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Lotus Driving Academy closed today..... - Lotus / Motoring / Cars Chat - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Lotus Driving Academy closed today.....


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Any successful business is all about a balance of skills wedded to strong leadership and a clearly articulated vision that customers and employees alike can identify with. Lotus have evidently go

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Roly's workshop is gone too, along with motorsport... 

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

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Very sad day. Had many great days up there with the Academy, including one with you Richard. It was a first class operation.

Surely this is very short sighted too? It must have been a great form of testing for the company. Proper torture testing for all the components for a number of production cars too, not just one test mule - exactly what Lotus needs.

I seriously hope they re-consider this. Looks more and more like the accountants have taken over the place.

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Jonny, we sold a lot of cars for dealers and showed potential customers what Lotus DNA was all about.  Sadly it has gone downhill which is very sad.

I interviewed Al McQueen, Chief Instructor and test driver at Lotus for over 40 years for the American Lotus Remarque magazine a month ago.  He started the academy in 1999, he said it was the proudest moment of his career.......a lot of good people......instructors, coordinators, technicians put there heart and souls into running those events but it seems that 'the cars sell themselves'..........

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Alistair is amazing, and loud! We'd be very glad to publish that interview on here Richard to a very large audience, I'm sure it would be very well received. 

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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

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  • Gold FFM

Another head-scratching decision at Lotus, presumably in the interest of saving money by, erm.... alienating clients new and old?

This also seems to have killed off factory tours for the time being, which is ludicrous because that was a great way of getting some good brand PR going at basically zero cost to the company.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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6 minutes ago, JayEmm said:

in the interest of saving money

How? They are all profit centres?

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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  • Gold FFM

'Twas said with a heavy dose of sarcasm... I struggle to fathom any decent business case for the closure of a revenue stream. I can only imagine they've decided they can get a bit of cash by selling off assets in the short term but that's going to kill them long term. 

It seems like trying to lose weight by draining the blood from your body

James Martin (JayEmm)
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He's closing them, not selling them. Motorsport, for example had made the company money for the past 17 years, without fail.

Not a good decision. None of them.

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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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  • Gold FFM

The assets are being flogged though aren't they? I expect all those incredibly expensive Cosworth Evora engines going cheap on Motorsport Auctions didn't come from nowhere.

The driving academy owned a few cars, or at least used a few, I expect those will be sold off to someone that's going to put them to better use.

I am very sad to see the direction the company is going in. Even if these things only ever broke even they were still very valuable things in PR terms. 

The dealers have had their incentives taken away, at least one dealer doesn't want to register a demo car now because they will have to take the hit on it. Sad times.

James Martin (JayEmm)
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Just now, JayEmm said:

at least one dealer doesn't want to register a demo car now because they will have to take the hit on it.

I'd think that's more to do with the financial marketing support they used to receive from the factory for demos. Lotus are taking cost saving far too far.

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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  • Gold FFM

That's what I meant -  they used to get a bung or discount or whatever when they registered a demo. I even had the same dealer tell me "it's fine because people buying a Lotus don't need to drive it before they buy it"

 Er....

James Martin (JayEmm)
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I was just at the Academy in August, doing the Licence Level 1. It was one of the most amazing days I have had since becoming a Lotus owner 17 years ago. I met some great people, learned a ton during my short runs in the 220 Cup, loved the factory tour seeing the same facility where my 86 Esprit was built... What can I say? As an American fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to go right before it closed, I will say it was a fantastic experience. I am sorry to see it go.

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  • Gold FFM

Why is the PR from Lotus so poor around a decision like this that clearly has a big impact on their image and reputation?

It beggars belief. You would have thought that JMG or one of the senior team would have made an advance announcement, in an effort to explain why this decision was taken. You would expect that along with the motorsport division the Academy would have been treated as an integral part of their innovation and customer engagement efforts.

It seems very shortsighted and I am sure that they will live to regret this. Especially if the Academy was effectively covering its own costs, which presumably it was?

 

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  • Gold FFM

What??? This absolutely beggars belief....... Christ - keep and eye out for skips being delivered - what on earth will they be chucking away next

Only here once

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My money's on desperate pre-sale cost cutting. Otherwise JMG's shrinking Lotus down to small indie size and giving up on the whole idea of larger scale production.

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54 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

What??? This absolutely beggars belief....... Christ - keep and eye out for skips being delivered - what on earth will they be chucking away next

Might be a good time to become a bin man if that is the case ! 

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Doing the driving academy made me start to look seriously at an Elise. Had I had the money I would have one. 

Seems a stupid decision along with the closure of the motorsport dept.

Track and motorsports are at the heart of Lotus road cars so why close? Especially if making money or even nearly breaking even?

 

Buddsy

 

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Strange decision... in particular as they own the track ... which usually is one of the biggest expenses for events like that ... 

I hope the accountants havent taken over, else there will be more strange stuff happening to our beloved cars ...

 

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Are these closures temporary as the infrastructure etc is still in place? It does seem odd if the various departments were paying their own way plus some.

O rang the Academy asking where I had to turn up to have a go, and they said I ad to do it in the UK. I thought that was a bit harsh seeing as I live in Australia. :P 

You would think these sort of closures would have to have some sort of approval and not just be the thoughts of one person aka JMG?

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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