What’s the strategy behind the Goodwood partnership?
Goodwood has become the most important car culture event in the world. It’s set in such a beautiful environment, complimenting these wonderful automobiles, and attracts hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts. The similarities between what Goodwood is trying to do and what we would like to communicate are clear. It’s about showcasing the past, present and future of sports cars and motor racing. We’ll be in Goodwood to show what we’ve done over the last three years, as well as the last 60 years.
What makes this year special for Lotus?
The last six months have been very tough, due to the sale of our parent company Proton, speculation about our future, and uncertainty over our funding. But Lotus has true fighting spirit; we’re not down on the canvas, not by a long shot. At Goodwood we will show we’ve still got more punch and more relevance than any other British car firm.
Despite what’s going on in Malaysia and decisions over our future ownership, we are still not only building cars, but unleashing new ones – which is something unusual for a company of our size and in our position. Goodwood will be the launch pad for two new and very exciting model variants.
Can you tell us more about these variants?
Not now, you have to wait a bit.
Goodwood is a very English event. Lotus has ambitions to be an international player, but at its core it’s an eccentric and traditional British company isn’t it?
The principals of innovation, hand-built craftsmanship and style are at the heart of Lotus, and those values are never going to change. This is why the Goodwood Festival of Speed is a perfect fit for us, because it’s a celebration of four-wheeled excellence, tradition and perseverance. As you say, we want Lotus to play on the international scene more than we’re doing today. The scale of our ambition has been well documented. But we’ll never forget where we’ve come from, so Goodwood is the perfect opportunity to show where we’ve been and where we’re going.
How important is heritage in your marketing vision for the brand?
It is absolutely everything. If you don’t understand your past, you can’t realise your future. We remember not only the good times, but the bad times too, it’s what makes us stronger and gives us depth of character. Lotus has been pioneering both on the road and on the track for six decades. At Goodwood we’ll be able to showcase everything the company has done, and we will use this as a foundation for the future.
Have you seen the sculpture? Any hints as to what it will be like?
I haven’t seen the final sculpture, only draft designs. Right now it is the very good hands of our artist, Gerry Juddah. I hope that it will be a strong, dynamic and beautiful centerpiece for the event, but the investment is not just for the benefit of Goodwood. Right now our factory in Hethel, Norfolk, is transforming. One day, in the not too distant, I would like this sculpture to be erected beside the factory gates and serve as a landmark.