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At least this time Lotus are for sale as a potentially profitable concern rather than a hot potato. Fingers crossed for JLR, Toyota or someone that can keep the brand going, I wonder if this might kill the 4x4 plans .....

Edited by j2 lot

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http://paultan.org/2016/09/23/proton-psa-confirms-partnership-interest-suzuki-renault-also-eye-deal-lotus-could-be-sold-report/

Very well placed source Paultan take on this.

I only see 2 global carmakers that would be good picks for Lotus, first one is Toyota because of their ongoing relationship which is very good and Lotus could use the Toyota-Lexus parts bin. The second one is Ford because they have everything Lotus needs and a lot of it is made in the UK and they could activate the Cosworth connection.... The ecoboost 2.7l V6 would make for a very nice engine in the Evora and a Cosworth tuned 2L ecoboost would probably rock the exige replacement and  the 1.8 from the Fiesta ST would work well in the next Elise as is. The question being what would be in it for them. 

A good solution would be the Aston Martin type tie up, a pure financial player, an automotive first tier engineering supplier and an OEM providing tech and buying some equity but with limited exposure. 

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2 hours ago, NedaSay said:

 

A good solution would be the Aston Martin type tie up, a pure financial player, an automotive first tier engineering supplier and an OEM providing tech and buying some equity but with limited exposure. 

Not sure about that. Aston needs to manage its cash very tightly and both companies need as much as they can get their hands on for their product roadmaps. There are some aspects eg.'the annual specials' that tie back to Dany's strategy in what Aston are doing. Those limited projects like the GTE are super profitable and help build up the cash for product development.

The current focus on profitability is all very well but its not meaningful for a car company unless it also has sufficient cash also going into a next gen product portfolio. Those are the economics of a car company - you have to always have a pool of funds delivering your future on a 6-8 year cycle. And part of the reason Lotus is so cash strapped is that each time a new leader comes in, they think they know better or have a different set of goals given to them and terminate at huge expense what the last guy was working on. 

I vote Toyota. The UK needs to be at the forefront of electric drivetrain. Many of the Tesla genes started in the backrooms of Hethel. 

Look at Volvo and JLR, they are flourishing outside of Ford under Chinese and Indian ownership. Although JLR still has a bit of Jeremy Corbyn 70's left in them called the Customer Services Department and they will come back to hurt them in the next 5 years.

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Toyota would be THE match for Lotus. It could certainly help the dealer issue if every main Lexus agent became a Lotus one too...

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

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Toyota would be my first choice too, IF they purchased Lotus completely. Any situation that involves a financial player such as Aston has can be unstable as they'll want big profits in return or to be able to sell at some point to get something back for their investment. Lotus can be profitable but maybe not at the level required for such a solution to work.

Can I make the case for PSA given there are suggestions they could be the most likely suitor?

Carlos Tavares has turned PSA around from a huge debt situation in a relatively short space of time. He is a hard headed business man first and foremost, reducing head count at PSA and rationalising product plans. He is also a car enthusiast who is into club sport racing and championed the relaunch of Alpine before he left Renault, with the idea of a group of lightweight sportscars, supported by an SUV. He is interested in expanding PSA more globally, including finding ways of getting back into the North American market with niche projects. As well as making more profits the cars produced by PSA have subtly improved during his watch.

Is it just me or does that not sound a lot like what JMG has done at Lotus? I would be very surprised if JMG wasn't consulted in relation to whatever proposals were sent by Proton to his former employer.

I hope Lotus is not stuck with the Goldstar deal. JMG's soundbites about the SUV vary from him being very excited to him saying it may be a China only "opportunity". PSA's EMP2 platform could provide some componentry and tried and trusted production facilities to produce any passenger Lotus vehicle that is essential to the companies future, and also the option of petrol or electric drivetrains by the end of the decade. An electric Lotus to rival Porsche's production Mission E could sell well in North American markets such as California and parts of Europe. Or rather than a full SUV how about a compact family hatch back with rally car inspired styling (PSA own the Sunbeam name still don't they?) priced about £35K? This platform would still need a lot of Lotus-ification such as composite panels to reduce weight and expensive components to improve steering feel etc.

Most importantly I think Carlos Tavares and JMG would share a very similar vision for Lotus, so its less likely there would be any major upheavals at a time when things are going well. 

Edited by Gus82

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As much as JMG quotes him, I am not entirely sure he "gets" Colin's aim for the company, which was to move upmarket. He seems to be on a mission to cheapen the cars under the guise of "lightness" but I am not sure it is a policy that can be made to work long-term.

Whenever I speak with the factory something else has closed down or been cut back, there's not much left there.

I fully understand the need to "do what's necessary" in order to keep the doors open, but sometimes I worry that they're strangling themselves to save on the oxygen bill


James Martin (JayEmm)
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Much as many deride Danny B, he was right on the money. The only model for low volume car companies is to focus on the higher value part of the market and maximise profitability. Mclaren has done this extremely well from nothing in just the past several years (F1 aside.) Aston get it, Bentley get it. 

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You're quite right. If only he'd focused on getting an Esprit out, rather than this huge grand plan of his... oh well.

Another thing I have noticed with the Lotus portfolio is that it is very narrow - an Elise starts at 30K and the Evora (more or less) tops out at 80K. In fact, in a showroom you could have an Elise at 55K sitting next to an Evora 400 at 70K - that's a very narrow line.

For the Lotus enthusiast who, say, owns an Evora but wants something "more" they have no choice but to go to McLaren. And let's face it, McLaren's whole range is really one car remodelled, but they do an excellent job of it and have cars from 140k to £2m


James Martin (JayEmm)
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Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Talking of McLaren, Apple were linked with an investment in the company.  I hope they don't turn to Lotus instead, I would hate any new models to start with "i" instead of E.

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Guys I said an Aston Martin type tie up not AM buying Lotus! AM is owned in part by Prestige Motor Holdings (39%) Asmar (19%) Primewagon (Jersey) Ltd (19%) Adeem Investments (11%) Daimler (5%) DAR Capital (5%) Sthewaz Automotive (2%) Other Minor Shareholders (10%)  So various parties, a few of them based in Jersey. In that group of Shareholders you do find , two pure financial players:  DAR and ADEEM.  Investindustrial bought two years ago a significant share in the company brought equity and technical connections, and an OEM (Mercedes) and Dave Richards owner Prodrive and Chairman of Aston Martin (via Prestige Motor Holdings) organized the whole thing.

As a result Aston is a very properly funded company with a clear plan and no cash flow shortage, the exposure of the various shareholders is limited and various gentlemen agreement do guarantee a peaceful environment for the CEO provided he stirs the company toward new heights, and looking at the business plan I  would say that this is underway.

I do think Lotus needs to emulate that, I think they can count on Toyota. But I don't know if Toyota would agree to buy them outright and shoulder the cost of all upcoming products alone. They probably need a pure financial player strong enough to poney up some cash, Toyota Group and its affiliates (Aisin, Tokai Rika, Denso...) could land a hand. Lotus could use Lexus parts bin and focus on getting the design and engineering just right. 

Mark mentioned JLR which is owned by TATA, I have to point that they are not owned by TATA Motors but by TATA Group which is one of the biggest conglomerate there is, with its own industrial, financial and technology divisions  all helping JLR at this point. 

The other question is how much is the company worth especially now that it is profitable again?

 

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13 hours ago, Gus82 said:

Toyota would be my first choice too, IF they purchased Lotus completely. Any situation that involves a financial player such as Aston has can be unstable as they'll want big profits in return or to be able to sell at some point to get something back for their investment. Lotus can be profitable but maybe not at the level required for such a solution to work.

Can I make the case for PSA given there are suggestions they could be the most likely suitor?

Carlos Tavares has turned PSA around from a huge debt situation in a relatively short space of time. He is a hard headed business man first and foremost, reducing head count at PSA and rationalising product plans. He is also a car enthusiast who is into club sport racing and championed the relaunch of Alpine before he left Renault, with the idea of a group of lightweight sportscars, supported by an SUV. He is interested in expanding PSA more globally, including finding ways of getting back into the North American market with niche projects. As well as making more profits the cars produced by PSA have subtly improved during his watch.

Is it just me or does that not sound a lot like what JMG has done at Lotus? I would be very surprised if JMG wasn't consulted in relation to whatever proposals were sent by Proton to his former employer.

I hope Lotus is not stuck with the Goldstar deal. JMG's soundbites about the SUV vary from him being very excited to him saying it may be a China only "opportunity". PSA's EMP2 platform could provide some componentry and tried and trusted production facilities to produce any passenger Lotus vehicle that is essential to the companies future, and also the option of petrol or electric drivetrains by the end of the decade. An electric Lotus to rival Porsche's production Mission E could sell well in North American markets such as California and parts of Europe. Or rather than a full SUV how about a compact family hatch back with rally car inspired styling (PSA own the Sunbeam name still don't they?) priced about £35K? This platform would still need a lot of Lotus-ification such as composite panels to reduce weight and expensive components to improve steering feel etc.

Most importantly I think Carlos Tavares and JMG would share a very similar vision for Lotus, so its less likely there would be any major upheavals at a time when things are going well. 

The only thing with Peugeot is that as of this moment they don't have much in terms of usable engine tech other than diesel tech. They use BMW designed 1.6 THP on all their sports cars. And it is not like Peugeot is a super strong player right now, they are actually kind of weak and are rebuilding. Tavares was the successor of JMG at PSA Group They did not work together as JMG was already at CLEPA by the time Tavares got the top job at Peugeot. I don't know if Peugeot would be interested in Taking on Lotus. I can see them buying Proton to get a bigger footprint in the ASEAN market.

 

Just come to think of it there's a "smaller" Japanese company that would suit Lotus needs quite well Honda. They have everything Lotus needs ;they produce their own engines, transmissions, electronics. They are a properly funded fully independant engineering powerhouse.  

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On 24 september 2016 at 10:15, JayEmm said:

Toyota would be THE match for Lotus. It could certainly help the dealer issue if every main Lexus agent became a Lotus one too...

I agree, no internal competition and established business connections. Already established concept with dedicated dealers for the Lexus brand and global presence (well, sort of at least for Toyota brand). 

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Please not PSA. Anything but PSA.  Nothing against the French, I work for a French company after all and have spent many many good times in France working and playing, but PSA is not the right place for Lotus and Lotus will fair no better in PSA than at a Ford, or a Chrysler etc.

I think a tie up with Toyota is logical. They've been away from making good sports cars for quite some time (the current GT85 is great) and have a brand about solid but dull cars. Lexus is their premium brand, so Lotus slotted in as their "sports" or "enthusiast" brand would not really cannibalise sales from any other brand and would give them a really strong heritage platform to build from too. A good long term safe bet is what Lotus would be for Toyota.

My left field choice would be Suzuki - they actually seem to be a well run business and they would benefit greatly from Lotus' engineering expertise and they have a reasonable dealer network. No competition between the brands either so again no cannibalisation but a chance for Lotus prestige to rub off on Suzuki.

Just my 2 cents worth. I know jack shit after all. So likely everyone else it's just random speculation based on personal prejudices and preferences.

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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!        

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+1 for Toyota.

If for no other reason than I would love to see a Lotus "special" of the GT86.

 

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Sad to hear (although unconfirmed) that 'management' have decided to close the Lotus Academy.  I started there back in 2000 with Al McQueen, John Stretton and all the old boys.  Finished 'very quickly' in 2014.........

Lost for words.......

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I heard the same recently. There will be nothing left soon!! 


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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They did open one in the south of France but after the initial press release, I've heard nothing.

More rumours/news - http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/84704001/report-peugeotcitroen-in-talks-to-buy-lotus


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 find it laughable how journalists have re-written the Dany Bahar history to suit their 'failure' story.  The guy had been granted investment and tasked by a board of directors to drive a big thinking vision. The money tap got turned off when DHB acquired Proton, from which time it unravelled. Whilst there were parts of his rumoured lifestyle and vision that if true seemed excessive; its a hell of a lot harder to create a vision, bring a whole company of people on a journey with you and have them compelled to give blood, sweat and tears to deliver products that excite people. 

Driving profitability is significantly easier; cut fixed costs, implement spending discipline, squeeze suppliers, cut pennies and corners and limit all activities that do not support immediate revenue growth.  The only skills required are toughness, holding the line and book keeping.

If Dany were still in role; many of us would be driving around in a V8 Esprit (James Bond included) that would be redefining the rules of the entry-level supercar market. Dany is now running a very successful business; Ares. 

 

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On 24/09/2016 at 09:15, JayEmm said:

Toyota would be THE match for Lotus. It could certainly help the dealer issue if every main Lexus agent became a Lotus one too...

And would get lovely courtesy cars ?

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