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1 hour ago, Bravo73 said:

Do you mean JLR?

You are right. And on the Evija, I don’t think he delivered on the clients orders from the super rich customers Geely was expecting (I Would not be surprised if the Geely Chairman delivered more orders than him with his mates...)

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Maybe, time will tell. I am starting to think that I am out of kilter with the majority (nothing new there I suppose) but all this talk of electric, luxury, etc and I can't help but feel we are going

Lotus staff got free hot drinks vending machines back in August, was a very welcome move and much appreciated from the people who work there. Sometimes the little things can make a big difference 👍

Selling 6 cars instead of 5 in China would be a 20% increase. There really is nothing to celebrate at this moment in time beyond Lotus's survival but hopefully it will start to make some kind of sense

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Re Matt Windle's background, for a while from 2015 he was Operations Director at Zenos. Being one of their beta-test customers, as I was at the time, was a memorable experience. Sad end. Wish better luck now.

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Considering the recent hiring spree the company has been on, the roster of competent execs at the top is well sorted, and besides MW was made the Managing director and not CEO as FQF is still CEO for Lotus Group.

 

As for Popham, we'll never know will we. His term at the helm was impacted by Covid yes, but the delays to the new sportcar, if in part due to new strategy (going full EV) were probably unwelcomed, and as for the Evija order book, we'll know soon if his address book was enough for it.

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Usually its got a good sign if the head honcho leaves so quickly but I didn't really think Popham was a good match for the Lotus brand.  As people say probably bought in just to get Evija sales.  New guy Matt, looks a better fit for the brand so overall I think the change is good.  Fingers crossed for a good innings and hopefully Popham hasn't left behind a load of problems for Matt to sort out. 

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1 hour ago, jep said:

Thanks for posting Frankel article. He does not mention price point. Elise sluggish sales must surely be in part due to near 50k retail tag. Elise S1 was about 25% more than MX5 in 1997. Now it is 100%.

I remember watching a documentary on the making of the Elise & how they just HAD to get the price below £17,000 :shock:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Yes. Road tests circa 1998 have the car listed at £18,950 which I think is what I paid in 1998 new. Not sure many left the factory in 1997 at under that. There was quite a hike for 111S in 1999 at £27K or just shy of. 

I would like to know why the disparity appeared between a base Elise and the opposition in the intervening 20+years. I think Lotus can sell plenty of Elise if they are 30% premium to MX5. However good Elise is, their market is very limited at 100%+ premium.

Justin

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Taking an MX5 at £25k (that really is a good price for a great car really) I would say an Elise would need to be at £35k tops for the base engine model but would need aircon, cruise and a radio.

I think Lotus made a mistake in getting rid of the base 1.6 (was it) Elise a couple of years ago.

Also, never understood why they did not have something like the 1.6 base, with power/handling upgrades that could be bought/added. That would have allowed new owners and used owners the chance to get into a Lotus at a great price point and then to "upgrade" the car as the desire, cash and capability to exploit the performance grew.  For me it would have made Lotus THE "for the drivers" brand and would have created a real "club feel" around the Elise and it's owners and a steady potential revenue stream for Lotus and its dealers.  I think an approach like this really would set Lotus apart from the competition and of course, when you "catch 'em young" there is the possibility of keeping them long term - so, they could grow into a Lotus SUV (family) and then say a more upmarket too such as Exige or an Evora.  Obviously things will be different with the Type 131 but who knows, maybe the approach could be adopted for that model?

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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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23 minutes ago, Bibs said:

they can't continue to sell cars for nothing! 

I agree Bibs which is why I think they missed a trick a few years ago when they "dumped" the base model Elise, which was, according to the dealers I spoke to, an "easy" car to sell and ticked the right boxes for those looking for a relatively inexpensive, fun, reliable toy.

By taking a more modular approach and allowing customers to "upgrade" their cars as they grew (in prosperity etc) then they could have kept owners for longer and upsold them into higher value models too whilst generating additional income.

The issue re Lotus not making much money on the cars now will be partly down to volume - you need to drive the volume to drive efficiency in costs, supply chain, etc. If you don't grow the volume then of course, over time, your unit costs will increase and margins will decrease as the market will struggle to buy at the higher sell costs to maintain the same, or an increased, margin. And this is what has happened to Lotus. Bahahahahaha spent the savings in the cookie jar. JMG came in and cut costs everywhere to keep the roof over their heads, and now, well the volume is not there to generate the cash for expansion AND profits but luckily Geely have a deep pocket or two to tide them over. Whilst the tide is turning over, manufacturing needs to stop (so no more of the old models) to allow the investment in the assembly lines to be made to provide the new tooling for new models etc. It's probably cheaper to do it this way (and quicker) than trying to do partly do it in an active factory environment with inventory still being made. It's brave, but smart business, in my book and will hopefully set up Lotus up for the next 25 years.

I still think that with the Type 131, offer a cheap base entry, and allow customers to "upgrade the car" as they own it. What a great way to get people into the showrooms (for the upgrades) and some will choose to upgrade the modules whilst others will upgrade to a whole new car.  Has to be win win and a great model to me - but then if I knew what I was talking about I'd be in the industry already! :)

 

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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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49 minutes ago, Bibs said:

I've been told a few times that they cant make the Elise cheaper or sell it for more.

Maybe the lotus suv (if it happens) may end up being cheaper on the market than an upper end 131 as it will likely be made in china. To make a lower end 131 cheaper it could end up being built in the same factory as the suv. Look at how successful MG have been with their cars - all made in china, and that the EV looks a good buy in the EV suv style market. Their new car sales are very much on the up and look at all the dealers joining mg. JCT600 are doing mg and or course howards weston super mare have mg in what was their lotus showroom.

Would people buy a china made lotus? - or even a geely car badged as a lotus.

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Lotus is currently in that cash flow nightmare scenario. JMG recognised the low sales turnover and cut jobs accordingly. Geely has since been hiring like crazy but sales have barely changed. When they stop production of the current range, Evija will have to take up the slack, so I hope they have enough £2m orders to bridge the gap until Type 131 starts being delivered. JMG was expecting Lotus to be up to 4000 units p.a. by now, but we’re not even halfway there. Lotus is probably making just two or three cars per employee each year. Compare that to their competitors.

The clean break is probably the best way forward. As long as Geely can keep the lights on for a few more months, then Lotus can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the new models become available.

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13 minutes ago, exeterjeep said:

Would people buy a china made lotus? - or even a geely car badged as a lotus.

That’s an interesting question. Maybe not quite the same but I’m currently in the market for a new motorcycle (after lockdown!) and really like the new Triumph 1200 Speed Triple just launched. Triumph is a great British motorcycle brand and make some superb stuff, but it’s no longer built in Hinckley, it’s built in Thailand. I’ve been asking myself whether that really bothers me, and I don’t think it does - I would much prefer it were still built in Hinckley, but the Thai built product is indistinguishable and hasn’t changed the nature of the product in any way.

Would I buy a Chinese Elise? Yes, I think I would if it kept it accessible.

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1 minute ago, Neal H said:

Triumph is a great British motorcycle brand

Don't know much about motorbikes but the Triumph name has a lot of heritage and feels a good solid British name  - we have owned several Triumph cars in the past. That is why I think MG are doing better than their cars may really deserve. 

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2 hours ago, Bibs said:

I've been told a few times that they cant make the Elise cheaper of sell it for more. They actually make very little on each car now which I guess is what has lead to this decisions, they can't continue to sell cars for nothing! 

But why could they make S1 for £19k when an MX5 was circa £14k in 1998 but can't make an Elise in 2020 for £35k profitably when oppo is circa £25k? What has changed? 

Justin 

 

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1 hour ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

Lotus is currently in that cash flow nightmare scenario.

Far from it. When we did the US LOT forum that I videod last year Popham stated without being asked that if we've heard that they've got £1.5bn in backing from Geely then you've heard a conservative figure. They've spent £100m on Hethel in 2020, cash flow isn't a problem by the looks of it. 

 

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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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5 minutes ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

But that’s Geely financial support/investment

They must be expecting a great sales response from the new car(s) to get a return on their investment. Or are these new jobs etc mainly in engineering - support for other car makers that lotus has done so well in the past.  They can't be making much on the evija either  - it looks a bit of a showcase  like the Bugatti Veyron and vw.

 

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2 hours ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

As long as Geely can keep the lights on for a few more months, then Lotus can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the new models become available.

So maybe just keep the light on at the end of the production line so people can see where to go?

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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1 hour ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

But that’s Geely financial support/investment, not Lotus’ own cash flow.

Which isn't really relevant with this level of investment. While Geely obviously expect a return and profit at some point, Lotus could sell zero cars for x number of years as long as the return is there eventually for the investors. I'm sure they've not entered into this size of spend without a plan and expectations.

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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

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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I'm expecting a GT450 run out model for the Evora. Just in the process of selling my wife, a kidney, a testicle, an arm and an eyeball to pay for it. I guess it'll have to be the IPS model I get.

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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11 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

I'm expecting a GT450 run out model for the Evora.

I think I would go for that - only had my gt430 for about 3 months  - it would have to have the full aero wing though.

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It’ll be an awful long wait until the investors get their money back by selling sports cars made in Hethel. £1.5bn probably represents 10 years turnover only at current sales, so getting on for 100 years profit! Clearly that’s unsustainable and Geely has a proper plan to take Lotus upmarket and into a completely different stratosphere of income. Absorb the short-term hit now by getting everything in place (new staff, buildings, production lines, models, marketing etc.) and then make an aggressive new launch of the brand globally.

Recovering the £1.5bn will have to wait or just be written off until such time as the owners decide to sell the company and get it back then. As long as the New Lotus Cars business ends up being a viable Sales concern, I.e. they get to a point where new car sales cover everyday costs, then the company will be on the right path and I would imagine Geely would be satisfied.

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