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The Esprit entire development budget was £180m, from the horses mouth. The other cars were allocated £120-130m each, cheaper due to the commonality of over 50% of parts between the models.

Bahar burned through £270m, inc the best part of £100m on the engine. No way, no how another £200m was needed.

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 have been told to correct myself, it was not 200 mln £ but $ which is a very big difference I know. That amount of money was still required to get the Esprit into production with the own "Lotus" V8 engine. So I apologise if any one was confused.

I'm not saying that any one in here is lying, just want to point out that a lot people are guessing and believe what the media writes, whom a lot of got paid just to write what Bahar said. Reality compared to what he said was sometimes (if not always) a bit different, I'm afraid.

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Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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The Esprit entire development budget was £180m, from the horses mouth. The other cars were allocated £120-130m each, cheaper due to the commonality of over 50% of parts between the models.

Bahar burned through £270m, inc the best part of £100m on the engine. No way, no how another £200m was needed.

What I still not understand is were all the money has gone. Do not know what the loss was in the year 2011-2012 but if it was just as much as in the financial year 2012-2013 and I did read some were that about 90m of that was for R&D. Lets say that in 2011-2012 also 90m of the loss was for R&D costs. So my question what is developed with all this money ? Also 100m on the engine is way to much I think first because the engine already existed and second I heard that developing an engine is not very expensive ( relative) but the expensive part is the gearbox. Unless all the tooling to make the engine was also ordered then 100m is believable. Bahar spend lots of money on stupid things as we all know but the big question for me still what happened with the money for R&D and what is being worked on behind the scene.

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Must have been some bathroom in Bahar's house!

 

There was some evidence of money being spent from visits to Hethel last year. The test track is a top notch facility now plus there must have been at least 20 Evora GTE's lying around gathering dust last March. They never actually sold any (apart from maybe 1) and pulled the plug before development was finished. That's about £2.5m right there. A sad sight, no idea where they are now, they had been moved somewhere else when I went back in October.

 

But agree that £100m for a low volume V8 sounds very steep, that's more likely what the whole Esprit project would have cost. Either way, most of the money was pissed away on the 'future cars', I had heard the Esprit was nearly ready to go.

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Which of his 3 houses do you mean Jonny? ;)

 

The Esprit, when abandoned was very very far away from being ready to go into production I'm afraid. :( You should not believe someone who wants to make you believe something else. The whole Bahar story was like a fairy tale and we all know they are not true... but who never wanted to believe in a fairy tale...

Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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The pits: you asked "I'd be really interested to know your idea a Lotus that "people want to buy" might be.

 

 

I don't think the answer is a single car, but it's easier to find buyers for your products if some of them at least fit more easily into people's lives as an only vehicle. That said, Lotus knows that profit-per-car x number of cars sold is what delivers them the cash to invest in the future, so they ought to be working out for themselves what is going to deliver the finances needed to fund continuous development.

 

It's worth noting that Lotus have always sold very low volumes - far lower historically than in the last couple of decades, and they've had a never ending string of catastrophes, contractions, expansions, developments, halts in development, scandals - the works. They're certainly not alone in this respect, and in a way it's a miracle they've survived at all, but I'm just asking if there's a way out of this never-ending cycle of hope and despair.

 

I'm pretty sure the way out isn't to copy the approach the company tried for the last 20 years, but maybe someone can tell me why it'll work this time round...

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I'm pretty sure the way out isn't to copy the approach the company tried for the last 20 years, but maybe someone can tell me why it'll work this time round...

 

Let me try...

 

Whilst I would agree that Lotus aren't out of the woods yet, I would venture to suggest that the strategy itself is sound, its just that Lotus needed a DRB to make it work properly i.e. get the finances on an even keel, tackle the cost and quality issues, deliver on your promises (thin as those are on the ground with DRB  ;)), hit your production targets (without compromising quality), expand into new markets (witness the new dealer investment DRB have made in the past 18 months) and rework the motorsports proposition from the grass roots up as that is where your core market is which will hopefully be translated into 'on the road' sales.

 

I think we have seen substantial progress over the past two years and DRB seem confident Lotus is being turned around. 40 cars a week,a 4 month waiting list, £100m from DRB with more to come and £10m from HMG is evidence of that.

 

In my view the strategy is working as it is being executed properly with a sound business plan and investment behind it. I still believe they need a new Esprit or some 'halo model' that can duke it out with the 458, 12C and top end 911 as its these cars get the big headlines and promote the brand. But its probably less urgent now as another year or two on the current plan will eventually start delivering the profits to plough back into the business. Maybe. Now there's a novelty....

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I agree almost with everything you are saying, with two exceptions. DRB seem to have a strategy, but as we have all noted here they desperately need to improve marketing to reestablish the Lotus brand and heritage. Secondly DRB is neglecting  the established Lotus markets in Europe and US, where sales and dealerships are dwindling.

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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And again the reason why DRB Hicom can not make the steps is because of the debts that Bahar and his crew have created. DRB Hicom is not a company like GM once was, when they came in at Lotus or Toyota and VW group are now.
And it's not only the debts but also the business relations that Bahar's crew destroyed for example when Bahar made the genius quote about Toyota engines: "regardless of how much you tune a Toyota engine, it will still be a Toyota engine at the end of the day"
That message was very badky received in Japan, their honour was hurt badly. And so a lot of business and gentlemen's agreements were cancelled between Lotus and Toyota. Prices for went up significantly too.
I hope Lotus will survive in the end, but those people who are expecting to see (a range of) new models soon, I'm afraid they will be disapointed.
 

Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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Gert,

 

If you don't have money yourself to develop new cars you have to loan it and make debts in the hope that earnings on this new cars are high enough to return a profit enough to invest in other new models etc otherwise you can shut your business right now.

As said before I think that lots of money already went to R&D and that this is written off the last two years. I still believe there are new things in the pipeline if not and they have nothing ready in the next 12-14 months or earlier then it is game over because sales will be dry up simply because most of the range is to old then.

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Yes, DB spent a lot of money to re position Lotus and develop those 5 dream cars, but it was all on the basis of an approved business plan. The losses now accrued to Danny were the result of mismanagement of that business plan by ALL parties

  • The original plan of DB was to gather new investors into Lotus, a plan that didn't materialize 
  • Only a part of the required budget was actually made available, lastly leading to the usual project management issue that 50+% of the project is left to do when the money runs out
  • DB focused too early on the massive marketing and promotion spend, at a time where there was nothing to sell
  • DB neglected that which was available, which is why sales slumped
  • DRB took over when the approved budget was spent, but as I outlined above over 50% of the program was still to be done. Whereas 100+% overruns are not uncommon for large companies, DRB chose to can the program.

DB was just an assigned employee at Lotus, whether right or wrong every major decision he made was approved by Proton. Lets stop giving him the blame for all the bad at Lotus. No question, he had his faults and I won't disagree that there might have been a better manager but Proton obviously didn't find or want one. 

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 know, when the people who work for me, go way over their budget and I as a manager have to report to the management team that my team spent double the amount of money they were allowed, do you think for 1 split second the management team is going to say; Hey this is really not your fault, Gert, but it is entirely your team's fault???? Come on Thomas, I know who will get the blame and you do too!

They will say Gert is not capable to do his job as he is not following up his people closely enough.

 

The reason for DRB cancelling the plan is that there was over 200mln of debts and again 200 mln needed to get the very first car of the 5 car plan into production. DRB simply does not have this kind of money. So they never had any choice. Don't forget they were not interested to get Lotus but wanted Proton.

And that's where their focus is. IF Proton does not do well, the Malaysian government can take Proton back in a minute, with lots of money loss for DRB, so Proton is DRB's very first concern.


Serge, there are always things in the pipe line, but not the five cars we were all hoping for or expecting, that's for sure.
Again DRB has all the best intentions with Lotus, but they just don't have the kind of money that Lotus need right now, which covers debts and development.

Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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Despite all the warm glowing feelings which are supposed to be present between Toyota and Hethel, Toyota really don't care that much about the little English company which buys a handful of engines each month. The numbers are so miniscule to Toyota that they don't even register and make no difference to their bottom line.

 

The claim that their feelings were hurt by Bahar's comments is just emotive claptrap.

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DRB can easily afford £200m, they've already put £100m in without so much as a thought while the finances and company were in the (most recent) darkest hour. 

 

Oh, and Dany did give the president of Toyota an Elise as a gift!

 

http://www.thelotusforums.com/latest-news/lotus-cars-news/lotus-to-take-relationship-with-toyota-to-new-level/

 

Lotus commemorated their successful relationship with Toyota today (17th September) at a celebration at the British Embassy in Tokyo where Lotus CEO Dany Bahar presented Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda with a specially equipped Lotus Elise powered by the last ever Toyota 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine. 

 
The occasion marked the end of an era and the start of an even stronger relationship between the two companies.

As part of the celebration, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “The presentation of Toyota’s last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a symbolic gesture of our continued respect and deep appreciation for our partner not only acknowledging our past but also looking forward to our future together.”

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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Agreed Bibs, but the car was given a year before the offence was made.
 

Advantage, being responsible for the international database of information for the company I work for, I have a lot of international colleagues, and so I work (closely) together with 4 Japanese colleagues having met them a few times and speaking them at least once a week. I'm not pretending to know a lot about them, nor understand their culture but I do know the very basics. Keyword of those basics is RESPECT!

Calypso Rose Rules the World!

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So this is the same Toyota who made a substantial investment in Lotus in the early  '80's and to quote Wikipedia - 

 

"In early 1982, Chapman came to an agreement with Toyota over an exchange on intellectual property and applied expertise. This initially resulted in Lotus Engineering helping to develop the Mk2 Toyota Supra, also known as the Toyota Celica XX. Secondly it allowed Lotus to launch the new Lotus Excel to replace the ageing Lotus Eclat, which using chassis components from the Toyota parts bin enabled the Excel to be sold for £1,109 less than the outgoing Eclat.[4]"

 

I accept it was over 30 years ago but I would hope Toyota still have some respect for Lotus. Why else would they agree to supply the engines in the first place and then let Lotus tinker with them to the extent that they do?

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While I don't know what's going on with Lotus at all, I can say that in Copenhagen, the only dealer around these Waters, as far as I know, have moved the very nice Lotus dealer-floor to a back street house, and on first floor.

This have made Lotus cars and name invisible to everyone passing by. Berfore, a lot of people stopped by and took a look at Lotus's nice cars. Especially when there was lexus, Porsche and Lamborghini's next door.

Now, there's no exposition, no signs, na smart sportscars to look at. Just boring VW's that you can buy anywhere.

 

Before people could pass by and press their nose flat and get the "insane" idea that they could buy an elise instead of a superboring BMW. Now, there's no longer this settleing of the Lotus' idea in peoples mind.

That is not exactly what I think is good marketing.

Tragic.

 

Cheers,

Jacques.

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Great description of reality and the issue DRB has to address.

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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While I don't know what's going on with Lotus at all, I can say that in Copenhagen, the only dealer around these Waters, as far as I know, have moved the very nice Lotus dealer-floor to a back street house, and on first floor.

 

The dealership has been sold and is relocating, hence the move. It's only temporary :)

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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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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Gives the owner a burning sensation  :huh:

 

Ein%20Porsche%20hat%20Feuer%20gefangen.j

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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