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Lotus joint venture reported by autonews .europe


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Anyone seen this?

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150417/ANE/150419885?template=mobile02&X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

Could this be the relationship that allows Lotus to build a saloon or SUV? Wouldn't be a fan of the SUV unless it was essential to secure Lotus' future.

Mention of building engines doesn't seem quite right either as Jmg had said they wouldn't go down that route

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It might come in quite handy for towing a 3-eleven to the track

A JV in China to reduce import tariffs for selling cars is a well worn track and could make sense for Lotus. The bit about selling engines doesn't really add up. The issue to be very careful of with Chinese JVs is that once they learn everything from you you get dumped. Classic case of this was Hitachi high speed trains with their Chinese JV. All the IP was opened to the Chinese JV and they promptly built their own trains leaving Hitachi with nothing.

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I doubt Lotus' current range are going to be big sellers in China, and while in industry terms the investment isn't massive - it does suggest they have more ambitious plans than only assembling a relatively small number of sportscars.

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I guess Lotus needs to risk the Ip issue, but they also need to make sure they keep full control of the brand. They made mistakes with that in the past...

Just spotted this autoexpress article with comment from Jmg. It states that existing Lotus cars will be exclusive to Hethel: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/lotus/91205/new-lotus-cars-to-be-built-and-sold-in-china

Edited by Gus82
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I expect to see some protons built and sold with a logo vaguely similar to the roundel and baring the Lotus moniker before soon.

Not different from the deal they had with Youngman  so expect an "engineered by Lotus" logo on cars looking vaguely like models sold in Malaysia.

 

It's a sad thing IMO, Goldstar is a coachbus manufacturer so this J.V is about money for Proton... I hope there's money for Lotus there. The funny or sad thing is Goldstar and Proton already had a J.V which did not end well from 2002 to 2008. With Goldstar suing Lotus and losing in court: http://www.chinesecars.net/content/goldstar-versus-proton

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http://www.malaysia1news.my/portal/video/11365

 

They expect to be building 30,000 cars! Keep an eye out for Autocar next week too :)

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So 30,000 cars would be produced in China bearing the Lotus moniker but they won't be Elevens, Elises, Evoras or Exiges which are exclusive to Hethel according to last week press release, so I'm guessing-hoping JMG convinced DRB to produce the  APX SUV-Crossover (from Proton previous joint venture in China with Youngman)  and that it will be built in China at Goldstar factory. Here's hoping that Hethel HQ will be able to maintain the build quality seen on the Evora 400 in that factory. 

 

Youngman had pretty much brought the APX concept to preproduction level so I wonder how much IP Proton was able to keep as the car was shown as the Proton MSX in 2009 and again in 2011 and how much Lotus was able to keep too. I wonder what JMG really thinks about that deal.

Edited by NedaSay
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by Steve Cropley

28 April 2015
 
A revolutionary Lotus five-door crossover is being developed at top speed at the company’s Hethel design studios.
 
It is described by CEO Jean-Marc Gales as “a real Lotus” and “the world’s first lightweight SUV” and will be made in an all-new Lotus factory in south-east China.
 
The new car is tipped for production in 2019 and is very likely to become the best-selling model in Lotus’s 67-year history.
 
However, Gales is clear that Hethel will remain Lotus’s management and design hub and continue as the manufacturing centre for its three-tier sports car range. Sales of improved Elise, Exige and Evora models expanded by 55% to just over 2000 last year and are tipped to beat 3000 this year.   
 
The crossover is the first fruit of a three-way joint venture between Lotus, its Malaysian owner Proton and Goldstar Heavy Industrial, a Chinese engineering and trading company.
 
The aim is to take advantage of exploding SUV demand in China, especially in the C-segment, where sales recently topped three million. Porsche’s Macan is selling at a rate of around 30,000 units a year in China and is tipped to reach 50,000 in a couple of years.
 
The launch of the new Lotus SUV represents the third phase of Gales’s ambitious but believable development plan revealed about a year ago.

 

 

 

Read the rest here: Autocar Report.

 

lotus-suv-yd-2015-005.jpg?itok=gaG4Eurb

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I'll put my hand up and say that I would be quite interested in one.

 

Chris

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That is exactly how they should launch it - stylised trailer and lotus track car behind it. A version with rally car cues could potentially look great too!

I'm glad they are talking about something relatively compact, low slung, light and distinctive. Jmg has done well so far so I'm going to trust that he produces a car worthy of the Lotus badge. At least they aren't rushing it!

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After satisfying initial demand in China, Lotus will consider launching the model in Europe and Japan, where design and safety legislation is relatively similar to China’s.

 

US sales would be a more difficult proposition, Gales says, because of the modifications needed. 

 

 

 

No global homologation!!! Huge cock up if they don't figure out a way to get this car stateside. If they plan on selling the car in big numbers 7000+ cars per annum, the investment to make the US version will pay for itself.  California, Houston and the east coast big markets would easily absorb this car. 

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