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Evora Sport 410


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It would only take one phone call to Lotus to find out but I see no reason why not. I am sure if they knew it would make them a sale they wouldn't have a problem with it. In terms of the "routine" maintenance, there isn't any particularly scary about the car as far as I know. The major job that scares everyone is the clutch but when you're talking about new cars I can't see the clutch getting worn during the warranty period (and it's a consumable anyway).

Lotus don't have the world's greatest dealer network, but they are expanding. It's something of a chicken and an egg situation. No-one's going to want to open a dealership if they don't expect to have any customers.

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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4 hours ago, C8RKH said:

It's all spotty wee shits with Apples and crass ideas and shite execution in the most part these days. 

Scarily accurate!

Hard to find the time to come up with ideas when you spend all day preening your beard I guess.

:ermm:

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I'm not sure about the comments regarding Lotus quality getting better every year. If I'm being honest, and I know this won't be a popular comment, my 400 ownership experience has killed my desire to ever own another. I've just picked up another large three year contract that will doubtless see me put something interesting in the garage again come the summer but I think I'll go elsewhere, which is a shame as I had intended to go 410.

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Seeing as Colin and myself have cars of similar vintages, I can see where he's coming from. This is the thing Lotus need to realise, but they won't. They have a reputation for being shoddily built and unreliable. You can only fix those prejudices by making major efforts towards improving things. Throwing cars out the door which have not been properly tested or assembled does not help anyone. Ever.

Yes yes yes we all know the Germans made some engines that caught fire. But when it comes to sales, facts rarely get in the way of perceived opinions.

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Sad to read this. Things like the gearchange have unquestionably been improved but the fear was always that the cost cutting would start to show at some point. In terms of things that should matter to people (but rarely do), like the quality of the suspension components, the Evora is far ahead of cars like the Porsche Cayman. But the experience James has had makes for very uncomfortable reading. I too would have my confidence in Lotus severely shaken if I'd had the same experience. My goodwill towards Lotus, despite the many thousands of absorbing, trouble-free miles, is not bottomless. I don't know the details of yours Colin but my advice to would be to give them one more chance. The likes of the Sport 410 won't be around for too long by the sound of things. Even Aston Martin sadly have moved over to electric steering with the DB11, Lord knows why, cost saving by using Merc parts I imagine. I would also like to think the Sport 410 is closer to the sort of car that Lotus do well. At least drive one if you can. I have found that previous attempts to 'move on' from Lotus have not been successful. After a Ferrari F355, TVR Sagaris, TVR Tuscan 2S and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage it's hard to describe how good it felt to get back into an Elise. With 189bhp it was by no means the fastest or best sounding. The build quality and attention to detail on the Aston was absolutely stunning but the Elise was the most enjoyable car to drive out of all of them and by some way too.

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15 hours ago, The Pits said:

Lotus would be transformed with 5% of the sales Porsche achieve in the UK. It's not about taking big chunks of market share, Lotus couldn't meet that sort of demand anyway, it's about nibbling away at the margins. Slow, steady in-roads would do just fine for Lotus at the moment.

TVR made serious in-roads among the City types in the 1990's. This co-incided with a rare moment of Porsche falling out of fashion in the city due to the association with the 'yuppie' image, a Porsche briefly became a rather embarassing thing to be seen in. City types flocked to TVR in droves but of course the reliability issues made them flock back to BMW and Porsche again in pretty short order but TVR sold enough Chimaeras to fund several new cars and a range of their own engines. I actually think most city dwellers consider a Porsche to be somewhat discreet compared to a Ferrari and will buy one to blend in around London rather than stand out. It's a nice, fast Golf for many. Being so ubiquitous and filling the streets with SUVs would normally have a corrosive effect on what used to be a dedicated sports car brand. Yet the believers keep believing that they still make great sports cars, compulsory EPAS, PDK or otherwise. They have to find homes for over 220,000 cars every year currently, a vast number so they are actually deeply insecure about keeping the gravy train rolling. Hence the heavy handed dealings with the media and their current approach to sales which is starting to attract some criticism online and elsewhere. Lotus is well placed to offer an alternative as Porsche have to chase the mainstream with occasional, low volume, unobtanium models to sure up interest among the car journalists and fast car enthusiasts.

One of the ways Porsche built their brand in the US was with terrific print advertising. Consistently good with clean, disciplined design and smart copy they repositioned Porsche from an 80s yuppie stereotype back to being the only choice for the serious driver. The car for real car guys. Exactly the sort of positioning that Lotus can now more credibly own, now that Porsche are now effectively an SUV maker which also makes sports cars. They didn't do it by producing work that visibly targeted the guy who worked in finance. They aimed for the well informed, the opinion leaders. The real car guys. The guys who know. The few that knew the difference!

I'll post a few old US Porsche ads up when I get the chance, don't confuse them with the nice looking dross that Porsche fill UK car mags with now. Many still stand up well today. However if this discussion keeps going much longer I think we should move the whole lot over to 'Lotus Advertising'.

 

 

Not sure I agree with you on this. As I said earlier, DB was spot on with how to build a brand to this persona. Everyone derided him for it. Much as everyone can kick him for how he ran the car company, he is truly an exceptional marketer IMOP. 

At anything above 60k its partly about the product itself (unique standouts) and the rest is entirely emotional; individualism, status, prestige, heritage. 

The reason TVR bit a little into this was they offered individualism and a product design that was bolder and more extreme. Again, it said "look at me." 

Its not about print-ads. These individuals waltz right past them if at all, since they are online. That would be a complete waste of money if this were the target audience. Print would get to the existing enthusiasts though.

There are several attributes to marketing to this sector; its mostly all emotional. In this case its about being metaphorically James Bond, its looking cool within a heavily influenced celebrity culture that we live in today, its about brand tie-in and the other items they desire, its being associated with the things this persona does at the weekend or when he/she is impressing their friends like going to watch the tennis.  Jaguar for instance gave away F-types to Benedict Cumberbatch, Jose Mourinho and David Beckham. Porsche connects closely with Pro Tennis. BMW does Golf. 

Another set of people who got it at Lotus were Julian Thompson and Richard Rackham. Think about the peak of Elise sales in 97/98, - Lotus was extending beyond its reach. Julian thought of the Elise as being for someone who "wore a nice wrist watch", "Its a toy for the weekend." Or in Richards case he said "its like a beautiful women.." when he was referring to the engineering beauty of a Ducati." They got it. They understood their audience.

Donovan McLauchlan did the same with the Lotus Esprit in the 70's.

Most of the movement from brand A to B is as I said today is selecting a Tesla; a 5m long car with mega performance and again says "I've made it."

Good marketing, like PR, is really hard and complex and cannot just be bought. 

Just my 2 cents to support my profession.

 

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There is a lot more to marketing cars than just shallow, hollow celebrity association thank goodness. Most people rightly cringed when Land Rover consulted Victoria Beckham with the Evoque. They would have done just as well without her simply because the car looks amazing and it represents something that people want. How did Land Rover become so desirable? By making the cars genuinely good off road. Wealthy country types bought them to go shooting with and for horsey events and that is how they got the upmarket association, not by giving any away to celebrities. Their brand is built on substance even if aspiring snobs are attracted to them now. The latest Range Rover is more like a Bentley than a Land Rover but it is still capable off-road and can still tow a Jumbo Jet.

Porsche and VW built their brands in the US based on substance. The ads were about the cars, no who drives them. The ads contained compelling facts about the cars. The Beetle and the 911 were seen by many as quirky and old hat for many years. Their press campaigns relentless pushed quality. That message got through and is still with them today, even when their GT3 engines catch fire, even when VW are caught with their pants down. People still believe because the cars were able to back up the claims - not because Brian May and some obscure Rapper was at a press launch.

Product placement has a role for sure and has been very good for Lotus but VW didn't build their whole marketing campaign on the Herbie films. You can't build something lasting on hollow foundations.

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Ref Colin's and Jay-Emm's posts re quality, the last couple of reviews I've read (on the 380 for certain and I think the 410) have made an issue of how much better the quality of the interior and in general has been than the reviewer's expectations and previous experience, so I don't know if things may be changing for the better. I also noted in the last interview with JG comments that it was unacceptable for example to have creaking noises from the dash. Obviously words are easy to say and harder to back up.

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I don't really trust any reviewer who tells me that the quality of the 410 is better. The 400 doesn't appear to be badly put together, certainly not on initial inspection.

The actual cars are thrown down the same assembly line as every other Evora, they have a fair bit of work to do in my eyes to convince me they're actually improving quality. All I see is costs being slashed left right and centre.

How long is it before they suddenly decide they can afford to use a cheaper manufacturer for their suspension bits? The Exige 380 already moved to Nitron although there is debate as to whether that's a cost thing or not (I bet it is)

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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I can only speak for where I live, but here in the USA, Lotus will need to get creative to compete.  Dealer network here is spotty and many of the dealers are just taking orders for the Evora and have nothing in stock to see or test.  Lotus need to generate on-line interest, figure out thru email lists or other means where it would make sense to bring a car, and have events where people can see and drive the car.  Along with that, they need a brochure to talk about elevated levels of mechanical reliability and ease of servicing.  People need to see that Lotus exists and that the cars they make now are not the cars of old which had a reputation for poor quality and bare bones interiors only the true believers could tolerate.

The sports car market in the US is static.  The Chevy sells 20,000-30,000 Vettes per annum, in the same period Porsche sells around 6,000 911s and everyone else sells 2,000 units per year at best.  Lotus will have to sell cars  by taking sales from someone else and Lotus will at some point have to convince people who know little about their brand to give them a try.  That means that Lotus has to make the car available to people in areas with a large percentage of potential buyers.  With the internet, buying a car 100s or miles away is no big deal.  But expecting people to travel hundreds of miles just to see and test drive a car is a BIG ask.

 

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All car makers do a balancing act on parts versus cost.  The stakes are just higher for Lotus as the company probably has to stay profitable these days.  I doubt Proton will be writing any checks for shortfalls at this point.  The really tough act is that Lotus is cutting costs while, at the same time, moving their cars upmarket.   

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When I had been thinking about buying an Evora the dealer offered a test drive, made an appointment and brought the car to my office within the city. I than test drove the car (with him explaining the car), we also made a stop a the (different ot his enterprise) Lotus Service point near Munich. There a liitle chat with the guys from the service point and seeing their impressive workshop with a lot of special cars surely helped. That style of presenting the car helped a lot - oh and the test was in winter with snow  tires, ordered same day. THAT whole experience was very nice! But , as often said, you have people knowing the car.......

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Willi, your experience reminds me of a thread from a while ago.

There was a guy trying to help find a car for his Dad, the Dad wanted a Jaguar, but his son was trying to persuade him to buy a BMW. I can't recall the exact two but the BMW was nicer, better priced, better performance, better spec - on paper clearly a much better car and I believe had better reviews too.

Anyway, fella got his Dad to phone BMW, they couldn't organise a test drive for a while, it would only be half an hour, etc etc....

Phoned up Jaguar, went in the next day, given the car for 24 hours "Don't worry about filling it up sir"... Which one do you think he bought?

 

Sure a Lotus is a "sports" car, but so is a 911. It is hard for some of us to comprehend but there's a lot of people who buy cars based on anything BUT the driving experience. Granted, not your average Lotus customer.. but if they're a potential customer...

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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1 hour ago, JayEmm said:

The Exige 380 already moved to Nitron although there is debate as to whether that's a cost thing or not (I bet it is)

They're still bilstein and eibach on the 380 with a nitron 2 way option. Which I think was as before? Can only see the soft furnishings changing whereas the hardware (gear change assembly, rear clam) being invested in.

 

Black n gold

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@JayEmmI had a similar experience with the Jaguar F Type. I had both a V6 S and a standard V6, each for 24 hour test drive. In fact, I drove the V6S over to the Porsche garage in Tonbridge to test the Cayman S and after the 15 minute test drive in the Porker (when I'd already decided the car wasn't for me) I made a point of telling the salesman that the Jag was actually a  test drive and didn't have to go back till the following morning. The only amazing thing, is that after the two extended test drives, Jaguar didn't make any effort to follow up, and I had to call them after a week or two to ask a few questions.

@Colin G Sadly, I can not see myself buying a new Lotus as things stand. If I chop in the Evora for another Lotus, it will likely be for another used car, regardless of my budget.

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5 hours ago, JayEmm said:

Seeing as Colin and myself have cars of similar vintages, I can see where he's coming from. This is the thing Lotus need to realise, but they won't. They have a reputation for being shoddily built and unreliable. You can only fix those prejudices by making major efforts towards improving things. Throwing cars out the door which have not been properly tested or assembled does not help anyone. Ever.

Yes yes yes we all know the Germans made some engines that caught fire. But when it comes to sales, facts rarely get in the way of perceived opinions.

Yes @JayEmm I am sure quality is one aspect that Lotus need to get right. But for once, please cut some slack as other manufacturers take revenue in a week what Lotus takes in a year, and yes, that does include Porsche.  On the one hand the complaint is the cars getting too expensive, on the other, quality not good enough. Well here's a novel idea. Stop whinging about the price and let Lotus build its revenue base, then watch the quality improve.  Or, put up with the quality (you were waiting for this I know, as let's face it their internal combustion engines do not self combust!) and shout about the value.  In life, you cannot have quality and cheap. It just does not usually work that way.

If the 400 was built by Porsche, spec for spec, it would be a £86 - £95k car. Most likely £95 - £110k when the correct options that are needed are added.

If the 400 was an Aston, it would be a £100 - £130k car.  (The vantage is a £102 - £151k car)

If the 400 was a Bentley, it would be a £110 - £130k car most likely  (the GT, the next car up, is currently £142 - £152k).

The 400 is a £67 - £75k car (based on what people pay).  That extra on average £30k to £80k will for sure buy you a whole lot more quality. I'd argue that in most cases the Lotus would be the better drive, and would be at least as reliable (with the possible exception of the Bentley).  I've heard loads of grumbles, niggles, and massive faults on 911's and Vantages and many instances where the manufacturer have totally washed their hands. We've seen Lotus do better. The might not get it right first time, but they don't wash their hands. Do they?

I'm a fan boy. But, here's my big point. The Evora is fantastic value for money. It is handmade. Ergo, shit can happen.  Spend more, shit may or may not happen. The only difference being when the shit does happen it will smell of roses and you will have quilted Andrex to get rid of it (unless you get the Porsche and you'll be left to find a stick and well, er, poke about a bit and sort yourself out).

Funny, spoke to a Cayman GTS owner today. Loves his car. Had in on order for ages. When the day came to get it, his Porsche dealer called him to say ooops, sorry, slight problem, you're car not arrived and will be months. However, got this nice Cayman GTS in stock. Just take it, pay us for the extras (oh, yes, sorry we did we forget to tell you it was fully optioned and not the colour wanted inside or out). What they did not tell him, was that they were down on the sales numbers, where going to miss out on their dealer bonus, they were under pressure to get rid of their stock cars as the manufacturer wanted to send the next batch as the accountants where chasing those numbers, number, numbers.  Great service, yes?

The other thing is, and we have spoken about this to death, is that people will buy a Porsche just because it is a Porsche and they know their neighbours, colleagues and golf buddies will be impressed. It has absolutely nothing to do with how it drives, reliability, it goes etc. It is just because it is perceived to be a brand that you need to have. Like a Burberry trench coat or a Louis Vuitton handbag or a Rolex watch.  Lotus is not yet in that "must have" at all costs territory.

So in summary, I think the Evora is cracking value. Sure is a shame to lose you guys to another brand. That's your choice and I respect it. So long. Have fun. See you on he road sometime.

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Now imagine my situation.  I'm in the Washington, DC area.  The closest dealers are either in Princeton, NJ or Pittsburgh.  Both about 3 hours away.  I never get to Pittsburgh.  From what I can tell on the Princeton dealer's webpage, there are no Evora 400s to see, let alone drive.  They are just taking orders.  I get to Boston several times a year and so far as I can tell from their website, they are only taking orders as well.

Fortunately, I'm pretty happy with my car and willing to wait for supply and availability to increase.  If I were in more of a car buying mood, I would have moved on by now.

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I'm looking to buy a house near Hethel, The other end of the country to where I am now. I'm a committed fanboy!  :sofa:

Might even let the wife move with me.   lol......

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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I also add that the famed Porsche residuals are nowhere near as good as the press shout about. I've owned two. I am OCD with my cars and both were  concourse when it came to trade-in time. They were Silver with black interiors, all the right options - in other words spec'ed for very easy resale and I was seriously punished on residuals. One time, I found one of the mechanics screw drivers left under the front bonnet strapped under the trim. 

As @C8RKH said above, in my 18 years of Lotus ownership the experience has always been cushioned by Andrex. What can I say, I don't like a sore bum :-)

 

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  • Gold FFM

Let's remember - all cars are handmade...... 

its the volume that changes the nature of the hand made.

I for one reckon you pays for exclusivity - the lotus range is unique, sublime and full of heritage. A bit morganesque if you like. It has its short comings - but you buy one on balance. 

You buy a Porsche cos your a prick and more concerned about having a better car than next door :sofa:

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Only here once

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16 hours ago, Ccd said:

IThe ad campaign doesn't matter if people cannot see the car in the flesh and take test drives  

@Ccd It is your second point that I think is absolutely key for Lotus in selling the 410.

Lotus presumably want to find people who have a particular interest and desire to buy this type of car. If so they need to focus on new customer prospects who are into performance cars and want something a little different from the mass produced stuff mainly coming from German manufacturers. They need to make the cars as accessible as possible to these prospective buyers and accept the need for test drives to demonstrate the unique driving experience. This approach would gradually help to get the brand awareness up and slowly dispel the myths about poor reliability and build quality.

If they have 150 x 410s to sell this coming year they will need to make a far better effort than is evident so far to attract this prospective buyer target audience. They will also need to have some cars available at the bigger dealers for test drives. Much of the marketing could be via petrolhead oriented social media and I don't believe it will cost them a heap of money. Some less muddled thinking about product placement & pricing across the whole Lotus range would not go amiss either.

@The PitsJonny's detailed marketing synopsis on various threads would be a very good start! 

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3 hours ago, Ccd said:

Now imagine my situation.  I'm in the Washington, DC area.  The closest dealers are either in Princeton, NJ or Pittsburgh.  Both about 3 hours away.  I never get to Pittsburgh.  From what I can tell on the Princeton dealer's webpage, there are no Evora 400s to see, let alone drive.  They are just taking orders.  I get to Boston several times a year and so far as I can tell from their website, they are only taking orders as well.

Fortunately, I'm pretty happy with my car and willing to wait for supply and availability to increase.  If I were in more of a car buying mood, I would have moved on by now.

The New Jersey dealer is advertising 2 stock cars. There was also a really nice one in the NY dealer a few weeks back. 

I only know this because my brother is living in DC currently and brought one of his American counterparts to see my 400 when they were in the UK. He currently runs an N/A S1 and it us fair to say was blown away by the 400, but did not think there were any in the US (hence the searching). 

I know he has had warranty work done on his N/A, and it didn't sound like he had to travel huge distances to get it done. I can get my brother to ask him what he does about servicing etc if it will help.

Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

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1 hour ago, pickle said:

Has anyone driven, viewed or collected a 410 this weekend that we can talk about? 

Hi Pickle - yes but not far as am waiting for 1st service on Monday and don't want to push the miles until it is done. It's sat just looking pretty for now but will write some more thoughts and get some pics next week ?

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