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This is a joke, right?


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Andrew. Quality was as it was because of lack on investment. I don't think you understand this direct correlation!

I do understand that there is a relationship, but it is not the only variable. Lotus seem to get the big things right like the chassis or the engine but there are lots of little things that just seem to show a lack of attention to detail. Like the fact that the glue on the tray liner on my car melted the first time it was exposed to sun (you can't tell me that finding a better glue that was fit-for-purpose was constrained by cost) or the headlamp covers which fog up any time the lights are on, or the cover for the seat belt mounting point which breaks so often I treat it as a consumable, or the boot carpet which doesn't quite fit the shape of the space. (And I'm not mentioning the bigger things like door window falling off its mounting points and disappearing into the door.)

I have no knowledge what the processes are / were for identifying and addressing these sorts of issues. As a customer many of these just feel like the result of an organization without a zero-tolerance to faults and a decent process to identify & fix them.

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I do tire of feeling like the 'set it straight' ambassador for Lotus sometimes but quality is the over-riding major factor in what Lotus are pushing towards now.

As an example, if a car has a development part fitted, historically the part would go on an old mule or development car which was perhaps past its prime but in terms of testing the part, it did the job. Now, the part must be fitted to a car which is perfect in terms of its fit and finish or the part will not be tested. EVERY car that Lotus make has to be perfect, no matter what, no excuses. This kind of level of attention to quality is the only way the team at Lotus will release that 'TADTS' (They all do that, sir) is no longer acceptable.

Lotus have been bitten on quality issues on the early Evora's as they are moving up the quality ladder. As Andrew has mentioned, his Elise isn't unusual in that it has issues but in the past we've gleaned over them as Lotus produce such engaging cars to drive, on the whole it's forgiveable.

Moving into the £100k+ market, it's no longer forgiveable. The cars have to be class and world leading both in terms of performance (all aspects, ride, handling, power etc) and quality. They can't fit shit stereos, use glue which doesn't work, have creases in the leather, world leading cars don't. Lotus needs a sea change in this respect and need to up their game.

In the context of this thread, Swissy isn't the answer to this but as we've digressed, that's my 2p.

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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Bibs,

I agree 100% with you on the quality improvements - I've seen it both at my dealer on recent cars and certainly at the Teslas I've looked at in the local showroom. Yes, as I said I knew what I went into Elise ownership with my eyes open and as you said I put up with these and other 'foibles' because smile-per-Swiss franc there is nothing else that would come close. As you say I wouldn't take such an opinion if moving up market, even probably to Evora level but certainly above that.

What frustrates me is the personal-level mocking by some on here of current management. There seems to be an unduly rose-tinted view on the old days. The old days would probably have produced an esprit which was great to drive but where trim would have fallen off or heating controls which couldn't be reached from a driving position. I'm not saying that they've gone about everything well but what Lotus has assembled is a group of extremely competent managers who bring experience and knowledge of how firms at the top of the market operate. They're also staking the (considerable) personal reputations on the project. From where I'm sitting they seem to have identified the key issues (quality, the sales network, a previous naivety in marketing.....) and are doing something about it.

As I noted before I think that the Swizz link is interesting and I can understand the logic. I also think they've gone about communicating it in a poor way - it should have been communicated to the groups who would have been appreciative rather than to everyone. Any decent PR person could have told them the likely reaction.

As I noted earlier and others have built on, many major car companies do similar promotions with similar folk. I can't imagine Bahar sits on his own thinking up these ideas - it will be a decision which many at Lotus are involved including the non-execs. But if there is one thing Bahar will have brought with him is a deep knowledge of what has worked for Ferrari in selling to the new target market and probably (because he will have studied competitor analysis) what their competitors are doing worldwide.

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We all know the past Lotus cars were put together like crap and only the true die hard would buy one only for the handling performance....

I've sold my past Esprits and bought Porsches/Ferraris only to sell them and get another Lotus to fill the handling void I felt was lacking in any other car I would drive....

The bling of a new high end sportscar wears off fast if you are a driver that buys a true sports car to drive. Yes my Lotus is my toy and I use it as such... To me driving in the mountains is my sport of choice and the Lotus replaced my sport bikes hopefully postponing my impending doom for a while...

Lotus marketing in the past 6 yrs. was a joke here in the states since no one except for car nuts even knew what a Lotus was let alone who made it....

I couldn't even get Lotus to sell me the parts so that I could have a supercharged engine instead I had to come up with a kit that outsold all the Lotus SC Elise made, Lotus began to sell their kit 4 yrs. after announcing there would be a dealer instal option....

The world has great engineers there is no monopoly at Lotus.....For f**ks sake Suzuki and Hyundai along with Porsche won Pikes Peak Hill Climb... The dam Porsche was a street car driven from LA 1,200 mi. to the Mountain and won it's class... No rapers were used to sell their products..... Only drivers need apply..That's how you sell a drivers car..

Lotus are going too far from their roots if a fool like myself can make a street car that could crush any of there GT cars... and now they are seeking the bling market instead of a drivers market is just plan wrong..

Lotus, make a real drivers car that won't fall apart, that looks killer and you will have your cake and eat it too because there is a loyal buyer fan base out there but if you continue to alienate them you will have nothing but bling and no one needs more bling.

We don't need another Lambo/Ferrari we need a better Lotus.

Edited by alan

I think it's fast enough…maybe

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Do you really think Swizzy is going to do any designing or engineering on any of the cars? This is PR, pure and simple and someone (more than likely Gino Rosato) though Swizz Beatz would move Lotus in front of a new and different crowd without considering the repercussions from the established customer and fan base.

Swizz Beats will pick the colour of the seats, if he's lucky. That's about it, seriously.

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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I do tire of feeling like the 'set it straight' ambassador for Lotus sometimes

Bibs,

I have to call you on this--well, not really you, but Lotus. And you know this comes from deep respect because I think you've done more with this forum online and other activities offline to promote Lotus than I think they have, by a long shot. This may sound flip, but it's not--I think you deserve a VP position with Lotus more than Swizz ever will.

But my point is this--why the hell should you be a "'set it straight' ambassador"? Boatloads of money are going to Lotus and boatloads are being spent on what Dany would like everyone to think is really creative and cutting-edge marketing. What a load of crap. But I'll be specific--with all that money going out and with all the piss-poor communications execution on their part (as noted by many in this thread), why on Earth haven't they assigned an official spokesperson(s) to contribute to this forum and directly engage the crowd that by definition is most interested? If Steve Jobs can reply to the occasional email, Dany can't assign someone to periodically field questions or clear up issues? I think it's inexcusable and just plain incompetent in this day and age. And while I understand why you must feel they way you do since you have knowledge a lot of us don't, I think Dany ought to man-up directly or via a spokesperson and in tandem with the highly-produced marketing jive also use this forum for the direct approach.

Arguments to the contrary are bull. This tactic has been proven over and over again to be highly effective at bringing people along, increasing understanding, and building loyalty. And it's inexpensive. So what's their damage?

Next time you clear something up for them I think you should send them an invoice. You deserve it.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Wow, this thread has gone massive real quick and generated some strong feeling - mainly negative it has to be said.

I stand by my only post that this is a bad idea - but it is also so unnecessary IMO.

These types of cars - Lotus, Ferrari, Lamo, Aston etc are all desirable becuase of their looks. Sure they all have their own USP (Lotus handling, Ferrari history, Lambo madness etc) but looks basically mean that most of us would have one if we could. I know I would not stop at Lotus should those 6 numbers come up.

That seems obvious, right?

Look at Pagani - No one had heard of them 10 years ago yet the Zonda sold on its sheer desriability. I cannot think of one thing Pagani did in terms of endorsement marketing.

Bond definately had an influence on me wanting a Lotus, but it was also the fact it was such a drop dead gorgeous car. I have never lusted after a BMW Z3 or Z8, both as legitimate Bond cars as the Esprit.

I think the new models have the looks sorted. You may not think them indivudual enough, too Lambo or not enough old Lotus, but they tick all the boxes on the Supercar looks. Hell even my Elise does IMO, and thats one of the reasons I love it so much.

The Bentley Continental GT is popular with the rap guys, but I am not aware of Bentley having hunted out that market in any way and every owner I have seen does not fall into that demographic. A sale is a sale so lets not dicsount any of thos guys buying a car, but surely that target market in terms of wealth is very very small.

Aston & Bentley successfully chased the new money and thats what Lotus should do - in a word, footballers.

Thats why I think the Norwich City link up is a better idea....but I can't see any need, let alone reason for wanting Swiss on board.

And yes, Bibs does do a good job for balancing things out but there are two sides to every story and to be fair we would not always hear the other side if it wasn't for him.

Edited by Nelly9000
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And yes, Bibs does do a good job for balancing things out but there are two sides to every story and to be fair we would not always hear the other side if it wasn't for him.

Damn straight, and not that I don't want to hear his opinion as an owner/expert/enthusiast, because like I said before, Bibs' evaluations and opinions have done far more to influence my decision to buy an Evora than anything Lotus has. But yes, there are two sides to every story--so how about Lotus tell their side, engage us, and stop over-managing the damn "branding"? There are 10,000+ members here. They only want to have a one-way conversation with us by spitting out press releases? That's daft and alienating. Truly a squandered opportunity.

And I'll be honest--if it wasn't for Bibs I would never have gotten past this stuff from Dany: "A BMW is the car I use to drive to work, and in private I drive a Ferrari...Sometimes you have to take the kids to school, and you need a practical car."

OK, so I drive a BMW too, and I love it. But he's driving a Ferrari instead of showing leadership and commitment and driving a Lotus? I hear that situation may have since changed, but Christ, to say that in the New York Times almost made me question his sanity. And it certainly made me think, "Oh, you want me to buy/drive a Lotus? You first, dude."

And then these kinds of quotes:

  • Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir: "We believe Lotus's potential is in the branding."
  • Dany Bahar: "I prefer to communicate through brand experience [whatever the hell that is]."
  • Dany Bahar: "What we’re trying to do is create a complete world around the brand."

You will note that cars (remember those?) are not mentioned in any of those statements and that branding is clearly priority #1. Branding is the bullshit we (and I include myself) ascribe above and beyond objective reality. From the marketers' perspective, it's a form of flat-out manipulation, albeit nauseatingly necessary. But to me, Lotus is now completely out of balance between their true #1 asset--their brilliant cars and potential--and branding, of which Swizz is a laughable symptom.

I find all this emphasis on branding a distraction to the point that I intentionally don't read any Lotus press releases any more. They're usually too inane for me to tolerate. And I won't even comment on the outsourced magazine.

Bottom line is I know the car I want and I know I'll love it and the decision to drop the dime on it had zero to do with the current neurotic brand management. It was three things: (1) the car; (2) Bibs' reviews; and (3) the excellent DVD and book; the latter of which are amazing. I watch that DVD and I see a concept that came out of MJK's head, was directed and managed by Tony Shute, Roger Becker, and Chris Dunster, and implemented by the next generation--Matt Becker, Alan Clark, Anthony Bushell, Russell Carr, Steve Crijns, Paul Birch, Rob Savin, Gary Brooks, Peter Wainwright, Simon Corbett, Richard Rackham, etc. You watch that DVD and the enthusiasm is raging full-bore, from the expression on MJK's face when he takes out the first EP with Roger to, well, pretty much everyone else. So I see people who are comitted and seriously in to it. And when Roger says, "We always talk about 'Family Lotus.' You don't buy a car--you buy yourself in to something much bigger," I feel it. And THAT is a car/family I respect and am proud to buy in to and support.

But when I see cars that aren't distinctive and apparently conceived primarily by marketers and with the built-in systemic over-emphasis on marketing/branding that derives from that arrangement, I do NOT want that.

And now that the branding obsession has taken over, Lotus feels dehumanized, and it makes me very sad. And so I'm buying an Evora despite what I see, particularly before the car becomes a redesigned perversion of its true nature or the unwanted step-child it feels like it will become.

I also HATE feeling this way about everything because despite it all, I want Bahar to succeed and bring Lotus to another level, but god damn he makes it hard to get on board.

Edited by Moxie

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Damn straight, and not that I don't want to hear his opinion as an owner/expert/enthusiast, because like I said before, Bibs' e

I also HATE feeling this way about everything because despite it all, I want Bahar to succeed and bring Lotus to another level, but god damn he makes it hard to get on board.

Great post Moxie, really struck a chord.

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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Yes Moxies post really summed up how I feel about what Lotus should be all about too.

I also dont bother to read the press releases they send me, I feel they are an insult to my intellegence as an individual who prides himself in knowing when he is being fed a gourmet course of bullshit.

Bullshit seems to be what the new re-invented Dany's Dream Lotus is all about, "Look at us, we are standing next to Steven Baldwin*, arent we cool," (actually completely the opposite.)

*or substitue any a rent a celebrity

Truth is I dont want to be associated with this kind of propaganda, and as Bahar has the final say on anything released from Lotus these days the blame lies solely with him.

He has also shown an unforgivable lack of respect for past Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley, insinuating that he was a major part of the "failed regime" at Lotus (which I presume includes such past employees as Roger Becker, Paul Newsome, Tony Shute etc.) and from what I understand has actively "Gagged" MJK from defending his reputation in public, using Lotus lawyers and apparent threats of dissmisal to current Lotus staff If they seen even talking to him.

As Kimbers pointed out in one of his posts, Mike knew more about Colin Chapman's opinions about how his company should be run and represented through the media , so If Mike happens to disagree with the way things are going at Lotus ATM, he should be free to publically voice any concerns or critisms he has without any fear of repercussions.

Here is the official press release from Lotus announcing his re-enstatement as CEO , replacing then CEO Kim Ogaard Neilsen, who many (me included) view as the man who nearly really suceeded in ruining Lotus.

He is the genius that auctioned the Lotus crown jewels (the Bond Esprits) for next to nothing and had little to no regard for Lotuses past history.

GROUP LOTUS PLC

CHANGES IN TOP MANAGEMENT OF GROUP LOTUS PLC

Group Lotus Plc announced today a change in the senior management of the

company.

With immediate effect, Mr. Michael J Kimberley (Mike) will take over as

Acting Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus Plc. Mike currently chairs the

Executive Committee of Lotus Group International Limited (LGIL).

Given his vast experience and expertise in the automotive industry, Mike is

a natural choice to manage the company and he will be supported by the

existing management team at the Company and will continue to draw upon the

support of the shareholder, Proton Holdings Berhad (PROTON), the ultimate

holding company. His priorities will include improving the overall

performance of Lotus as well as preparing and strengthening the specialist

car company and high-technology engineering and consulting company to

compete in a wider market and on a broader business base globally.

PROTON strongly believes that LOTUS has a critical role to play in the

Proton Group to enable it to become a successful automotive engineering and

manufacturing group and a prominent brand globally. Hence, PROTON will

continue to provide strong support to LOTUS and its group of companies. In

view of the above, PROTON has set up a special team to provide close and

specialist support to Mike and the management at Group Lotus Plc, to address

the key opportunities for LOTUS for the future.

Kim Ogaard-Nielsen, former CEO of Group Lotus Plc, has stepped down to

pursue his other entrepreneurial interests. Kim joined Group Lotus Plc in

November 2004 and has presided over a number of projects during the past

eighteen months. Lotus would like to record its thanks to him for his

service to the company during this period.

Speaking from LOTUS headquarters at Hethel today, Mike Kimberely said, 'All

specialist sports car companies operate in volatile and highly competitive

markets. However, sales of the Elise are moving ahead in the USA and are

being further enhanced by the new introduction of the Exige model. I can

assure our customers, business partners and all who watch this iconic marque

with interest, that LOTUS is a highly valued and integral part of the PROTON

Group.'

Michael J Kimberley's background:

Mike Kimberley has been associated with the LOTUS brand for over 22 years,

since joining its founder, the late Colin Chapman in 1969. He worked his

way up the Company, was appointed as the Managing Director of Lotus Cars

Ltd. between 1976 until 1983 and became the CEO of Group Lotus Plc between

1983 until the end of 1991.

Mike is a well-respected veteran of the automotive industry, having spent

over 30 years with various world-renowned automotive companies including

General Motors, Jaguar and Automobili Lamborghini SPA.

Two of his major achievements were the rejuvenation of Group Lotus Plc

following the tragic loss of its founder, Colin Chapman in the late 1982 and

the revival of the Italian supercar maker, Automobili Lamborghini SPA, in

1994.

More recently, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Group Lotus plc

as well as Lotus Group International in August 2005. Mike Kimberley also

chairs the Executive Committee of Lotus Group International.

As I have said before, I believe the solution to our current dissatisfaction with the direction Lotus is currently heading lies with Proton in Malaysia, they need to replace Bahar with someone who is clearly more experienced and better suited in running a car company.

I have nothing personally against Mr Bahar, he is what he is , doing what he does, I just dont think he is a good fit at Lotus, not now , not ever.

On a more humourous note I have been reading on other Lotus Forums what the members think of Bahar, and on the North American forums I keep reading the word "Douchebag" whenever anyone dissagrees with what he is doing.

I presume that is some sort of insult?

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Not if you want the world to buy more douche-bags, this is known as brand awareness....

What better way to promote a feminine hygiene product then to have a prestigious iconic sports car CEO carry the label. This is how you market douche-bags globally..Now add a beat to the brand and everything will be fresh... :w00t:

I think it's fast enough…maybe

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Great post Moxie, really struck a chord.

Glad it struck something, I guess. I was so pissed off by the time I hit "Post" that I went and had a double Talisker. But anger is just a facade for fear, and I have no trouble admitting that I'm both pissed off and fearful. Fearful for Lotus, fearful that some great people worthy of incalculable respect (see above) are being treated shabbily, fearful that the marque is being tarted up and pimped out, and that my emotional investment and attachment to the marque is being regarded--at least implicitly--as worthless, unimportant, and irrelevant. And it feels bad. I am distinctly lacking the warm and fuzzy that I'd like to feel. But it really wouldn't mean much if it weren't for the fact that I'm actually trying to find something to connect with and give them money, like if they get the Elite off the ground, and that has more to do with the incredible blast I had driving a DB9 Volante around the Highlands and Hebrides and the hope that the Elite will be even better than that. But there's just so much infantile jive going on that it turns me off to no end. I could be cute and say I wonder if I'm the only one feeling that way, but I know for a fact I'm not. I know about a dozen Lotus owners very well, and they own a fairly wide range of cars, and some are interested in the new ones, and every single one of them think Dany's off his rocker and his tactics are incomprehensible and sometimes reprehensible. So is it good marketing when pre-existing customers looking to give you money are actively turned off? I guess so, but only if your intent is to replace them with what you see as a larger audience. Well, seriously, good luck with that. For the sake of everyone at Hethel I hope that works, but I'm having a damn hard time seeing myself or my money in that future.

So I guess I'll become a FOG. Or at least in Vegas in October, a FOG at LOG. Or after a few drinks on Lyn, a foggy FOG at LOG. I'm very curious to see what kind of presence Lotus has at LOG 31 (all I can recall from LOG 30 was an unloved token Evora) and what people think of the future cars now that they're coming in to more focus. If the bling doesn't play in Vegas I suspect it's not likely to play anywhere.

On a more humourous note I have been reading on other Lotus Forums what the members think of Bahar, and on the North American forums I keep reading the word "Douchebag" whenever anyone dissagrees with what he is doing. I presume that is some sort of insult?

Are you saying people over here are blindly pro-Bahar and insulting those that question his tactics, or that they're ridiculing Bahar?

Off-topic...and this admittedly reflects a strong bias...but as Mater says, I'd give my left two lug nuts to see a Giugiaro edition of the new Esprit. Or at least one that doesn't look like a Lambo.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Erm......wow! ......this thread has certainly become passionate.

What they said x100.

Incidently, Please do buy an Evora. In my opinion it is the last Lotus you know was designed and created with you in mind and with passion for Lotus (the ACBC kind of Lotus not Ferrari clone bollocks Branding Lotus).For me its a true Lotus that when you drive it you can feel the drive and experience invested in it by those involved in its creation.

In regards to my father, I'd like to thank you for your kind words.

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

 

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I think after reading most of what's on here, we all agree that we would like to see Lotus suceed, We may not all agree on what is happening at the moment, but we do all agree Lotus is unique and we want it to suceed.

Bahar is a brander, he come from Red Bull which is just that, a Brand.

Did anyone see the BBC 3 Documenty? called the secrets of the superbrands? was interesting about Red Bull as it is just that: a brand, thats all it is, a brand that attaches it's self to things such as F1, X Games, Moutain bikeing etc.... hence why he is like he is.

Slightly off topic, but does anyone know why Proton decided to pump all this money in after so many years of struggling? What was the catalyst at there end?

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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It was that or lose the £200m they've already sunk into the company.

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

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It was that or lose the £200m they've already sunk into the company.

Even so, risking another £850m or cutting your losses is a tough decision to make.

I wonder how much has been spent ( some might say squandered ) , on non car activities such as sponsorship, opening shops, clothing range, suing Team Lotus and hiring rappers?

It has to be a very large 8 figure sum, perhaps even 9 figures? :censored:

Any guesses? :w00t:

Edited by Stirling_Villeneuve

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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Where were Lotus 2/3/4/5 years ago? Where are they now?

I'm sure you'll agree their profile has been raised somewhat considerably. Money well spent? (Some of it, anyway!)

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

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Personally, I shot my wad on this topic and I do hope Dany succeeds, despite how I feel about certain tactics. I'm just one who doesn't believe branding comes from branding, but rather from something more substantial and I'd like to see more emphasis on the latter. And I think Lotus could be lots of things to lots of people far beyond what they are now.

On a much more positive note regarding effective marketing, apparently all the US dealers in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast have been reaching out to potential customers for this:

Gentlemen:

I wanted to invite you as my personal guests to the upcoming Lotus CUP event at New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 2nd at 10am.

As my personal guest, there is no cost to you and Autosport Designs Inc./Lotus Motorcars of Long Island along with Lotus USA will provide the Evoras.

You will experience the Evora on road test drives, track drives with an instructor and hot laps with an instructor at the wheel. I am bringing an Evora for the road test and Lotus USA will provide Evora S cars for the track portion.

I know you are attending Lime Rock on the 3rd but if you are able to attend please let me know.

As always, please call with questions.

WhiskyBob and I are going, and I look forward to a day of blingless engagement.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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