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Go on then, I'll ask ...

Is there any news/hint of news about what's going to happen with Lotus, next?

The financial lockdown period following DRB-Hicom's purchase of Proton has ended so I tentatively assume funding has been resumed, but I thought there would be some sort of announcement to clarify. The absence of any such announcement doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, although the opening of the new dealership in Lebanon would seem to indicate that Lotus itself is confident about its future success.

I think a lot of Lotus fans around the world are on the edges of our collective seats over this one. Speaking personally, I want a Lotus Elite so badly it almost hurts, but am I ever going to see one!?!

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From what I understand, it's business as usual in Hethel. I asked only yesterday if there was any official announcement on the way and there isn't as yet.

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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Wait they've had 3 months to perform their survey! Do they really need the extra six weeks! I'm sure the current management is being fastidious about having their books up to date with that much money coming from loan into play! I'm sure that many new owners would like to see both the Evora GTE and the new Exige S and Roadster clearing E.U homologation sooner than later!

Well if DRB Hicom to sell at the same condition Proton sold Agusta a few years ago! Lotus would be an instant still just because of their engineering division!

Sort of sad not to be the lucky winner of that US lottery ticket!

Edited by NedaSay
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...tap, tap, tap...

"Paging Mr Lopez. Mr Lopez to the auction hall..."

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

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Wait they've had 3 months to perform their survey! Do they really need the extra six weeks!

No, lets be clear. The 3 month moratorium on expenditure (outside normal day to day operational spend) is a condition laid down by the Malaysian authorities following the acquisition. Any acquisition for that matter. That period was up at the end of March - as per DB's statements. One assumes they can restart Esprit development now (I hope). The additional due diligence on Lotus has been instigated by DRB themselves - EY and Rothschild have only been on site since " late last month". That could be as long as a week or two and as short as a couple of days given the article is in today's paper. Speaking from experience 6 to 8 weeks is reasonable for this type work.

It does show that DRB are serious (EY and Rothschild don't come cheap) and will at least base their decision on hard facts. Personally I really hope DB's plans remain largely intact.

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It does show that DRB are serious (EY and Rothschild don't come cheap) and will at least base their decision on hard facts.

Hard facts indeed, but they are both business/financial/management consultant organisations - and full of very bright (mostly) people. And doubtless ample brain power to say that Lotus Engineering is a potential future business; market, skills, finances, future prospects are so so and so; recommend so and so.

But however they apply their skills, beyond saying that Lotus Cars is losing money and needs £x to bring it's new prospects to market, are they the people qualified to comment on the likely success or failure of cars that are bought by the heart and not the head, where practical needs, costs and efficiencies barely come into consideration, where the competition is from makers of other simultaneously very similar but importantly different - though equally fundamentally unnecessary - artifacts, but however for which people are prepared to pay substantial sums, in a significant number of cases sacrificing other potential acquisitions to do so. And basing their buying decisions as much on the history, quirks, individuality, social ambience of (and early infatuations with) the different marques as on their technical specifications - which may hardly matter as after purchase they will be little used overall and in most cases never extended to their maximum abilities.

No! It's people like us who should be advising on how to make Lotus Cars a success - as we do here, most days!

Edited by mdavies
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My understanding (and this has been published in the Malaysian press) Is that some heads are to roll shortly, though currently that seems to be related to senior Proton Execs with influence at Lotus rather than Lotus execs.

Hasn't that 60 day morritorium finished yet? It was my understanding it was 60 not 90 days?

I hope it hurrys up and finishes so Lotus can get on and complete all these orders they have been taking for Exige and Evora S! They'll need the cash flow by now and will be great to see all those cars rolling down my road.

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No! It's people like us who should be advising on how to make Lotus Cars a success - as we do here, most days!

Oh God! If that were true Lotus would be history.

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I hope it hurrys up and finishes so Lotus can get on and complete all these orders they have been taking for Exige and Evora S! They'll need the cash flow by now and will be great to see all those cars rolling down my road.

Isn't that their core business and something they should be doing while the moratorium was in progress?

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No! Its people like us who should be advising how to make Lotus Cars a success - as we do here, most days!

Oh God! If that were true Lotus would be history.

OK Phil, yes perhaps my tongue was somewhat in my cheek there, but I hold to my basic point that E&Y and Rothschilds mainstream professional expertise does not naturally include the assessment of prospects for a business based on the subtleties I indicated. As a minimum, some expertise in the industry is needed - and Lotus has lots of that resource now, much recently recruited from leading successful competitors. So I am wondering how assessment of that aspect is being handled. It's not quite enough just to say, as McLaren did, "we will out spec the competition in all measurable numbers". (So does McLaren does have a full order book, but their necessary production numbers are smaller, and they have modified their product.) Neither is it enough to say there is a loyal customer base - we know why.

But as an example of a contribution from "the likes of us" I maintained to the dealer on possibly the first test drive of the first NA Evora (launch) demonstrator delivered: "It's not right - it should be a sports car not a GT: CR box, more noise, more power - minimum essentials." Perhaps that would not have changed the sales figures - but note the rave responses from those who now have modified their intake and exhaust in a simple way, and generally have the CR box. Typical phrases "it's fantastic", "a transformation", "now a sports car". I expect an OEM product could not have used such a simple approach, but with Lotus' skills ............?!

Fingers crossed.

Edited by mdavies
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Well its all details and I think its the company they are looking at not the brand potential, bear in mind they have bought it not buying it.

I got a survey before I bought my house but I didn't expect the surveyor to tell me the potential for the property, I looked at the report and made a good judgement based on that. You seem to be assuming the assessors have the final say but they just deliver a report for what its worth.

I wouldn't worry about it as the investment has been made and most of the money spent, Lotus is actually worth a lot more than it was when DB took over IMHO. It just needs to be able to finish the journey with or without foreign investment, I'd like to see it independent as previous 'owners' have done no good for Lotus which is why they only produced Elise type cars for years.

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The Mclaren comparison is an intersting one, they have done a similar thing in spending a not incosiderable amount of money to build a new factory for the MP4-12C.

Biggest difference they have is

A) The price is comparable with the 458,

B) They have been building versions of Mercedes Benz product prior to that

C) They have not been building cheap(ish) stripped out cars made of fibreglass

D) They are run by Ron Dennis and his attention to detail is legendary

There was never any risk IMO of the car being lame.

I dug out some old copies of Car magazine from the mid 1990s, with reviews of the Esprit V8 and GT3. Comments were generally great car, let down by build quality and poor gearchange, and priced to compete with a 911. I could have been reading the review for an Evora, as pretty much the same things were said.

Once they sort that part of things everything else is there.

Edited by Nelly9000
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Any comparison between Lotus and McLaren is pointless, McLaren had the time and money to build a supercar better than the competition, Lotus never did in the history of the company, which is why they never developed a gear box at supercar level.

IMHO the Elan SE was the best finished car Lotus ever built for it's market.

Any input from wannaby car designers and engineers is largely pointless. If the experts cant get it right then there is probably a reason for this, that stops any wannaby designers getting it right too; time and money, hopefully that has changed.

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Isn't that their core business and something they should be doing while the moratorium was in progress?

No money to pay suppliers so no parts.

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No - The Malaysian law allows the company to carry on their normal business, Lotus build cars. They didn't just change the PIN on their bank accounts and leave them with no cash!

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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The development of the Evora hard top has been postponed due to the freeze on investment. But this isn't normal business I guess.

The problem with the situation at Lotus is that they are dependant on continual investment. That won't change until the Esprit is in production.

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They've £200m coming in from engineering and over 1,000 cars currently in their order bank, they are doing OK at the mo!

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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I don't disagree that things are looking good for the future at Lotus. They just need to be able to resume what they were doing 3 months ago and get the Exige production line building cars and that looks imminent. Just saying this current situation held them back for 3 months.

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So why is there no production going on? They are down to 1 day a week. Theres no development going on and every supplier I know has them on stop or worse.

People like Matt still haven't had their car built yet alone the 400 or so Exige's. Even Dany Bahar has admitted in recent reports that they aren't paying their bills and its blamed on the change over in ownership.

Things look rosey if you are looking through rose tinted glasses but if you are one of the 100 recently laid off or someone on the production line working 1 day a week things are far from peachy.

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Spot on Kimbers,

SMMT UK Car registration figures out today: 10 Lotus in March, 35 year to date; down 73.68% on 2011.

Can't sell them if they are not being built.

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Anthony, I made my point quite clearly so why all the dramatics, just read properly and stop using what I said to justify a rant, if you have something to say just say it but don't make out it's me you are responding to.

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SMMT UK Car registration figures out today: 10 Lotus in March, 35 year to date; down 73.68% on 2011.

Having watched Sunday's Best of Top Gear where they drag raced the £40k BMW 1M against the £50k Porsche Cayman & the £60k Lotus Evora IPS and the Lotus comes last I can fully understand why they're not selling. Lotus has always been expensive as they don't have the economies of scale of the big boys but the handling & performance made them worth the money. Not any more, if you're in the market for a sports car you'd be nuts to pay £10k more for the Lotus than the faster Porsche.

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Lotus has always been expensive as they don't have the economies of scale of the big boys....

That's simply not true, the Esprit was always a bargain and very quick compared to the competition, the Elise range was always very good value for money as was the Elan M100.

Lotus are 'now' expensive but the engineering is worth it for those who want to pay.

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Not exactly doing that fragile confidence any good ...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/9190350/Lotus-F1-cut-sponsorship-ties-with-Group-Lotus.html

However, if cutting back on expenditure is what it takes to get the new model range out (and ensure the new Exiges and Evora GTE's get out there quickly - Lotus really needs some positive press, at the mo) then I, for one, am all for it! Let's face it: if that aforementioned Top Gear piece had drag raced the £40k BMW 1M against the £50k Porsche Cayman & a £55k Exige Roadster, then they could all have enjoyed the good debate we've all had about the design of the new Exige's rear, because that's all they would have seen as it left them for dead ...

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