New York Times - For Lotus Cars, a New Chief and a Return to Its Vaunted Lightness - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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New York Times - For Lotus Cars, a New Chief and a Return to Its Vaunted Lightness

The New York Times 11/19/15
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/au...lightness.html

The Lotus factory in Hethel, England. The company was founded 66 years ago by the engineer and racecar driver Colin Chapman.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 09:29 AM
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Very cool to see Lotus in NYT.

'05. Eyes up.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 09:49 AM
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Good find. Thx.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-20-2015, 03:32 PM
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Two interesting points from the article, below. Thoughts?

“In the U.S., Lotus faces a market largely unfamiliar with its brand or product, much like Fiat faced five years ago,” Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said. “That doesn’t mean it can’t succeed, but it will need both a product plan that caters to U.S. buyers as well as a marketing plan that rises above the automotive cacophony already assaulting American drivers.”

George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, an automotive market research and consulting firm based in California, suspects Mr. Gales has his work cut out for him.

“It will be very difficult for Lotus to re-establish a solid position in the U.S.A. because of their historic stops-starts,” he said.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-21-2015, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
Two interesting points from the article, below. Thoughts?

“In the U.S., Lotus faces a market largely unfamiliar with its brand or product, much like Fiat faced five years ago,” Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said. “That doesn’t mean it can’t succeed, but it will need both a product plan that caters to U.S. buyers as well as a marketing plan that rises above the automotive cacophony already assaulting American drivers.”

George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, an automotive market research and consulting firm based in California, suspects Mr. Gales has his work cut out for him.

“It will be very difficult for Lotus to re-establish a solid position in the U.S.A. because of their historic stops-starts,” he said.
Except for the Fiat comparison, I think Mr. Brauer's assessment of Lotus' predicament is fairly accurate. Mr. Peterson seems pessimistic however in his outlook.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 04:42 AM
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Yeah, nice article by Jamie Kitman, Lotus owner and writer for Automobile Magazine.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 05:37 AM
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Good read.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 06:21 AM
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 07:14 AM
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The issue is "niche". Niche is limited and will never be big. Niche is risky and volatile. Safety laws directly compete with Chaplin's motto. It will be very hard to sustain without giving up one of the following good traits about Lotus: lightness, steering feel, handling, low cost.

Funny thing is that gales mentions profitability with the Tesla roadster, so why not focus on electric? Detroit electric and Tesla has used Lotus platforms. Lightweight lithium phosphate batteries are lighter and safer. A hybrid should be considered.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 08:33 AM
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NY Times article: For Lotus Cars, a New Chief and a Return to Its Vaunted Lightness

I don't know if this has been posted, but it's an interesting article and interview with Jean-Marc Gales:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/au...kendreads&_r=0
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 10:18 AM
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Yeah, nice article by Jamie Kitman, Lotus owner and writer for Automobile Magazine.
And manager of "They Might be Giants".

I suggest all look up one of his best pieces, "My Brave New Face".

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 12:33 PM
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2015, 04:52 AM
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Good article that shows hope for the future. Lotus needs to ditch the aluminum chassis and embrace carbon fiber. "Entry level" Elise is important but so is one halo car. I wonder how well a fun commuter hatchback would sell? I'd buy one if it was in the Mini Cooper price range.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 03:47 AM
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Safety laws directly compete with Chaplin's motto.
But "Modern Times" was fine comedy.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-24-2015, 05:16 AM
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Funny thing is that gales mentions profitability with the Tesla roadster, so why not focus on electric? Detroit electric and Tesla has used Lotus platforms. Lightweight lithium phosphate batteries are lighter and safer. A hybrid should be considered.

They have a better profit margin when just selling the chassis rather than developing their own powertrain and interior. With the Tesla arrangement, Lotus was able to focus on what they do best and nothing else. That's why it worked so well for them. The problem is that Tesla is proving that an electric car company is unsustainable given their recent numbers, so that also supports Lotus' decision to be a supplier rather than invest wholly into the electric car. And really? Hybrid? That screams against both "simplify" and "add lightness". At least with an SUV Lotus can aim to be lightest and purest in the class, but that has received enough criticism anyways. A hybrid just says "Bahar". While my car is getting 30mpg, I see no benefit in shoehorning a half-assed hybrid system on board since you can't fit any more than that.


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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 07:54 AM
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They have a better profit margin when just selling the chassis rather than developing their own powertrain and interior. With the Tesla arrangement, Lotus was able to focus on what they do best and nothing else. That's why it worked so well for them. The problem is that Tesla is proving that an electric car company is unsustainable given their recent numbers, so that also supports Lotus' decision to be a supplier rather than invest wholly into the electric car. And really? Hybrid? That screams against both "simplify" and "add lightness". At least with an SUV Lotus can aim to be lightest and purest in the class, but that has received enough criticism anyways. A hybrid just says "Bahar". While my car is getting 30mpg, I see no benefit in shoehorning a half-assed hybrid system on board since you can't fit any more than that.


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Get the Prius out of your head, I'm talking hybrid like the 918, laferarri, and F1. New advanced Batteries can weigh less than a tank of gas so yes it IS adding lightness.

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