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Lotus appoint new design director


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PRESS RELEASE

Lotus Appoints New Director of Design

Group Lotus is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Donato Coco as Director of Design for Group Lotus starting 04 January 2010. In this newly created role, Donato will lead all Lotus Design activities for Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering.

Head of Lotus Design, Russell Carr will continue to work on both Lotus products and third party design work, an area which is growing rapidly especially in the emerging Asian markets.

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc said, "The appointment of Donato Coco as the new Director of Design for Lotus puts even more prominence on design within Lotus and strengthens the already talented team. We have a very busy few years ahead of us as we are working on a new strategic business plan which will include the introduction of an all new range of Lotus cars and expansion of our third party design work."

Donato Coco is looking forward to the new challenge, "Lotus has a reputation for designing evocative sportscars and it is a great honour to take on these responsibilities and challenges. Russell Carr and the rest of the Lotus Design team have already elevated Lotus Design to a globally recognised level and the increase in our third party design work for clients around the world is proof of our capabilities. I am looking forward to building on these foundations to deliver beautiful and relevant Lotus cars designs whilst at the same time acknowledging the peerless heritage and core values of this wonderful British brand."

Donato Coco was previously Director of Design and Development

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This is the story from PH....

http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=21211

The 'Ferrari-isation' of Lotus continues at speed, with the appointment of former Ferrari design boss Donato Coco as Director of Design for Group Lotus.

Donato Coco will join Lotus in JanuaryFormer Ferrari F1 marketing chief Dany Bahar was hired as Lotus Chief Executive by the company's Malaysian owners earlier this year, an appointment followed in quick succession by that of Claudio Berro, the former Ferrari F1 boss who now finds himself in charge of Lotus Motorsport operations.

The new Lotus design chief Donato Coco arrives hot from Maranello himself (well, warm-ish - he doesn't start until the New Year), creating a family of former-Ferrari high-flyers at Hethel that must leave Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo wondering who's going to jump ship next.

Our first reaction is to wonder whether 2010 could be the year to open a pizzeria in Norwich, but perhaps we ought to be more interested in what Mr Coco can deliver in design terms for a company we thought had already been doing pretty well under the leadership of Russell Car, otherwise known as Head Of Lotus Design.

"Russell Carr will continue to work on both Lotus products and third party design work, an area which is growing rapidly especially in the emerging Asian markets," says the press release announcing Coco's appointment.

So what about the newcomer? He's not exactly an 'unknown' in the business, but for a quick review of his illustrious CV we'll hand you over to the Lotus press release again:

He was responsible for the 599XX"Donato Coco was previously Director of Design and Development - Ferrari where he worked on the Ferrari F430 Scuderia coup

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Well shoot! Looks like we're gonna' have to back off on the burro innuendos for a while.

I can live with that. Ferrari (I must grudgingly admit) has produced some real lookers in the past. Couple that with legendary Lotus handling and let the games begin!thumbsup.gif

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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Sadly the Ferrari-isation of lotus will mean

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I'd imagine that Russell isn't too happy, he's just been effectively demoted by the looks of it.

Big day at the factory tomorrow, Dany Bahar is revealing his plans he's been working on since he started there for the future of Lotus. Interesting times.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Well I guess its got its good points and its bad points.

It does make me laugh a bit, everyone banged on about how they didn't want the Evora or the new Esprit to look anything like an Elise and I think a lot of people were dissappointed that the Evora carried quite so many of the design queues from the Elise and wasnt a truly original new design.

Were still all banging on about how much we desperately don't want the Esprit to follow suit and how dissapointed we'd be if it did.

This is a sure fire way to make sure the New car is most likely going to be above and beyone our expectations and that can only be a good thing really.

Yes I agree, Russell must be really pissed although I can imagine how the discussions have been going on within Lotus.

Bahar: Right boys and girls, I want to turn this compay around and make it my vision for the future.

Others: Well Danny boy, what do you know, this is Lotus and this is how we do things.

Bahar: Well that may well have been the case, but I just don't get some of your quirky styling ideas, its just not me and its my toy to play with now.

Others: We've been doing a grand job up till now and unless you can proove otherwise were not doing what you say. No way hosay!

Bahar: Your right, you've been doing a fine job, but its not my vision for the future, I can't sack you for that right now can I that would be stupid.

Others: Ha! Told you so!

Bahar: Ok, at this point in time I'd like to tell you I've decided to employ and old friend of mine from the pony brigade. Everyone meet the Coco pop man! hes a real dude and my bum pal, oh and he's now your new boss. If you dont style the cars the way he now tells you too, which coincidentally might be exaclty how I want them to look, then you will be dealt with under the conduct code, which could lead to you being sacked.

Others: Bollocks!

Bahar: Ha! right back at ya!You will learn to be my little slave boys and do everything I tells you to I tell ya!

Others: But were moving away from what Lotus is truly about, light weight simple sports cars!

Bahar: Sorry minions... I was flicking through my new brochure of flashy merchandise I'm about to authorise for production and didn't quite hear what you were mumbling about. You'll love the new childrens lunch box, you can all have one for your Christmas bonus, I've also seen this dude Bibs whos got a flashy shop wich I likey but hes got some stuff he's sellig that isn't green and yellow with a Lotus emblem on them so I'm trying to sort that as we speak, its real important you know, especially getting the trainers right!

What was that about light weight?

Others: You know, Colin and his ethos of performance through light weight?

Bahar: Pah..... Colin? Who? Light weight???? POWER POWER POWER POWER POWER POWER its the future I tells ya, and the more times you tell me otherwise, the more of my mates I'll bring in as your bosses and sack your sorry asses.

You are dismissed, I need to call Adidas about some sports clothes and them lovely trainers, I saturated Puma with that Ferrari shit so I can't use them again! Love you loads.

p.s. we may end up moving the factory somewhere hotter, its not good for my health having to spend so much time in this little country.

It would be nice to see Lotus produce a truly exotic super car, one we could once again dribble over, one that when we are in our mid forties/fifties will wish we could one day have but will never have the money for, but of which our children will carry on our dream, something I'm sure has been the case with may owners of old Esprits, I've heard contless old folk telling me how they'd always wanted one but due to money/children/mortgages etc etc blah blah

It will be a great shame though if they loose the cheaper end of the market, the core business and the affordable 'FUN' models.

Who knows what his vision is, or exaclty what he plans to do about it.

There are interesting times ahead, I'm sure they wont all be for the good though. I doubt Dannyboy will be all that interested in keeping the level of personal interaction with the owneres that we've grown to love over the years. That will surely be missed by all if it does happen thats for sure.

Just my 2p

Chunky Lover

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its would be better then if if the new mid engine sports car could be called somthing other than Esprit, Ego prehaps or Elephant (as in white)

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As Bibs said...."interesting times".

I recall an old Chinese curse...."May you live in interesting times!"

It would be very sad for our relationship with The Factory to dwindle; the triumph of the new batch of exhaust manifolds comes to mind, I can't imagine any normal manufacturer doing that, although Aston Martin do provide total support for ALL their cars, so 'tis said. It has been a magic period, with the Chief Executive posting on the Forum and reciprocal goodwill; I would hope that it might continue, although such goodwill is difficult to quantify when it comes to the bottom line.

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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WTH has the Board been thinking (smoking)?

"Let's see, MJK restored Lotus to profitability and Lotus Engineering to respectability by keeping with the core identity, philisophy, and innovation that always has been Lotus.... Right, Let's go in a different direction, then!"

WTH!

:beer:

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The thought of Donato Coco, who designed the dreadful looking Ferrari California, being put in charge of Lotus Design fills me with horror.

I've also heard that Bahar doesn't like the Lotus Evora and he's got a few clays being made, ready for April.

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I just hope Danny and his capo's don't do major shake up, get rid of what Lotus really is, and then bail out a year later after spending a mint the company can't afford.

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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Thats my fear, with MJK Lotus was with it's true successor imo, not just becuase Kimbers is online here etc but you felt as if the business to MJK was passion and soul, you could tell it meant something, as he said at the launch of the Evora "these are for the few that know the difference".

It'd be great if Lotus out sold what the production line could make but at the expence of niche cars like the Exige etc scares me as a true Lotus fan.

Look how Lambourghini have been diluted by Audi, I have this horrible gut feeling about the same thing happen with Lotus, might be totally un-founded but thats just what I think.

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Last person to take Lotus upmarket was Colin Chapman.

BIG change of direction from 7 / elan / europa to Esprit / Elite / Eclat.

The first Elise had "wow", and I dont think anything since has.

Evora does not seem to have a massive waiting list, and Europa does not deserve its lack of sales.

If Lotus are to only build a few hundred cars a year, they cannot be

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Gentlemen.....let us not jump to premature conclusions so rapidly. I do not see this new infusion of fresh thinking (if it truly is) as deep-sixing the Lotus heritage we've all come to know and admire. I can't for the life of me see our Italian friends taking a brand such as Lotus, with its near rabid following, and gutting its historical personna with any degree of haste. That would be brand name suicide of the first order. Yes, there is bound to be evolution of the marque. Would you have it otherwise? The life's blood of an automobile manufacturer is the development of new and ever more desirable models. Obviously opinions will differ on the direction taken. But that's what designers are paid to do, and they most assuredly do not operate in a vacuum--their best interests are kept by testing the waters, listening to potential customers wishes and desires, and ensuring the continuity of the marque. They would be fools to do otherwise.

The sky is not (yet) falling. Take a deep breath and put these personnel changes in perspective. They bring a wealth of previous experience with them, and while they may not yet be flying the Union Jack on their aerials, give them some time. Let them show us what they can do. When their first new product appears, we can then all pass judgement. It is us they must please. There will still be a range of vehicles involved, some perhaps inordinately high priced, others (hopefully) not as statospheric.

These are, indeed, "interesting times." F1 resurgence (in name at least) and the prospect of exciting new street models to come. What's not to like?

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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I think it's worth bearing in mind that NOT everyone worships at the Norfolk temple - as with all manufactures some people like some of what is produced and some don't - I really don't believe that anyone can honestly say that everything a manufacture produces is 'Wonderful' and in the case of Lotus that is one of life's truths.

Personally I like the Esprit in its many derivitives but I didn't see much 'design' change after the G to S car. Similarly Elise to Europa,Evora. I quite like the old Elan and newer M100.

A V12 beast that makes you moist may not be a bad thing but there cannot be the money in the pot to do it and certainly can't be recouped from Evora sales...Porsche as a benchmark is a fair point but the boxter ooh bad move it's not really setting the bar very high is it?

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No I don't like the Europa, Evora or Exos.

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400 x Evora per year is £22m at an average price of £55k, that's not bad revenue for modest sales targets worldwide and after six years kinda doubles the development costs, there's a profit to be made. Which Lotus is up against the Boxster?

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Hmm, Well reading the press porsche is going tho ther way and going to satrt doing more budget cars and higher volumes now they are in the VAG fold!!!

I don't think new designers are necessarily a bad thing, his portfolio is impressive although I'd be interested to know his overall involvement in each of the projects.

I shall sit back and reserve judgement until the new products start to come to fruition.

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have they sold/will they sell 400 evora in a year?

Boxter Lotus - i believe someone said that was the way forward...not me mind!

2009 World Singstar Champion

No I don't like the Europa, Evora or Exos.

"Like a cockmonkey with 3 cocks."

SLEG_Rog.jpg

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Boxter Lotus - i believe someone said that was the way forward...not me mind!

Chapman would turn in his grave !

What I can't understand is WHY the hell people think Lotus should play Porsches / Ferrari's fiddle ??? The ethos behind both sets of manufacturers are TOTALLY different.

It does make me wonder why some poeple have not sold their Lotus, bought a NYC baseball cap and then a boxter to go with it if they think that way.

If there were 1 car Lotus should have built, it was the MX-5 !

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