- Goodbye Lotus!
Now if they brought out a reasonably priced, competitive spec warm/hot range of saloons I reckon they could sell some cars. The cost of development and tooling up just seems too great though. It’s a shame they haven’t teamed up with Jag to produce some smaller BMW 1 and 3 series competitors
Arguably, that was the market for Proton, the parent company.
The issues, ime, were more fundamental. Extremely poor middle management, politics, misguided adherence to “this is what we’ve always done” and “its good enough”, when obviously it very much wasn’t.
There were some shocking types there in positions they really shouldn’t have been in, imo.
Clean slate and the brand might just be salvageable, but as it was when I was there. No chance, when you can get, for similar money.Posted 5 years ago
A metal bodied car, with an interior which employs contemporary materials and production techniques. That goes and handles very well.
As before, with 50K burning a hole in my wallet, then between an Evora and an equivalent Porsche. It would be the Porsche for me.
I’m amazed they’ve lasted this long.
They didn’t, the patient has been in the ICU for a long time, being supported by the parent company.
In my time there, there were 6 Esprit replacement programs launched. None ever made it to market. All that money, those opportunities, wasted.Posted 5 years agoShandySubscriber
Their problem is that their only real strength is the driving experience and “bang for your buck”. They have to be considerably cheaper than cars with equivalent performance from larger manufacturers, because they can’t level the playing field on specification. If you take their cars against the equivalents from Porsche, usually you’re heading towards the top of the range Porsche until you reach the performance figures of the Lotus. Unfortunately for Lotus nearly everyone will drive the base-spec Porsche and decide it offers nearly all of the performance in a much better package.Posted 5 years ago
Lotus are in the poo because their strengths were far, far outweighed by all their many weaknesses. Producing a car with class leading (perhaps) ride and handling, does not mitigate the woeful short falls in other areas. Modern customers have tasted the goods from Germany and have more sophisticated demands. Its no longer enough to make a car fast and fun to drive. It must also have a good interior, convey the sense of quality, solidity, reliability. Admittedly, all manufacturers suffer varying degrees of all those things, but they normally work to improve them, at least to bring them within reach of the competition. Lotus just kept going back to what they knew, plastic bodies, aluminium extrusions and modular ‘tubs’ for the chassis, etc.Posted 5 years ago
Not good enough for todays market, the sales,lack of, show us this.breatheeasyMember
Unfortunately for Lotus nearly everyone will drive the base-spec Porsche and decide it offers nearly all of the performance in a much better package.
That’s their problem – you can’t drive any car at their full potential around the roads (well, maybe a Smart 2-seater..) so it’s often the badge name rather than spec people buy. 50k to spend on a fancy car? Probably middle aged, overweight, midlife crisis so go directly to Porsche.
Similar to Nissan Skyline – yes corners at 5.2g, 0-60 in a second, etc. etc. but a Nissan badge on the key fob as you chuck them into the bowl at the swingers party…Posted 5 years agodavetraveSubscriber
Modern customers have tasted the goods from Germany and have more sophisticated demands.
Maybe I’m in a very small minority then but when I bought my Elise, the short list consisted of Elise, 350Z, Z4, S2000 and Boxster, all of which I test drove. None of those offered what I wanted in terms of driving fun and connection – they were too refined and I felt I may as well have been driving a souped up saloon…
That said, having had some experience of Hethel, especially as an enthusiast, I’d have to agree with Solo about why they are where they are now…Posted 5 years agoPJM1974Member
My father did a stint there in the 60s after the aircraft industry imploded…
…most of the stories about quality control (or lack thereof), unpaid invoices and the constant threat of action by suppliers was true even then. My father describes a lot of the Lotus management at the time as “crooks” and/or “arseholes”. Allegedly, there was also more than one shop floor sabotage attempt on a senior manager’s life by filling a polythene bag full of oxy-acetylene, stashing it under the bonnet and wiring it to the starter motor.
They did have a lot of fun with the prototype Lotus Cortinas though.Posted 5 years agoPJM1974Member
Also, I cannot remember the last time I saw a new Lotus on the road.
I do know they do an awful lot of consultancy work (I believe that they had a hand in the 1998 Astra and Focus chassis development for example) and that the car making is very much a small, niche activity.Posted 5 years ago
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