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1 hour ago, Neal H said:

It will depend on whether Geely want to follow the McLaren model (high-end supercars) or the Porsche model (mass-produced machines to subsidise medium-end sports cars). One things for sure, they won't want to follow the traditional Lotus model! Is there a third way?

Well that's the thing isn't it ... Geely have said many times they were extremely ambitious and wanted Lotus to compete with Porsche ( so mass produced machine to subside the sports cars) and Ferrari (high end supercars) all the while being big on EV (overall group strategy). That leaves a lot of room but makes thing a little harder to read. Hopefully we get to keep one or two cars at accessible price point. Let's say below 50K USD.  I believe that by leveraging everything entry level that they have in the group, it is possible for them to generate a profit even at that price point.  

As for the electronics and cupholders, they are coming, the electronics if only for the sake of packaging reasons and scales, the cupholders because... I like my cupholder in my SUV when I drive from Calgary to Revelstoke to go skiing goddamnit!  It's cold out there. I need my tea to keep me warm in the winter. I need my seat warmer to keep my bum from getting numb, and I really need my HVAC/AC to work to keep my windshield and windows from fogging the F...up. Arguably a sport car is not the best car to go that route comes winter... But the Rogers pass in the summer is actually a lot of fun.   

 

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The curious thing about Porsche's racing heritage is the lack of F1 success. One solitary GP win (France 1962, when Ferrari were absent and all their faster rivals broke down). I know they have developed engines for other teams, but no-one remembers that.

Clearly they have a long and illustrious record in endurance sports car racing, but how many of today's Porsche customers really follow that? Image outguns heritage nowadays.

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Porsche have a huge racing following through the various Porsche CUP national and international series and the LeMans/WEC series that has generated huge publicity for them. As iconic as the Lotus cars and their liveries are, there cannot be many people over the age of 20 who do not remember or who have not seen a Rothmans for Martini liveried Porsche 911 streaking around a track on a poster or in other advertising mediums.

You're quite right re F1 victories, Lotus absolutely kills Porsche in that comparison, but, and it is a huge but, they have generated a huge following as a "clubman's" racing brand that is much stronger and visible than Lotus who are best remembered for F1 with the last victory in 1987 at Detroit I believe. That was 31 years ago!  The Enstone Lotus Team did not exactly do the brand any favours really and if anything took prestige away with its performances.

How many Porsches have entered races in the last 31 years? Compared to how many Lotus cars? No wonder we here comments like "Lotus, are they still going" and "wow, i did not think they made cars like that" as marketing as practically been nil, the brand has survived on 20 or 30 year heritage and awareness only.

I do passionately  believe there is a market out there for Lotus' kind of cars - fairly lightweight, well engineered, reliable (yes, they really are these days), analog and a real shock to the senses in a good way (handling, feel noise etc.). The problem is they have just not been visible enough at all.

interesting article on the MX5 i read yesterday, apparently very few of them are leased with the majority being bought as they are viewed as second cars/toys and apparently buyers prefer to buy these cars than lease them as they want to "own" them. I really am hoping that with Geely's financial muscle and aspiration Lotus can really press on.  Volvo sold c660k cars in 2019 worldwide I believe.  Jaguar around c440k. These are "small" brands in reality. Ferrari sold c9k-9.5k cars, Aston Martin between c5.5k and 6k, and Lamborghini 4.4k to 5k cars.  So given this, and the lack of visibility, and branding, and marketing for Lotus to sell 2k cars was a bloody fantastic achievement.  There are buyers out there, but they need to understand the brand, the range, the capability and the DNA and then i do believe they will buy.

A 400/GT410/GT430 is a good match for a Cayman/911 and it is remarkable Lotus can compete on a similar (maybe slightly more expensive) price basis given the resources and reserves of the competition. I still say it does not need a 500 or 600bhp near 2 tonne leather clad gismo'ed out luxo barge. It just needs to make the incremental gains, get the message out and watch people come....  Bahars models will help though as to be honest, they did look good to me......  Lotus is the right way, it's just that not enough people know it yet.

There has been a thread on the Lotus Evora facebook page recently, with people declaring how old they were when they got their first Evora. it staggered me the number of people who responded at 21 (the youngest), to 25.  So there is hope.

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@C8RKH all you are trying to say is keep the bloody DNA and fooking hurrah to that. I could not agree more 

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Another area lotus do well at present is cost of ownership. This was a major consideration for me when I bought my 400 as against a host of Italian secondhand cars. For the non lease market, this I believe is rather important.

The use of generic type engines helps a lot the only real drawback is they are designed for life not so much tweekability. What lotus need is a reverse engineered power plants in the way McLaren did, cleaver, not so the gearbox, Queue Quafe. 

Volvo have the experience to make some great engines, look what was achieved with the original Koenigsegg.

My wish is Engine designed with the collaboration with Volvo and Cosworth or even Koenigsegg, An engine that has the production flex ability to be in a Hi Torque engine for say a Lotusified XC40 (I for one, want one to replace my XC60 in 5 years) and High output for the next Elise.

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I think the Elise has a reputation for asking too much of its owners.  It could be easier to get in and out of, have a good heating/ventilation system and still be a lightweight, focused sportscar.  It was, don't forget, a replacement for the 7.

I've said before, what we need is a replacement for the original Elan.  The recent Europa went some way towards that but was too close to the Elise to truly carry it off.  I think a new car with the attributes of the old Elan updated to meet current legislation and quality and reliability expectations would vbe very popular.

Another advantage Lotus have is their ability to introduce new cars for little investment so they don't need to sell tens of thousands to make them viable.  So they don't need huge sales on every model to make a profit.

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13 hours ago, C8RKH said:

But your assuming that Lotus will want to go all out to just chase volume.  I have no problem with Lotus having an SUV really (but stick to the DNA and it will be better than anyone elses anyway) and no problem with them having a DB11/Bentley GT type of rival, but again, stick to the heritage principles and it will be better than the rest!

However, I disagree that the market for real driver focused cars has gone away. You could argue it has gone upmarket (Ferrari had a record year and their V12 engined cars were the sales leaders). Porsche sells enough of the GTx cars (911. Cayman) to make it worth their while and yes they subsidise that output in some way through the SUV's, but the SUV's also subsidise their considerable racing activities which bring the cachet to the brand and around it goes. What they have done is clever in that they have leveraged their heritage, developed more mass appeal cars, to then allow them to continue the heritage.

For whatever reason Lotus has not been able to do this (well, funds and aspiration of its owners really). Lotus will never sell 200k cars a year like Porsche. Well not in my lifetime anyway i would suggest.  it could get to 50k, or even 75k cars I believe and that would be a great portfolio business for Geely especially if they build on the DNA and the heritage - just like porsche has done.

Porsche was lucky, even though their sports car business was dying they were still one of the most raced car brands. So they had plenty of media coverage and they kept plugging on refining the core product whilst they rescued themselves. it took a leap of faith but they did not mess with really the core values of the company or the DNA.  The worry for me is that if Lotus does (I don;t actually think Geely are that stupid) then all you are left with is a "me too" brand. At that point what would you choose:

A Nissan GTR/Toyota Supra/Mazda MX5/Lexus XF/Audi R8/TTRS whatever clone with a Lotus badge (because what would be any different or special about the Lotus?) or would you consider going upmarket to a used Macca, Huracan, 458/488 or  new Vantage?

I get lotus needs to move, but I do feel if, as some seem to want to happen, it just becomes another me too, same old same old product in a different body remanufacturer then would we, the current owners, still choose to buy and run a new Lotus? All I am saying is that i would probably be just as likely to go elsewhere, and it pains me to say it, but that would probably be to a Porsche GTx car.  If you actually look at the Bahar model range, and if that came to market with Geely/Volvo powertrains, i'd be tempted.  But not if that also meant they weighed 250 - 600kgs more than the current cars even though they had 400 - 600bhp to shift it.  I'd go for a lightweight spec'd Porsche GT or the used Macca MP4/570 as i do actually think they would then be the better drivers cars with a stronger ownership proposition at that point.

I do feel that with the Evora especially, Lotus is just about there and with volume it could have knocked out the GT430's at around £100k list (what a car for the price against the competition), with the GT410 at around £80k (again, what a car for the price). But without volume they are about £20k over what the market will pay IF THE MARKET KNEW THEY EXISTED which it largely doesn't.

Agreed agreed and agreed again.

I think a good first step for Lotus would be to reach the 15/20k vehicle produced. I think a SUV with Lotus DNA and with proper support (marketing, dealer network, sales andaftersales) can get Lotus to that first milestone with the current line up of sports cars properly updated.

They should remain light, they should remain about the driver's enjoyment, but I feel that with Volvo and Geely assistance they need not remaining as spartan. I said it and will say it again with a proper electrical loom, access to the Volvo parts bin, proper integration and the fit and finish that Lotus has put on display under JMG, there's no doubt in my mind  that they can pull some seriously compelling products at very competitive price point.  These updates need not put current Lotus and prospective owners out of contention. I do hope Geely saw this. I do think the decision to go SUV first is an indicator of that. if it comes to the market and is the size of an XC60 then it would be difficult for it to sell for over 150k cause it will compare to the Maccan. Lotus/Geely do know they can undercut that vehicle on value and sportiveness.

Back in 2010, I liked the conceptual take of DB - don't kill me yet - on what could be an Elise successor. It was still below 1000kg, but able to cater for a lot more people in terms of ease of use. Daily driveability they call it, as of now the Elise is a bit too much of a third car, a pure week end car. Add just a little bit to it (shoulder room, head room, creature comfort) and you have a second car to complement the family SUV nicely that can be used a lot more often.  It can remain a manual and they can now provide the car with a dual clutch gearbox or the most advanced ICE.  They just have the means to do the car they always wanted the Elise to be. Same with the Evora it could become what they always wanted it to be even if the GT430 is pretty close to it in my opinion... But on the marketplace it cannot be helped it needs a few more things and a lot more support to exist and I think thag very soon the car and the brand will be where it needs to be.

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In Germany alone, sales figures for the new Alpine A110 was 214!  That is more than all Lotus models combined (199).

So yes I think Lotus should have made an Elan (like the A110) and quite possibly it would have been the most sucessful model right away....

It simply shows, that there is room for Lotus to offer non-hardcore GT cars. Bring back the Esprit and the Elan!

In 2018, I have done roadtrips from Slowenia, Austria, Italy, Switzerland  to France, covering the complete Alps in 2 Weeks.
Done it with my Evora S and could not think of any other car or Lotus model, (except the A110 )to be more enjoyable and fun! The Recaro seats are the best.
Lotus forever! I hope they dont mess it up.,..

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, au-yt said:

Hi Torque engine for say a Lotusified XC40 (I for one, want one to replace my XC60 in 5 years).

Interesting, I'm currently thinking Volvo XC40 as my new daily driver. I've not driven one but they look great, get great reviews and I like the brand (much more so than the German brands).

Lotus could follow the Porsche route to an SUV quite simply (cheaply) by adopting this with some styling/suspension tweaks and apply a £10k+ premium. Think VW Touareg/Porsche Cayenne.

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I think a lot of what has been said above is correct.  However here is one of the comments left on the above Autocar article, detailing the China factory link:

At last, we will get a reliable Lotus instead of the rubbish that is built by webbed feet morons in Norfolk

Now I don't agree with this at all, but I do believe it is one of the wider perceptions of Lotus.  I would certainly say build quality is one of the things that count against Lotus - again, I don't think its bad but when you look at the quality/perceived quality of Porsche when you are sat inside one, I do think Lotus is behind in this area.  Alfa Romeo used to suffer in this way, and I think since the Brera their image in this area has improved no end, 

If they could solve this, I think that would be a massive step forward but again once done people need to know about it!

Lotus has to have a USP - and that is without question the lightweight & handling qualities.  I don't see why this should change even if they go upmarket (OK they will get heavier, but against the competition).

Finally, on the comments of possibly loosing the "lightweight Lotus" - if they do move upmarket, then the "stripped out specials" should basically be what the current cars are now.

 

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1 hour ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

Just one business question. Geely apparently owns 51% of Lotus. They are pumping in all the money and hard work, but does that mean they would only get 51% of any profits? What's the situation with the other 49%?

The other party: Etika would also have to chip in at least symbolically, and may not have a say whatsoever in how the company is run... Etika got the shares to facilitate the deal between Geely and DRB...  I think Geely is going to buy them out at some point. It is more than likely that Etika is just bidding their time to get a bigger payday.  Geely got the first 51% for what almost looks like cheap change https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-news/industry-news/lotus/lotus-cars-bought-by-geely/

I think the next 20% are going to cost about the same amount as their initial purchase. In a way Etika Automotive is a vehicle that will allow DRB to recoup some of their "investment". I wouldn't be surprised if a "no paper"  agreement was signed in private so that five years from now Geely can purchase part or the totality of the 49% shares currently held by Etika for a lot more money. Geely won't care much if within five years they see that their "gamble" with Lotus is working.   

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On ‎15‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 14:06, Bravo73 said:

Lotus only managed to sell 1,600 cars last year. In the entire world. 

The market has spoken, unfortunately. 

Hello,

I'm new here. I live in the US. I currently have a 2017 Evora 400, prior to this a 2013 Evora NA and before that a 2011 Elise R.

For what I see the US market is really bad for Lotus. They don't even mentioned it on the article about their new improved worldwide sales. I believe this has to do with the horrible marketing of this brand. Here Lotus US HQ are in Detroit. Back in 2016 when they were bringing the Evora 400, the marketing director in the US thought that driving an Evora 400 Euro Spec around the country was going to be a great way to advertise the car. There were no TV ads, only few auto shows had this brand showcased. Few magazines advertised the Evora 400, in big bold letter it said "The New Evora 400, It Is Not For You".....WHAT? hahaha....it was the dumbest thing I ever seen. Of course in small letter underneath the picture of the car stated the opposite.

In America, people love this car when they see it BUT they won't buy it due to the price. They believe is too expensive for only 400 bhp plus lack of "Luxury interiors." So they rather have a Base 911. I believe it also has to do with the brand name. Here in the states people think they are All That because they drive a Porsche. Most Americans are all about Big Motors (bhp) or Brand Names and of course big room to fit their fat asses. You can tell them all day about the greatness of this brand and its handling, cornering, light weight, etc....they will yawn and come back with...it is not a Porsche, Audi, MB, etc....and it has a "Camry Engine"

I wish Lotus would bring the Exige 430 Cup to America. I know they won't do it. I emailed them to ask them and tell them that the Exige would sell much better than the  Evora 400 and I got this response.

 

"Currently, as you'll be aware, the Exige and Elise models are not available for the federal market.

With the new ownership of the business we are looking forward, in terms of new product and are obviously considering replacements for these vehicles. As such, product planning is focused on bringing new models in to the federal markets rather than looking at capped or limited volume availability for current models.
 
It is in the businesses interests to deliver what our clients and fans desire and this plays the pivotal role in the companies future plans.
We anticipate bigger and better things to come from the brand and will obviously keep you informed of our progress"
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Welcome @CharlieBrown, yeah that marketing campaign was a fail on this side of the pound I don't even think it was really addressed to North America... Nor to anyone outside england actually.

Edited by NedaSay

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Thanks. You are correct and I still can't believe Lotus UK does not want to ask for another waiver for the Exige. The current Exige 430 Cup would be a hit in the US.

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They can't it's not just front passenger airbags any more you need side airbags and this is not negotiable at all... The Exige simply cannot be reengineered without very significant expenditures and I believe the exige replacement is just a few months away.

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Yes we are supposed to get in rapid fire mode a ultra expensive hyper EV car, and two sport cars based on the Evora platform, one of which is assumed to be a replacement for the Exige.

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What time scale?

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6 minutes ago, NedaSay said:

Yes we are supposed to get in rapid fire mode a ultra expensive hyper EV car, and two sport cars based on the Evora platform, one of which is assumed to be a replacement for the Exige.

Interesting but would those 2 sports cars replacing the Exige make it to North America (USA)?

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Well if Geely decided to stick by JMG's timetables that would be 2020, assuming that the hypercar has taken precedence I would assume 2021, that is not quite enough time to reengineer the Exige doors  to welcome side airbags and churn out the number of cars necesary to recoup that money. 

2 minutes ago, CharlieBrown said:

Interesting but would those 2 sports cars replacing the Exige make it to North America (USA)?

One of these sport cars is supposed to be an Esprit successor, the Exige was hinted at because JMG hinted at keep the Elise around a bit longer alongside the Evora...  Both cars would be VVA based and therefore be globally compliant.   

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Hypercar in two years will take some doing but great news for the whole brand if doable. 😊👍

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