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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

Having spoken to a few of the long time Lotus guys still at Hethal i can confirm my LOVE for Lotus is back on the straight and narrow, Jaguars/McLarens are not for me!  I just need to have more p

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 👍

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IMHO-the new owner needs a well regarded big seller of any type .

the new owner has a clear direction which does not include low volume petrol only niche cars

hope I’m wrong but cannot at moment see how they will be able to achieve that big selling vehicle

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As to the US, Lotus' biggest failing here has been/is the limited dealer network and weak leadership, either in haphazard management or limited leash from the mother ship, or both. In this day of internet sales, the location of the sales source matters little, but it's the aftersales service, warranty work, etc. that scares people off. They would have done well long ago to establish a network of authorized service centers to manage this, but they have been too concerned about the preservation of the profit margin of the individual dealers which is meager enough. This is cutting one's nose to spite their face as sales would otherwise be increased in markets not otherwise served, and virtually all of the dealers survive by selling other brands anyway. In the city where I live, there are no Ferrari, Lambo, Aston, Bentley, or Mclaren dealers, the closest being 3 hrs away, yet there countless of these exotics here including not one, but two Sennas! I know of one Evora 400 and less than a handfull of early Evoras. Exotics people have no problem putting their cars on a truck to ship them 3 hrs away for service. Those who buy $50-150k sports cars have no interest in doing that, and there are plenty of anti-Corvette and anti-Porsche people who would enjoy a driver's car that sets them apart from the rest provided there is potential for ownership satisfaction. The Alfa dealership has enjoyed reasonable success locally in that same vein, though it helps to have FCI behind you. Geely/Volvo/Lotus seem to have done little to capitalize on their relationships in taking advantage of the broad network of Volvo dealerships in the US, yet another opportunity to provide a broader brand presence. I'll wager that 99.9% of the car buying public have no idea that the three companies are related. Sure, you have to crash a few cars and tweak the emissions to sell them in the US. Who knows, maybe Evija sales are part of a grand plan to offset brand emission and mileage requirements. I have enough faith in Lotus Engineering to think that they could go far enough on the design end to minimize required attrition on the front end. In the end, it'll be all up to Geely to want to make things happen.

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3 hours ago, The Pits said:

I'm not sure anyone gets to be a visionary dictator nowadays unless they own the place, although I think JMG had a right go at it!

All this guy did was take more money for less product (with his  penny pinching) and also was not entirely  honest  with his customers ie models (please don't get me started on that)...

Lets hope the next car is masterpiece  👍🏻

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I was referring more to the dictator part with JMG.

But isn’t less for more precisely what Porsche Motorsport and all its equivalents do to rapturous applause? At least with Lotus, less car = more Lotus. Removing 100kg of car worked wonders on the GT430 and all of the JMG era cars drove spectacularly well, not least the Sport 380.

JMGs strategy had many downsides but he didn’t have half the options open to him that the current lot have. At least there was a clear plan, good enough be left to continue unchanged by numerous business brains since by the look of it.

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Very much agree. But it will never happen until they start doing something about it, aside from make the logo worse. As has been said before there is so much they could and should be doing. Why not use this time to begin to address widespread negative build quality perceptions? It's not enough to tell a sceptical market, you have to prove your claims. We could follow a car being built in a series of short videos which are all mini chapters in a larger story. They could start with parts being made by suppliers. Show their quality control. For example, the lighter, aluminium brackets from the GT430 if they are being used on all Evoras now. They could then explain what steps they are taking to improve build quality at Hethel. Show whatever quality control improvements are being put in place. Show what they were doing before compared what they are doing now. We see the car being finished and inspected, we meet the guy who's name is on the plaque. We follow the car out onto the track. They do a live broadcast of the car lapping Hethel flat out for 24 hrs. The engineers strip it down and show what's worn and hasn't worn. So far, only cost is the time of filming and editing it. Once lockdown has been eased we follow the car on a tour of the world's circuits, put it through a gruelling schedule posting weekly updates on Lotus's neglected Youtube channel. Meet up with the guy and his 300+k miles Elise. Never wash it. Let it wear it's grime with pride like a 24hr race winner. Drive it until it breaks. What broke first? Propose an update on all future cars of this part. Show it being fitted on the production line and so on and so forth. Or they could be really brave and do a last car standing competition with a Porsche.... 

Just one example, literally top of the head stuff, so much more they could do so hopefully some of you can understand my frustration.

All the talk is of the new product that will change everything. Production targets for the new car are identical to the Evora's too. The fact that such a well executed and received car as the Evora didn't sell should be all the red flags they need to realise that is wasn't a product issue, it was a communication issue. Beyond the pr stunts at launch it wasn't promoted at all. You can't starve a plant of oxygen and expect it to grow. They need to understand where Evora went wrong first before considering what to do next. The definition of stupid is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results!

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Honestly, I have to imagine the main things that stop people from buying a Lotus:

  • Dealership Network - Geely really needs to convince some Volvo/Geely or all Volvo/Geely dealers to offer Lotus service and warranty work. This would be absolutely huge. I am not sure how you convince Volvo dealers to do this or if they even have a choice in the matter or not. This would put you up there with Porsche in-regards to dealership network. Maybe those dealerships would only service new Lotus. So your Esprit or Elan (and may be even the current line-up) would not be serviceable by them. This isn't a huge deal because most of the current line-up would be out of warranty by then anyways and many people would just take to trusted mechanic if dealer is too far away.
  • More Showrooms - While you're at it, try to get some of those dealerships to offer Lotus showrooms. Even if its only a 1 or 2 car space. This may be a bit harder because they are probably going to want to see it to be worth their while and that's only if you make cars that sell. But how do you sell cars without a better network and more showrooms? Kind of catch 22.
  • Perception of unreliability and poor build quality - While just telling people "we are reliable" isn't going to convince many people. A 5 to 7 year warranty will. It will make people feel much more comfortable with their purchase.
  • Poor tech - While many here may see the double din radio as a plus because it makes it a bit future proof, lets be honest, the general public don't. They want flashy new tech. This is probably the easiest to fix on this list now that they have access to Volvo and Geely tech and we have already seen it in the Evija.
  • Power to Money Ratio - This may be most controversial. While many of us here understand that having a ton of HP isn't what makes a car, its the easiest way for the general public to rate a sports/super car. Lotus is going to have to up their HP game I think. They don't need to go crazy, but I suspect there would have been a lot more interest in the Evora if it was 500HP+. Not sure if they would make it a better driver's car or not, but HP numbers are important to people even if they will never use to the car to its full potential.
  • They (still) exist? - Got to remind people that Lotus is around and has an amazing history. Most people don't know they exist or thought they went out of business decades ago. This is tricky because its not like the Evora hasn't been reviewed by a lot of the big car channels, yet still sells terribly and the Lotus name still isn't well known. How else do you advertise a Lotus? IMO the best way is to get it in some block buster movies and other pop culture spots. A new James Bond with an Evija or a new Esprit would do wonders for the brand. Music videos and stuff like that would also be good advertising.

All this is easier said that done of course and the speed at which it can be done is a question. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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Nothing can happen with dealers until there's something they can sell. Shift 5000 units of the new car and then Volvo dealers might want to talk. Currently all they can offer is a hope and a prayer, so understandably no interest. Volvo (who have done really well for Geely) would push back hard against that as things stand I'm sure.

Couldn't we at least expect a more corporate version of the build quality video series then? To at least start laying the groundwork now for the relationship to Geely and Volvo will bring. Show us some of the parts they have access to and how things will improve. 7 year warranty, I'm all for that but people need to know what else is being done to make the next Lotus the best built ever with the flashiest new Geely tech ever. Not a word on that to date. And these very highly paid JLR people have had 2 years now. I think it will get a lot more views and generate a lot more chatter to film a last car standing contest with a Cayman personally, my money's on Toyota!

7 year warranty is a big story, you will still need to tell people about it or they'll never know. It's also secondary driver of sales, you need people interested in the cars first. 100 year warranty won't help sales of a car nobody wants in the first place.

Product placement can be very effective but also a very long game. The people most impressed by the submarine Esprit were 10 years old and didn't start buying Lotus cars for another 30 years or more. The days of simply 'getting your car in a Bond film' have long since passed. Aston even charged Cubby Broccolli for the cars in Goldfinger! You now have to pay, massively, to get your car featured, as BMW did for Goldeneye. There are far more effective and cost efficient ways of generating interest in your car. Because 99% of car ads are bland lifestyle drivel, most people think that advertising isn't effective. Being bland is a worse crime than being bad in advertising. At least Ferrero Rocher got some return on their investment by being so memorably bad. On the flip side, when one car maker has a proper go it gets really noticed and talked about (eg Honda, Skoda). 

It would be great to see Lotus back in a Bond film of course but as with Aston Martin, that World Is Not Enough!

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Have often wondered, as an Evora owner, why it failed given as stated above many times how universally praised it was.  Given how petrol heads are the main people who buy car mags, you would have though that would have done the job and Lotus PR would enforce it.

A few fake years in F1 didn't make any difference, so whilst there was little advertising there was some major brand exposure.  I think its down to perceived quality, look at Harry Metcalfe's recent review of the GT410 sport - loved it. but moaned about the interior, and rear which is so important and focused upon.

Given how IMO Skoda and Alfa where the other two companies with perceived quality issues and both have largely shaken them off, what can Lotus learn?  Well, I think not having a decent owner has really hampered Lotus.  My Skoda is basically a VW in all but name so huge part sharing has solved that, take the last few years out of the equation but when would Lotus have ever wanted to use anything out of a Proton?  Of course it also saves on cost, I think Audi's handling of Lambo has been perfect - let them do what they do best and use the parts bin to sort out the bad stuff - generally interior bits.  Geely should do the same.

Going back to the original line, maybe Lotus should have done a new Esprit instead of the Evora, albeit a 2+2 was clever but quite a small market.  I only have one as its the bigger model of the range, and not because of the seating.  I am not knocking it, but the Esprit had (and still does as far as I am concerned) have an aura and history which the Evora had to build for itself, and I think had largely failed - Fiat didn't have to try too hard when they re-launched the 500.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, The Pits said:

Nothing can happen with dealers until there's something they can sell. Shift 5000 units of the new car and then Volvo dealers might want to talk. Currently all they can offer is a hope and a prayer, so understandably no interest. Volvo (who have done really well for Geely) would push back hard against that as things stand I'm sure.

That's why I said its kind of catch 22. You will sell more cars with a bigger dealership network, but the dealers will want to see more cars sold before they would be interested. Especially in a show room. If new Lotus use a Volvo derived engine then I am unsure if service will be as big of a hurdle at least when it comes to the service side. The parts side is another story obviously. How many dealers want to store parts for cars they will barely see? Maybe Lotus USA could keep a parts warehouse and ship Lotus specific parts as they are needed by dealers? I am not sure how much power Geely has over their dealers. I am unsure if they can just mandate Lotus service or if they would have to make it optional or offer the dealers other incentives.

57 minutes ago, The Pits said:

7 year warranty is a big story, you will still need to tell people about it or they'll never know. It's also secondary driver of sales, you need people interested in the cars first. 100 year warranty won't help sales of a car nobody wants in the first place.

Well sure, but the question is: do people not buy or desire the Evora because its a piece of crap or because of other factors? My guess is more because of other factors. Sure, one of those may be because some people think Lotus is crap and thus the Evora is, but honestly I don't think Lotus' reputations of reliability and build quality is the biggest issue. It is one of them, but not the biggest. There are plenty of car companies that overcame reliability issues and many did that with simply just some better QA and longer warranties.

1 hour ago, The Pits said:

Product placement can be very effective but also a very long game.

Disagree, while it does help the long game significantly, seeing a car in a popular movie or in pop culture media almost instantly makes it more desirable and brings them into the zeitgeist. This is why car companies pay to have them in the movies. How much did Iron Man help the R8? Sure plenty of young boys wanted an R8 after seeing that, but a lot of their Dads did as well. Also movies aren't the only avenue of course, there are ton of avenues. I am not saying its an end-all-be-all. Even with Aston being in Bond movies they are still struggling. I just think its the quickest, most impactful way to get Lotus known again. Getting Lotus known by the general population, even if most would never be able to afford or want to buy one is still important. How many more people would know Lotus if Iron Man drove up in an Evija? I know Lotus cars have been in some modern movies, but I can't think of a single blockbuster movie one has been in.

Here's an uncomfortable reality some people hate to bring up on this forum. Do you think most people buy McLarens, Ferraris, Lambos, or even Porsche because of their great handling and stiff chassis? Sorry, that's just not reality. In reality most (not all of course) buy them because the public at large think that those cars are cool. You aren't cool if you and your parents are the only ones that think you are. Lotus are going to have to play to this demographic. I am not saying they have to completely sell out, but just making a light, great handling car isn't enough, sorry. If that is their plan they will be stuck in purgatory forever. I know that may turn some Lotus fans off. Lotus right now is kind of their secret only they know about, but if you want them to succeed you are going to have to accept some of the negatives that come with it.

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Honda (Acura) paid a small fortune to be in the Avengers, didn’t do much for sales of the new NSX. It is a very expensive thing to pursue. Style is important Chapman was very aware of that too but so is substance. The latest update to the Lotus website has introduced the configurator but has also seen the wholesale removal of the copy on all of the models bar Evija. Strange move. Hard to see how that will help move Lotus forward in any way, just like doing nothing until the new car comes out.

The plan hasn’t ever really been to ‘just build light, great handling cars’. The Seven was canned. The Esprit was an obvious move upmarket and the first Turbo Esprit was extravagantly appointed for its day. The Elite/Eclat/Excel were usefully practical and accommodating and Chapman was planning a luxury saloon before he died too. M250 was a plan for a larger, V6 sports car that eventually became the Evora. Really, Lotus have been trying to expand beyond diminutive track cars for years. I guess what’s different this time is the intended halo effect from the Evija.

 

 

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And a budget well in excess of £1.5bn. That's going to help!  

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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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18 hours ago, Nelly said:

Have often wondered, as an Evora owner, why it failed given as stated above many times how universally praised it was. 

Going back to the original line, maybe Lotus should have done a new Esprit instead of the Evora, albeit a 2+2 was clever but quite a small market.

I think marketing is really the weakness of Lotus and has to be pointedly at there. They could have done a bit better at developing the Evora year on year like many others. I think they didn’t do great of not having multiple version when the 400 was out, they could have kept an atmo and a turbo just to make people feel more excited about the Turbo.

Considering the size of the Evora and how good a car it was, I don’t understand why they didn’t use it as a mechanical base for an esprit. With their skills, this really should not have cost much to do and would have been the best marketing.

After that, a more  ambitious  Esprit V8 buying the AMG engine and using the extra +2  space to fit the engine and gearbox could be done relatively quickly as well. Maybe some people feel like an esprit should only be a brand new car, carbon fibre bed etc but an esprit look with Evora performance would perfectly sell.

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95 pages and counting suggests that people here enjoy speculating about the future of Lotus. So it is welcome and encouraged here. Masses of other threads to read for those who find it tiresome.

Continued radio silence at Lotus becomes unforgiveable if they have anywhere close to £1.5bh to spend. I'm amazed how many here think it's just fine, whatever they don't do, whatever they don't say, however much they ignore current owners or the current range, however long they delay, it's all good. It's really not and it will cost the company dearly. The podcasts are a great idea but that's one bloke's initiative and effort and he's not one of the new, highly paid, senior management. There are many hugely talented, dedicated people working at Lotus. They deserve a lot better than what we've seen so far.

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1 hour ago, The Pits said:

95 pages and counting suggests that people here enjoy speculating about the future of Lotus. So it is welcome and encouraged here. Masses of other threads to read for those who find it tiresome.

Continued radio silence at Lotus becomes unforgiveable if they have anywhere close to £1.5bh to spend. I'm amazed how many here think it's just fine, whatever they don't do, whatever they don't say, however much they ignore current owners or the current range, however long they delay, it's all good. It's really not and it will cost the company dearly. The podcasts are a great idea but that's one bloke's initiative and effort and he's not one of the new, highly paid, senior management. There are many hugely talented, dedicated people working at Lotus. They deserve a lot better than what we've seen so far.

Totally agree Jonny

For me it’s frustrating that Geely, who I really admire not only for turning Volvo around but that they have taken over a small British sports car manufacturer but have also decided to put so much money into what for me and my family is an amazing car manufacturer. They are allowing the company to rebuild its self as Phil sees fit.

Geely obviously have faith in what and how Phil is going around this turnaround.

But all these extra engineers working on a myriad of future sports cars, and yet we still have radio silence on a car that was due to be shown last year, production this year now next year hopefully.

We had snip its of information on Evija before its mega media release, so why nothing on the interim car, why no PR excitement about the interim car; surely we are not going to stop production of the current cars and start production of the next generation of Lotus cars the next day with no publicity or advertising?

please just a little information, while usually I advocate no news is good, I’m not sure in the current climate that is the best policy. Let everyone know Lotus is still around and still builds super sports cars

 yes I’ve signed up for Geely news just in case they release information 

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Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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