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I will take this as a setback mostly due to the NHTSA-EPA pushing back the US deliveries by a full quarter.  Evoras have reached US shore in august while they were supposed to get there in december the year before.  Then JMG has made decisions focussing on hardcore models 250 Cup, 380 Sports 410 Sports instead of more mainstream variants. these variants were all rather cheap to develop but do cater for a very specific crowd. Then there must be anguish due to the sale of the company and the parent company. Significant Investment was always going to be needed, stability too but right now if the company is somewhat stable the shareholder is facing major turmoil and can't support the company. 

People have been mentioning Geely, Peugeot and Renault as partner for Proton but there's no guarantee that the 3 suitors will be interested by Lotus especially not Renault who is getting Alpine ready for a return to market. 

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The danger here is the whole industry is freaking out about autonomous drive, EVs and the tech giants putting them all out of business. No-one wants to be the next Kodak. Hopefully some of them will see the benefit of lightweight tech as part of what happens next but right now I don't think any major car company has any interest in sports cars. I doubt they see much more than 10 years left for the traditional approach to making and selling cars. Merc is planning a whole range of EVs within 5 years, 10 PHEV's on sale by the end of 2017 with a target of 50% of all Mercs being EVs by 2025. Mid-sized SUVs are prioritized at they are 'the type of car modern motorists want' according to Jenz Thiemer (who's in heading up the Merc EQ program) in this month's CAR magazine.

It doesn't look like a great time to be selling a dedicated sports car maker!

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15 hours ago, The Pits said:

It doesn't look like a great time to be selling a dedicated sports car maker!

Is there ever a good time?

With the focus on emissions, I still think Lotus could actually make quite a good partner for a manufacturer wanting to put a hybrid/EV drivetrain into an interesting car. Lotus have some experience, after all.

 

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I really hope so. Buying Lotus makes perfect sense to me, if I was Elon Musk I'd have bought them ages ago.

But I fear that none of the major contenders will be seeing the big return on their investment. Noisy, mechanical, oil burning sports cars are suddenly looking like very old news.

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They are in the most difficult position now after DB screwed things up so badly.

Lotus just cannot afford the engine/transmission tech they need. The costs are too high (alloy hand made chassis) and their ability to charge the same as Porsche doesn't exist so Evora market is very difficult. Very very difficult.

What would you need to do to Elise to make all owners want a new one? 

These models compete against the  Boxter/Cayman which are brilliant. Pretty, by a great brand and good value for money to those that aren't you or me. Given the lack of modern powertrain and tech 911 is out of reach imho.

So where do you position? Affordable track day cars. That's it. Small market. But he is. All the while, sports car market is shrinking. If you could get Elise to become trendy in India and China that might help. But are they ready? 

Tough spot to be in.  It's going to have to be something radical to survive... ?

3 hours ago, The Pits said:

Noisy, mechanical, oil burning sports cars are suddenly looking like very old news.

Sadly so true

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I was working for the other non volvo car company from Sweden in the late eighties as a technical consultant. Just as GM got 51% of the company. Asset stripped and no longer making cars.

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  • Gold FFM

Sports car market is dying. Dying so much that at the low end Toyota and Subaru launched the GT. Mazda continually refreshes the MX5. In the mid range Porsche selling a lot of sports cars (though the majority of the cash profit comes from the SUV's) and at the high end Bentley, Lambo, Ferrari and McLaren selling more post £100k cars than ever.

Is not the main problem for Lotus their brand image, awareness and accessibility for owners. Like him or loathe him in some areas Bahar was spot on. 

In fact maybe a double act of Bahars flamboyance with Gales cost conscious approach was what was really needed.

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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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4 minutes ago, clivef38 said:

I was working for the other non volvo car company from Sweden in the late eighties as a technical consultant. Just as GM got 51% of the company. Asset stripped and no longer making cars.

Brought upon by their own insular ideas and fundamental lack of understanding of how to manipulate a corporation even though Opel helped them. I was there too.

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Black n gold

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DB was handed a plan for an Esprit which would have been world class, and ironically would have helped him achieve "his vision". But he would not let reality get in the way of good business or common sense.

@C8RKH is right. The 40-50k market is booming, probably because everyone buys on finance now. 18 year olds don't buy fifteen year old snotters anymore. They buy brand new 12k Vauxhalls etc... on finance. Vanity probably playing a part.

At the top end, the hypercar game seems a great cash cow for big car makers. Limited run £1m+ cars which probably just help pay for a lot of R&D and then the car flippers go mad with them.

If I was going to try and enact a "cheap fix", it might be to have a stern word with dealers. To begin with, instill in them the attitude that whenever a customer turns up you basically force them into a test drive. Rather than have them make it seem like they're really going out of their way to let you try a car. Lot of people (myself included) might just tell a dealer to "do one" if a test drive is made to seem like hard work.

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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I see Danny has got a new job. Good for him. 

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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A more positive spin on the results. And a £13m write down on the exit from F1? I guess that was forecast revenue for the use of the name by Genie. But I thought Lotus didn't get any benefit? Bloody accountants.

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20170110/ANE/170119981?template=mobile02

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Sort of old new here but a new article. I didn't realise Lotus funded any of the forumal one stuff or have I read this wrong ? 

 

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20170110/ANE/170119981?template=mobile02&X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

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Posted that on the "JMG Era" thread and asked the same question. There is also the Bahar era 'investment' that is still being written down in the accounts, I assume amortised over several years. So the true picture of actual car development/production is healthier than the figures show. Hopefully.

So I checked out Companies House for the latest Group Lotus filing. In big red letters "Accounts Overdue" for the March 16 filing. So where are the results and how are the journalists picking up on it?

Accountants eh, who'd 'av 'em......

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Did Lotus not just pay to have the Lotus badges on the renault F1 cars ?   That was my understanding of it :ermm:  And the Bahar era, well very sad time for lotus finacial wise, the products looked fantastic though, just a shame that range never came to market.  Flash spender, but that is what you get for putting someone who worked for the dancing donkey company, Their annual corporate venue bills probably cost more than the Lotus yearly budget :(

A

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AFAIK Lotus didn't pay anything for the branding on the F1 cars.  That was all down to Gerard Lopez of GENII I think?  He was a Lotus fan and has a JPS Esprit S2 in his collection.

Regarding Bahar, I would assume someone at Proton gave him the green light to go bezerk with money they didn't have?

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Within any business there's a value of the fact that business exists, some of that is known as good will. That value may be positive (i.e. the company is worth more than the sum of its assets etc) or negative. That's the bit that is written down in this case, meaning now that Lotus is no longer a racing team, the car company is worth slightly less this (completed) financial year than last.

 

Dan, my understanding is that there was a lot of fuss over who owned the right to race as "Lotus" but it was not owned by Lotus cars who never did own it (Colin used car sales to pay for racing)

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News on the SUV in autocar.... Sounds a bit like a puff piece but long story short SUV is delayed by at least 2 years to 2022,Lotus is focussing on the Evora roadster launching in 2017, the Elige replacement in 2020 and infotainment improvements on all cars.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/lotus-suv-could-challenge-porsche-macan-2022

Edited by NedaSay
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