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Anyone asked Mr. Aslam Farikullah any 'interesting' questions at Snows Lotus opening, today?


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So, the Snows Lotus Hedge End opening looked good. Did anyone here ask COO Aslam Farikullah any interesting/pertinent questions? Even better: did anyone get any interesting/pertinent answers?

 

lotusespritconcept-04-627x364.jpg

 

(Gratuitous image of new model Esprit for aesthetic purposes only ...)

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Bibs had a lengthy and in-depth conversation with him today. I would imagine his report will be on these pages when he gets time to type it up over the next day or two.

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Looking forward to that too.

 

Great that the COO of Lotus takes the time to go to a new dealer opening, and talk to some people. Not something every COO would do imho.

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Great that the COO of Lotus takes the time to go to a new dealer opening, and talk to some people. Not something every COO would do imho.

 

Sounds good. I hope the boss (Bibs) will be able to give us an insight of the conversation.

 

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Bibs was given the key to the new Esprit and decided to make a run for it, he is probably halfway across Europe right now, maxing the crap out of the car!

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I spent some quality time with Aslam at the weekend. Back in the office now, processing pics and writing up the event so details will be in there. Some encouraging news, and somewhat of a revelation that he wasn't aware of the problems the lack of comms have been causing. Evora roadster anyone? :D

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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...................somewhat of a revelation that he wasn't aware of the problems the lack of comms have been causing. Evora roadster anyone? :D

 

Indeed a revelation ............... of a "meta problem". That he, and presumably his bosses, are not aware of what makes Lotus, in its widest sense, tick!  More to it than making cars.  Great if you were able to at least start a restoration.

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He said he was really pleased to have the information and that he'd take it all on board. I got the impression that he wasn't particularly aware of the damage the lack of information coming out of Hethel is doing. I'm following the conversation up when I get time today with an email reminding him of what we spoke about. 

 

Also, he had a great time driving down in the Evora (Haiti Special!) and was astounded at the amount of attention it got from everyone, even at the thumbs up from Porsche drivers on the M25! 

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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Bibs... I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys discussed but really it's staggering to think he'd no idea what people are thinking and saying about Lotus, let alone astounded by the Evora... 

 

Has he ever been in one before? Has he never been on this site?? 

 

This company seems so out of touch it's incredible to think they don't know what's going on. I'm keeping an open mind for now, but they need to do something and fast to regain the lost goodwill and rebuilt this company. 

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

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Well, I think it's better not knowing about the problems, than knowing about them and not doing anything.

I do get the feeling DRB is at least trying to get Lotus back on track, in their own way though.

Looking forward to the write-up, Bibs.

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Must admit I find it puzzling as well that he would not be aware of the issue of lack of information coming from them?

 

We, ourselves, have seen any number of media pieces where the lack of information was one of the key aspects of the journalistic item.

 

Do they not read the paper or magazines or any number of places on the internet?

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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Must be nice to be in charge of a Brand and find the people love it rather than not.

 

I hope Bibs will be able to forge a good relationship beneficial of company and fanatics!

 

Buddsy   :thumbsup:

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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I've been in touch with Aslam a few times in the past and we've spoken in person and by email (and letter!) before. I didn't ask him awkward questions though as they weren't required at the time! 

 

This won't fit into the article as it happens so I'll update this thread shortly. 

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 is becoming ever more obvious that DRB has a very local Malaysian perspective on things. Obviously they have no feeling for the global perspective and Lotus heritage.

Let's hope that they at least know how to get business operations right and maybe Bibs can teach them something about Lotus - for at least enough to hire a good marketing head.

BTW Frank, that position is NOT GOOD for your back!

Edited by TBD

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

Captain,  Lotus Airways. We fly lower! 

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You're right Thomas.

The main thing we discussed was the fact that when we hear nothing, we assume the worst. I asked if he has a plan in place for the short, medium and long term and he has lots of plans, to which I told him he needs to share these things. He said it was good to actually hear these things from the ground level and he was pleased to know this. I'm assuming he'll do something about it I hope but we didn't exactly nail down a comms plan going forward then and there.

He talked a lot about quality and how well engineering is doing. I asked if the improvements to the Exige S were worth the delays and he said that the product going out of the door now is a much more complete product than it would have been had deliveries started last year. A lot of the delays have been getting suppliers to work how they want them to (on 180 days payment terms?!) which is a change to how things have been done in the past.

The company has 1,200 staff globaly now, down from I think 1,800 under Uncle Dany (including all the Baldwin brothers) but this hasn't caused any problems, a fact reinforced when I spoke with Lotus's Operations Director later in the day.

I asked about the Esprit, and was told it's still on the cards, the Evora GTE was a mess from the start and needed huge amounts of engineering to work as a product, the seat belt regs for the USA are in hand and that there's an Evora convertible in Donato's 'office' which I encouraged him to get some clever people spending some more time on!

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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You know, I don't know whether to laugh or cry, having read all of this.

 

"Nice bloke finds himself in charge of car company and is suprised about the message it gives to have zero communications, not go to car shows and give no ideas about the development of future products (if any)"

 

 

Top marks to Bibs though. Wouldn't it be funny if his personal intervention made enough of a difference to save the company. (Probably wishful thinking on my part).

 

P.S. That Esprit still looks fabulous. Amazing, really.

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It is becoming ever more obvious that DRB has a very local Malaysian perspective on things. Obviously they have no feeling for the global perspective and Lotus heritage.

Let's hope that they at least know how to get business operations right and maybe Bibs can teach them something about Lotus - for at least enough to hire a good marketing head.

BTW Frank, that position is NOT GOOD for your back!

My head has always been in the clouds with my Lotus and thanks for the concern, the neck is coming along better than expected.. 

 

Maybe they should play undercover boss and get an idea of what the hell Lotus owners want and how we can make it happen even when they say it can't be done.... :smoke:

Just in case ya didn't know it but I started the aftermarket supercharger kit craze and to date over a thousand have been sold. It took Lotus three years to see the market wanting a better Elise/Exige and have only sold a handful of aftermarket kits...

 

Seriously Lotus needs some gear heads on staff.

I think it's fast enough…maybe

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 A lot of the delays have been getting suppliers to work how they want them to (on 180 days payment terms?!) which is a change to how things have been done in the past.

 

 

I think that's absolutely the worst business decision if they do try to implement that! Locally Lotus has a really bad reputation with suppliers in terms of being bad payers. There has been more than one company has gone bust due to being owed money from Lotus. What kind of message does this send out. Its not like they will want to pay top prices for small businesses to (in effect) lend them money. All business should pay up within 30 days. Any thing else is just wrong if you ask me.

 

Buddsy  :thumbdown:

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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A 180 day payment term!!!  In order to get that kind of credit term a company must be rock solid and have a rock solid reputation. Lotus doesn't have the reputation nor the status that is required for that kind of stunt. also the amount of business generated needs to be big enough for the supplier to accept it. And Lotus is going to sell about 4000 cars this year, tops!!!  The only way to get that term is to have a parent company or a bank guaranteeing every single check which is quite pointless if you want to rebuild the company credit. This is ridiculous.

 

I agree with Scott all business should pay within 30 days. if your business is big enough some companies may agree to 60 days and if one has a good track record and good credit some will be ok to give 90 days but 6 months! How are they supposed to pay their bills in the meantime!!!

 

 

And so they have a version of the Evora convertible in the design studio... and!? It should have been out by now! Let me guess the supplier for the roof is unwilling to settle for a 180 day term!

 

 

Lotus Engineering is doing well, we know that! The scary thing would be for engineering not to do well.. Cause it would pretty much mean the end of Lotus.

 

 

What you are reporting from your chat with the C.O.O is not really convincing me that he's the right guy for the job Bibs. He may be a very nice guy, a very good engineer but not quite CEO material. Again the shareholders seem to have have made an inadequate choice of guy in charge. Bahar was inexperienced as a CEO, too brand driven, he was selling image and vaporware and messed up. Now, Farikullah equally inexperienced in the job and on top of that not cross culturally aware, though he was sold to us as UK trained.. I remember the press release... Selling cars that do exist but not aware that he needs to communicate on the product and the company behind it.  :no  :help:​  

Edited by NedaSay
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I think that's absolutely the worst business decision if they do try to implement that! Locally Lotus has a really bad reputation with suppliers in terms of being bad payers. There has been more than one company has gone bust due to being owed money from Lotus. What kind of message does this send out. Its not like they will want to pay top prices for small businesses to (in effect) lend them money. All business should pay up within 30 days. Any thing else is just wrong if you ask me.

 

Buddsy  :thumbdown:

Buddsy,

 

I Know it seems bad business but the fact remains a cash poor company needs cash flow in order to innovate and keep money in the coffers.  Most large corporations pay in 90days period.  The trick for a supplier is to work out a deal that will help him sell goods and services and maintain his/her cash flow healthy as well, or else look someplace else for the business.  It takes time for the entire system to get paid but the employees wont wait if you want loyalty and the Banks will penalize you if you make them wait.  That's where volume comes in handy.  One thing that Lotus has never had. 

Edited by Bentzion

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

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