor.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
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(Slight edit)

That the Esprit hasn't outsold the competition despite 30 years of production doesn't suprise me and as you can see by the comments, in some ways it's a plus! In the "Old days" the company made it's money in Engineering for other companies (which included Tanks - yes thats tanks, Isuzu's, Rovers (SDi), electric trikes, etc etc etc). The cars were their show item for the engineering....kind of a look what we can do on a shoe string budget. Infact I know that they used to lose over

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Although I haven't a massive amount of history with Lotus, i have seen enough to know that the staff are slap-happy from all the rounds of redundancies that have gone on in the last 10 years. I work with people who have "survived" 5 rounds of redundancy in 8 years or so. It is a shame to say it, but Kimbers is correct in that a lot of very good engineers have left because they have had enough of no job security, and they leave behind a lot of dead wood that can't be bothered anymore yet still survive the next round of redundancies. There are still LOTS of VERY talented engineers at Hethel but they get to the point of thinking "whats the point?!" because the same workshy moneygrabbers survive everytime sapping money that could be put to good use on new designs and new talented engineers !!! Moral is p1ss-poor.

Proton, have NO IDEA what they are doing with this company, the Europa (much maligned by many) was a car for Proton- they wanted it. but then they decided they didn't want it and now we are left producing another Elise style car when what we really need to do is plough ALL our efforts into a dynamic, innovative, beautiful Esprit replacement. Well, DON'T get your hopes up !! because our Malaysians friends have very little use for a supercar and therefore have very little time and money for it either. All i hear from the engineers on the project is that everything is a compromise and that it will have nothing new to offer the supercar market. The competition have moved on, and others have moved in too (Pagani, Ascari, Bugatti etc etc), the replacement needed to come as soon as the old Esprit finished.......and now it just looks like an after thought. Proton, have dragged their heels on this and the worst may still have to come........

Hi and yes you are absolutely right. The company has a reputation with automotive professionals as a hire and fire company and professionals don't need that sort of hassle. It's something that needs to be addressed and is being looked at.

Please don't be overly critical of the Proton guys, this is new ground for them (performance cars) but they are eager to make it work.

I assume by the way you talk that you are employed at Lotus, but yes the worst may be to come but if you knew how many times Lotus nearly went bust in the 80's and came through it then look for the light at then end of the tunnel, cause I'm sure it'll be along soon. :)

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

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When I joined this forum a while ago ,I never expected there would actually be members of the Lotus organisation posting on it. :(

The last couple of weeks ,I have been reading alot of the unfair critism that has been leveled at Lotus, and have been cringing in embarrasment that people with no idea with what is going on there , have been venting their frustrations in your direction. :(

So I just want to say , that I worry for the company and hope it will survive into the future and I for one appreciate the endevours of the genuine Lotus enthusiasts that still work there. :)

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Although I haven't a massive amount of history with Lotus, i have seen enough to know that the staff are slap-happy from all the rounds of redundancies that have gone on in the last 10 years. I work with people who have "survived" 5 rounds of redundancy in 8 years or so. ............and now it just looks like an after thought. Proton, have dragged their heels on this and the worst may still have to come........

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

you're correct to say that in business, catastrophic events tend to survive the least fit. what needs to happen is for someone to come in and upset the natural order, without regrets of being labeled a villain. nobody has the guts to make the tough yet obvious decisions. i also think the worst is impending. the new esprit will fizzle like cheap pop.

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