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Lotus in the post DB era


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Just wondering how many people have cancelled their order for the V6 Exige based upon all the stories and lack of clarity on dates?

Getting a little bit nervous myself about all the negative press, like all of us I really want Lotus to survive but wondering where this would leave me if it all went pear shaped if I ever get the V6 Exige delivered next March (or if ever)?

George

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Just thinking, maybe we should close this thread and start a new one "Lotus in the JMG era" - in the hope that it will be a long and prosperous one.

Good hair but that last sentence earns him a kick in the balls next time I see him, what a knob.   http://www.sapu.net/want-a-e1m-car-like-nothing-else-on-the-road-dany-bahars-your-man/  

Yup, and it would be niggle free from lessons learnt from 5 years of Evora. Offer different engines/transmission packages... 1.6-1.8 turbo 3.5 Supercharged from Evora/Exige How can something th

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Speaking to dealers re cancelleations, fortunately the answer is very few :thumbup:

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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All this speculation is creating a buzz that Bahar would have been proud of! We've currently got visitors online from GM, Ford and JLR readying this topic! :welcome:

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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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Steve from Skidmark said that JLR would be ideal as I had suggested in a conversation. They would just be adding a sports car division with vast vehicle dynamics lab to boot!

If the only thing constant is change, then why do we resist change the most?

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First Stirling and now Ben, who is going to crack next under the pressure of NO NEWS!

Whoever said no news was good news clearly misunderstood the Lotus enthusiast community.

Now I want to know everything is all right or I don't want to know anything.

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That's the same piece as The Independent, same author too!

is the last line correct or has there been a miss quote? from evening standard (don't have a copy of the Independant)

"but the management hope to start work on the new models shortly"

Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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Surely if JLR aquired Lotus that would be the nail in the coffin for Hethel, JLR have Gaydon test track and sites at Whitley, Castle Brom, Halewood and Solihull.

And they are really really busy, so busy they had to build a new factory, think about that for a while!

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Apologies, this is my first visit for ages (sorry, Bibs) - it's been a traumatic year.

Where to start with the recent travails of Lotus?

Is it the usual cyclical Lotus "crisis every 5 years or so", or is it more fundamental than that?

For what my opinions are worth:

1) Moxie (on about page 5 of this thread) was spot on: Bahar was a talented marketing guy (by all accounts he did great things at Ferrai and Red Bull in that role) BUT not the right guy/calibre for CEO - should have been appointed as CMO of Group Lotus under a tough CEO or Executive Chairman (if you're going to chuck monay at that sort of role, persuade Bob Lutz to come aboard in the role, not in some woolly advisory board role (that's not fish or foul - no company on any continent really knows what an adviosry board is)); having said appoint him as CMO, get some aggressive people under him - Naomi Campbell is, to many people, damaged goods after the "blood diamonds" trial (and let's not forget, that was a war crimes trial, which is never good PR), Brian May, guitar legend though he is, will evoke the response of Who the f%$k is he with most of Lotus' target audience (how long ago were Queen in the charts?), likewise Swizz Beatz ... get some people in who understand the product, the demographic and the wherewithal to crack on and get stuff done - think Esprit in Bond movies, Esprit in Pretty Woman, Esprit in Basic Instinct, Esprit in pop videos....;

2) I'm a bit concerned about the early posts going into microscopic detail on the powertrain for the new Esprit....and none about the looks! The concept launched in Paris was, to my eyes, unimaginiative and derivative; very "me too" - it simply showed where Lotus had been on a hiring spree, and at a stroke discarded a design language which Lotus had developed over decades, and which at least had some distinctive design cues; the original Esprit was breathtaking in its time, and to my eye the Peter Stevens redesign still cuts it as a "wow, what is that?!" design when you see one in the flesh;

3) Lotus much launch a new Esprit, whether that is with the bespoke platform/powertrain of the Bahar plan or as a SERIOUS development of the Evora platform - the Elise platorm has been stretched as far as it can with any credibility - Lotus needs to get away from the "Emperor's New Clothes" gags which follow its special editions;

4) I don't know what the ins and outs are with the F1 team, but Lotus F1 are doing bloody well (all things considered) in the F1 World Championship - for god's sake make some PR/marketing mileage out of it! Someone has paid a lot of money to be knocking on Ferrari's door in the constructors' championship - for f&"k's sake cash in on it!!!!

5) Following on from the above, for the foreseeable future, Evora is the flagship model - accept this and capitalise on it - it is, in MY2012 form, a fantastic car - make some noise about that!! - read and regurgitate the reviews! Let's see more proactivity on the PR/martketing (and I accept they are subtly different disciplines)

6) Elise must survive. It's a truism that you have an entry level hook for the younger single guy to engage him with the more aspirational, "family friendly" models in the range, so that when the flock flies the nest, he buys the 2 seat halo model as a reward to himself and his other half. Hell, it's how Lotus got me (together with growing up in the 70s and 80s when Team Lotus were stillwinning stuff) - I have had Elise S1, Europa S and now Evora S and loved them all...

7) Continue with the GT race programme, but focus on which series will get factory support - GT racing is rapidly growing in profile and credibility - decide which series to concentrate on in terms of profile/coverage - new Esprit v McLaren MP4/Mercedes SLS et al? - those series are getting more and more TV and magazine coverage, and having been to some events there is a definite appetite among the people who have paid through the nose for a ticket a) for a silhouette that looks like what they can aspire to in the showroom and b) the open paddocks they have at GT races;

8) (penultimate point, I promise) Where DB was spot on was in exploiting (ugly word, I know, but let's be realistic about the commercial necessities of the world we live in) Lotus' heritage. At my last job I was known as a sports nut and on the first day of the Olympics posed the question of which is the only car maker to have won F1, Indy, World Rally, Le Mans...and an Olympic gold medal. I have a subscription to Autosport, and am pleasantly surprised by the number of race previews for the current championship in which "Lotus" features among the top 4 or 5 winning manufacturers. Lotus has a history of achievement, a heritage, which frankly other manufacturers would have wet dreams about and cannot compete with (BMW of a few years ago "the ultimate driving machine" - do me a favour!). For god's sake Lotus - you may not have much cold hard cash in the banks, but in terms of PR collateral you can take to those banks, you have assets other manufacturers would kill for - cash in on it!

9) Last point - honest! Given the current uncertainty around the longer term, sorry but there is no alternative but to push current product - Elise, Exige V6 (for god's sake the development cost is all but incurred now anyway, so finish it off and start selling it to bank some cash) and Evora/Evora S - I am lucky enough to drive a MY2012 Evora S and it's superb - Lotus Just need to dpread the message, and Swizz Beatz is not the right messenger - it needs to be someone potential Evira buyers have heard of, and that's more likely to be Coldplay or a mainstream, current, movie star (see Basic Instinct above....)

I have no doubt that, in the words of Richard Burton in Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds" "minds immeasurably superior to our own" have no doubt already considered my opinions above, but on the off chance they haven't, I throw them into the mix....

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I've just read Harry Metcalfe's eulogy (for it does appear to dead) for the new Esprit development programme in the new issue of Evo which arrived today. I almost wept. He had been on the inside track with exclusive access to the programme since day 1 at the invitation of Dany Bahar, I guess for some future review. He was due to drive the 'mule' in January

It would pain me to summarise his editorial piece here so I won't. But given Harry's insight and access to the key players and his summary of how far it got and what might have been, he says it is an absolute travesty if DRB do indeed bury the project and focus on further development of the Elise and Evora platforms. He was even shown an Esprit Spyder which almost brought on a 'credit car melting moment' as it was so 'right'.

Whilst not everyone may have liked him (Harry's words) replacing a visionary with an accountant is the worst thing that could happen to Lotus at this time.

Harry's final comment is revealing - "DRB have blown it" I am now off to drown my sorrows.

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I've just read Harry Metcalfe's eulogy (for it does appear to dead) for the new Esprit development programme in the new issue of Evo which arrived today. I almost wept. He had been on the inside track with exclusive access to the programme since day 1 at the invitation of Dany Bahar, I guess for some future review. He was due to drive the 'mule' in January

It would pain me to summarise his editorial piece here so I won't. But given Harry's insight and access to the key players and his summary of how far it got and what might have been, he says it is an absolute travesty if DRB do indeed bury the project and focus on further development of the Elise and Evora platforms. He was even shown an Esprit Spyder which almost brought on a 'credit car melting moment' as it was so 'right'.

Whilst not everyone may have liked him (Harry's words) replacing a visionary with an accountant is the worst thing that could happen to Lotus at this time.

Harry's final comment is revealing - "DRB have blown it" I am now off to drown my sorrows.

Just off to "drown your sorrows" not at the local surely looking at your post time??

Also read HM column last night, it does appear that the Esprit was a lot nearer completion than was previously known; not happy looks like Audi R8 v8 or v10 which to choose?

Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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Just off to "drown your sorrows" not at the local surely looking at your post time??

Also read HM column last night, it does appear that the Esprit was a lot nearer completion than was previously known; not happy looks like Audi R8 v8 or v10 which to choose?

Drowned my sorrows with my own private supply.....

Yes, it would appear it was further on than we thought, although Harry's comments accorded with my discussion with Donato Coco at Goodwood FoS this year i.e. more aggressive looking, superb detailing and more power from the Hethel developed engine. It is a real shame its been canned. I live in hope that even at this eleventh hour DRB will realise the error of their ways and restart development (which after all they said they had done a few months ago) and try to keep that investment separate from sorting out their supplier issues. After all, one has to speculate to accumulate....

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I've just read Harry Metcalfe's eulogy (for it does appear to dead) for the new Esprit development programme in the new issue of Evo which arrived today.

Just went through the magazine, on which page is that?

Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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I couldn't find it either, Gert. Some of the annointed ones on the forum receive their issues before the mosh pit rabble have access. :lol:

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

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Its on his single page where they get their little soapboxes, about 20 pages in I guess?

Subscribers get their issue a few days before the shops do :)

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 news just gets worse... :censored:

What ever you are thinking, its not that bad. I know it seems like the end of the world now, but trust me, things will get better.

Take time out to walk in the countryside, breathe some fresh beautiful clean air, stay away from water or any bridges and everything will be all right. Remember to just take deep breaths and take on day at a time.

We are here for you!

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So Bibs, you remember the email about the delay this month due to a manufacturer embargo? What do you reckon it was? There is nothing new about the Maclaren P1 we didn't know already. Maybe it was the Vanquish drive? I feel rather let down......

Phil - my therapy is to get out into the Scottish hills in my Esprit and put my foot down. As I did yesterday in the glorious sunshine. All is now well with the world. :D

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Its on his single page where they get their little soapboxes, about 20 pages in I guess?

Subscribers get their issue a few days before the shops do :)

Have you seen the Esprit as well Bibs?

If the only thing constant is change, then why do we resist change the most?

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Just off to "drown your sorrows" not at the local surely looking at your post time??

Also read HM column last night, it does appear that the Esprit was a lot nearer completion than was previously known; not happy looks like Audi R8 v8 or v10 which to choose?

I recall Kimbers saying that MJK had progressed the new esprit a fair way as well while MJK was there. Did that entire plan get thrown out by DB? You surely wouldn't scrap everything the previous management had created?

With that and what DB's Lotus had done, you would think they would have been a fair way along.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Well Michael 4 months ago I'm told by someone who worked on both cars (MJK/Becker Esprit and "Bahar" Esprit) that 3 years ago when MJK left, at that point the MJK/Becker Esprit, was VERY much closer to a product model than the "Bahar" Esprit was when he was forced to leave Lotus. And that it would take over 200 million to get the "Bahar" Esprit in production in full. Please keep in mind that DRB Hicom bought the whole of Proton for 410 million. At that point I realized the Esprit would be canned or the project would be seriously "rewritten". It's sad but it's the hard truth.

Are you guys referring to this article? Or do I have the wrong issue?

Edited by Exploded

Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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Different article, in the Dec issue (176).

So Bibs, you remember the email about the delay this month due to a manufacturer embargo? What do you reckon it was? There is nothing new about the Maclaren P1 we didn't know already. Maybe it was the Vanquish drive? I feel rather let down......

I'd assume it's the P1 which is a bit weird what with Paris and all!

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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Right, that's it! I'm off. I can't take this anymore. Even I could run a car company better than this. And I can barely run a car!

Luckily, I'm in Muscat (where incidentally, I saw an orange Exige outside the hotel the other day), so I'm just gonna not come back, stay in the hills and hide until someone hires that guy from Aston Martin.

Bibs,- do me a favour - since you know all the players - please can you remind the night watchman, or whoever is running Lotus at the mo, that car companies need to do 2 things: build cars, and sell cars. The night watchman seems to be struggling a bit with this concept just at the moment.

Are we really going to either, never have another Esprit (a salesman's gift), or actually contemplate going into the development cycle for a third time!

Written from my Muscat hideout. Man, it's hot in here! And the Daal is going to start repeating on me a bit soon.

Awesome!

Sudders

Sudders and Dany

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No worries, Mark. Just head over to the Habana Sports Bar in the Hyatt, pin that picture of Dany (you did bring it with you, didn't you?) on the dart board and have at it. You'll feel better in no time. :D

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

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