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Uggh. Auto Makers are getting as bad as Radio and Communications companies. I dont think 3 or 4 companies should own the world.

UGGH X 10 :mad:

And yes, Im GLAD Im getting mine this year too.


PS, thats kind of a cool Lotus "Flash" logo at the top left of the page. Wish I could snag that for an avatar or sig line.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I a "foriegn partner" had to be found, who would everyone want? My personal choice would be Ford.

They tend to stay hands off for the most part and allow the companies they acquire to keep their identities. They already have Aston, Jaguar and Land Rover in Britian and Lotus would fit nicely into the fold with little to no overlap. Lotus has also done consulting recently for Aston and Jaguar. Aditionally, there is one heck of a history of the two companies working together in racing during the 60's. Unfortunetly, I don't think Ford is in any shape to be buying anyone right now.
 

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wallabyguy said:
I a "foriegn partner" had to be found, who would everyone want? My personal choice would be Ford.

They tend to stay hands off for the most part and allow the companies they acquire to keep their identities. They already have Aston, Jaguar and Land Rover in Britian and Lotus would fit nicely into the fold with little to no overlap. Lotus has also done consulting recently for Aston and Jaguar. Aditionally, there is one heck of a history of the two companies working together in racing during the 60's. Unfortunetly, I don't think Ford is in any shape to be buying anyone right now.
Ive always heard that was the case but to me it seems different. I had a saab in the early 90's and a friend has a saab now, the quality seems a bit off now. Also Volvo seems to be going downhill IMHO. Maybe I just imagine it, but the newer Volvo's seem to have many more problems than the older ones. Plus the cheap volvo's are just mitsubishi's.....the market is getting watered down it seems. :( I think the auto makers and "racing relationships" of yore between companies seem to be fading away. Now its all about the bottom line. No Passion or Emotion anymore.
 

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Wow, that would totally suck if GM bought out proton. Could you imagine what would happen to Lotus? In 2 years, instead of a slight redesign to the elise, the all aluminum chasis would be scrapped for a "cheaper" steel (agree on that kappa point earlier) one. The elise would turn into a solstice with sharper lines. They would also try to produce about 150,000 a year like they are doing with the 05 mustang. What would happen to the new esprit and m250? Probably nothing, i am sure those projects would be scrapped. GM needs to keep its fat Americanized hands away from out lightweight foreign elise.

-Whit
 

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OneFastMiata said:
Ive always heard that was the case but to me it seems different. I had a saab in the early 90's and a friend has a saab now, the quality seems a bit off now. Also Volvo seems to be going downhill IMHO. Maybe I just imagine it, but the newer Volvo's seem to have many more problems than the older ones. Plus the cheap volvo's are just mitsubishi's.....the market is getting watered down it seems. :( I think the auto makers and "racing relationships" of yore between companies seem to be fading away. Now its all about the bottom line. No Passion or Emotion anymore.
I think that Saab is now owned (or partially owned) by GM. Aren't they putting GM engines in Saabs now? I could be wrong. I would trust Ford much more than GM with Lotus.

If the Elise is a success (and I think it will be), Lotus/Proton will look a lot more appetizing to the big car companies. I also am glad to be getting a Lotus now. Think about it though, if GM buys Lotus and messes it all up (which it probably would), our cars value will go up and be considered the last of the real Lotus(es). Still wouldn't want to see it happen though.
 

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wallabyguy said:
They already have Aston, Jaguar and Land Rover in Britian and Lotus would fit nicely into the fold with little to no overlap.
I personally tend to stay far away from any car that has anything to do with an american company... and wasn't ford responsible for the "cheap" (as in quality) Jaguar line? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whit,

If you want to know what would happen to Lotus if GM bought Proton, just see 1986. Every scrape of what made a Lotus, a lotus was thrown away in favor of GM perspective. Even Chapman's intials were removed from the badging. Camaro/ Firebird steering wheels were placed on all the cars. The Elan was botched. And in true GM fashion, the Elan was killed just when things were being fixed and the car was getting better (not to mention the market).

But the factory was updated so not everything was bad.
 

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The title of the article is "General Motors denies Proton equity purchase plans" .. and goes on to say...

We are not in discussions to buy an equity stake in Proton. This is totally false," Wong told Reuters."

The Bloomberg report had quoted him as saying the talks were ongoing and preliminary, but the Singapore-based spokesman told Reuters those talks referred to a possible engineering collaboration between GM-Daewoo and Proton for a next-generation Proton vehicle."

Seems a bit early to say the sky is falling. It didn't hurt Lotus to work with GM on the VX220T. From what I've read, that relationship helped Lotus improve its QC and modernize its production line. I think the biggest drawback would be that Lotus' ability to get a Toyota engine for upcoming Elises or Esprit would be slim to none.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mike,

There has been good and bad but mostly good with Ford's purchase of Jaguar. Quality has gone way up. The product line has expanded. The technology in the cars has increased significantly. There has been sharing between the two which at times has been touchy. The S-Type and LS have shared platforms but did so sucessfully. The X-Type has been somewhat less sucessful but I account that to a limited model line (no coupes, convertibles, XK150's) and limited engines (no R badged cars). On the whole, Jaguar is better off now than 10 years ago.
 

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Also, Ford helped with a major infusion of $ for Aston Martin, although it was good leadership in AM with its R&D that has helped it maintain its niche.
 

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I think the biggest impact of this potentially would be powerplants choices, and future development in the Esprit. I personally think that if the Elise stays below 2000 pounds, and torque could be increased via a supercharger or turbo application, it would be a win-win situation. I would love an elise that could blast to 60 in 4.5 seconds, and had all the increadible handeling characteristics they have now. Who knows though, it wil be a while before we know of anything certain.
 

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Ford invested in AM and Jag for 10+ yrs to fix those two antiquated companies. I doubt they will ever get their investment out - though it is mostly sunk cost at this point.

I expect some large car mfg to purchase Proton - especially one with a weak presence in Asia. GM already has Daewoo. Daewoo is all over 3rd world Asia. I've been to several of their factories in various countries. I'm not sure what the advantage would be for GM to purchase Proton.

Though GM products have been lousy for the last few decades, they seem to have some interesting products in the pipe. Bob Lutz is a true car guy and has turned product dev on it's head. Though the size of GM may prevent them from ever becoming as passionate as a BMW, Porsche or Lotus can be.

If it is not GM, it will eventually be someone else. I doubt Proton has the financials/R&D to go it alone. I would have placed my bets on DC because of the Mitsu connection....
 

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wallabyguy said:
Mike,

There has been good and bad but mostly good with Ford's purchase of Jaguar. Quality has gone way up. The product line has expanded. The technology in the cars has increased significantly. There has been sharing between the two which at times has been touchy. The S-Type and LS have shared platforms but did so sucessfully. The X-Type has been somewhat less sucessful but I account that to a limited model line (no coupes, convertibles, XK150's) and limited engines (no R badged cars). On the whole, Jaguar is better off now than 10 years ago.

I'd have to disagree. I own a 2000 XK8 conv, and this car is the biggest piece of **** mechanically that i've ever seen. I have it in the shop usually twice a month, and now my cars been in the shop for the better part of a month and a half with reoccuring transmission issues. Don't get me wrong, it's a blast to drive, and looks absolutely beautiful, but damn, mechanically? It's crap.
 

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When GM bought Lotus, it did so because it wanted the contract engineering part of Lotus's business, not the car manufacturing part. They thought so highly of Lotus's engineering expertise that they outsourced the design & development of the cylinder heads for the ZR-1 to them, as well as a number of other not so well known projects. After the acquisition, however, Lotus found that its contract engineering side was unprofitable because its customers assumed that GM would get a peek at anything that Lotus Engineering was doing for them. Since these customers were typically competitors of GM, they sent their business elsewhere or brought the engineering in-house. (For example, Toyota did not enlist Lotus's engineering help for its second generation MR2, even though Lotus did such a fantastic job on the chassis of the 1st generation MR2.) The unprofitabilty of the contract engineering group led GM to get rid of Lotus. I see the same happening today if GM reacquired them.

If anything is going on between GM and Proton, I would expect it to have been initiated by Proton, not GM. Historically, Proton has been almost completely dependent on Mitsubishi for its engineering, and Mitsubishi is in very deep you-know-what at present. It's Japanese leadership was both inept and corrupt to its core. D-C has handpicked the new senior management team, but unless Daimler-Chrysler is willing to commit another $4-$5 billion to Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi is toast. If I were Proton, I'd be spreading my bets right now and talking to any potential partners who would be willing to listen. If I were GM, I wouldn't be interested in buying Lotus for the reasons above, and I definitely wouldn't be interested in buying an inefficient producer of low quality vehicles (I'm referring to Protons, not Lotuses) whose only competitive advantages are Malaysia's outrageously high tariffs on imported cars and the familial relationship between Proton's owners and Malaysia's political leaders.
 

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GabbaGabbaHey said:
I think the biggest drawback would be that Lotus' ability to get a Toyota engine for upcoming Elises or Esprit would be slim to none.
You never know - If Saturn is now using Honda engines, maybe they would throw one in the elise:)
 
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