As I said in last night’s piece, ‘Why Lotus’ future is far from safe’, Proton has been working on securing a platform sharing deal with a major automotive partner.
For any business to function it needs to produce a product or service, sell it to customers, develop new offerings and promote them in order to generate demand. It also needs working capital to pay its suppliers, develop its staff and motivate all involved in its organisation to outperform its competitors. Lotus appears to be doing none of these, and to all intents and purposes is like a patient ‘surviving’ on life support – not ‘living’ – because that would involve actually getting up and doing something, but surviving – as in artificially being kept alive.
If you hold even a passing interest in cars and the industry that makes them, you surely won’t have failed to notice that 2010 was an absolute cracker.
After more than a decade of Elise-based production it’s easy to forget that Lotus was once known as a supercar maker, rather than purveyors of light-weight track-ready sports cars. Whilst many of us hold reservations about Lotus’ New Era strategy, one point that cannot be argued against is that they needed a change of strategy.
You have to admire the ambition of Dany Bahar and his team at Lotus, despite doubts over the scale and achievability of their New Era strategy, they’ve certainly raised the brand’s profile during the two months since their Paris Motorshow bombshell.
Turning the small Norfolk car maker into a worthy Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche rival is on a par with Red Bull winning the F1 World Championship – an unlikely ambition and yet we’ve just witnessed the Austrian drinks company achieving just that.
With all the shenanigans surrounding the recent Paris Motor Show, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Metamorphosis is yet another new Lotus model ready the join the Esprit, Elan, Elite, Elise and Eterne. Fear not, for Metamorphosis is in fact a unique collaboration between Lotus and the award winning French artist Gérard Rancinan – due to be revealed on Friday (12th November) at an exclusive VIP event in Los Angeles.
Lotus surprised attendees at the Paris show today by unveiling not one, but five new models, rather overshadowing the Lotus Evora S and Evora Auto which also made their debut at the show. Four out of the five cars are completely new models (Elite, Elan, Esprit and Eterne) whilst Lotus also displayed a redesigned Elise, due to reach production in 2015. By then the Lotus Brand will be unrecognisable from today, with prices substantially higher and very different customer profile.
Lotus can’t wait to get back to making supercars, so they’ve given us a clock to help pass the time.