The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
More info on the Future plus who's Victor Kiam

New article from Autospies.com (usually very reliable) which outlines what they have been told is the future product development for Lotus including the new Elise in 2006. The article refers to Victor Kiam. Who is he and did he buy Lotus like the article says or am I missing something. I know all about the talk about a new buyer for the company recently but this guy seems to come out of nowhere. Anyone know anything about him?

http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=2850&categoryId=1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,430 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
From what I can tell, Victor Kiam is Lotus' deputy chairman. Is the article wrong or are we looking at the oft discussed management buyout?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
Not this Victor Kiam I hope:confused: :confused: :confused:

Tuesday, 29 May, 2001, 06:48 GMT 07:48 UK
Victor Kiam - the American businessman who became famous for his advert saying "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company" - has died.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
I guess not......



Interview: Victor Kiam

When Victor Kiam landed at Lotus two years ago, it was difficult, at first, to look past his name. It simply seemed too extraordinary a twist of fate that a Malaysian financial fixer installed by Lotus's owner, Proton, should bear the same name (but for a stray 'i') as a white-haired Yankee businessman, now deceased, who famously bought the Remington company because he liked it, then went on TV to tell the World.

In all the hubbub and hilarity, Lotus's Victor and his important mission were glossed over. Then, when the dust settled, it became clear that Kiam was in town to do some very dirty jobs: to retrench several hundred Lotus staff (including engineers, hitherto in short supply) with the aim of cutting costs to get the company back on a solid financial footing, a task begun by his short-lived predecessor Terry Playle.

Lotus was in serious trouble. It had recently announced a £43 million loss, it was having trouble getting its revised Elise into production, its deal with GM to build the VX220 (aka Opel Speedster) was in difficulty because it couldn't meet speed and quality targets, and it had publicly committed itself to a model between Elise and Esprit, code-named M250.

In support of these things it had built new factories and revised old ones, launched an expensive Elise racing series and upgraded its famous Hethel test track. Then, after 11 September 2001, the engineering consultancy, which had been on the wane, hit the buffers. Clients baled out in droves, taking projects back in-house. Something had to be done quickly.

Playle summarily killed the M250 project because it was too expensive and too 'Eurocentric'. What was more the company had already diverted too many staff from its engineering consultancy to chase problems with car production, and the M250 timetables simply could not be met. Playle left the door open for Lotus to produce such a car in the future, but only if it could be a worldwide seller. Then he turned 70 and retired.

Victor Kiam arrived from the management of Proton UK, and Lotus's belt began to tighten even further. The new boss – his official title is deputy chairman – didn't have much good news to spread and wasn't used to talking to the press anyway, so the company went into a long period of silence, coming out of its shell only to publicise some pretty doubtful 'needs must' Elise special editions, and to try to quell the worst of the job-cuts stories in the local press.

Silence, as Kiam explains it, should not be taken for inactivity. There was plenty to do, notably to get to know the business. 'I knew very little about Lotus, only that they made sports cars and that they had always seemed to struggle over the previous 10 years. I'd been involved in the original acquisition – and I'd seen that they always seemed to need money for some new project or other, with much idea how it would be paid back.'

As soon as he starts to speak, you warm to Kiam. He talks rapidly, the thoughts tumbling out almost faster than he can form the words, but he has an Asian humility and willingness to listen which is at odds with the Western way of doing things. It's the speed of his brain that conveys authority, not bombast.

The official story is that Lotus is now managed by consensus, with half a dozen experienced Hethel senior managers like Simon Wood, long-serving director of Lotus Engineering, to provide what Kiam terms the 'tekkie' input. But it's pretty clear Kiam's agenda is the one that matters, and first on his priority list is building Lotus into a stable, profitable company.

It is happening. 'We stopped losing money last year,' he explains. 'Until then we had been operation at a loss. But each year since the £43 million loss we have improved our operating profit by £15-20 million, and we are now making money at the operating level. Our net profits aren't very good yet, because the company is still highly geared – its borrowings and interest charges are too high – but we are working on that, too. At worst, we owed about £80 million, but we've more than halved that, and we have plans to reduce it more.'

After the Elise hits the US market early next year, Kiam expects cashflow to speed up. After selling about 100 cars across the pond in the past few years, he's hoping volume can rise to between 2000 and 3000 cars a year. That will be the move that decisively restores Lotus to profitability, he believes.

Beyond that, it's a matter of launching new models to entice buyers: continuing upgrades and advances for the Elise – and two new models. Work is beginning now on a new Esprit, the mid-engined supercar, with a plan to launch it for 2007 model year, and there will be an M250-style car as well, targeted at Porsche's Boxster, 12 to 18 months later.

Kiam's plan for Lotus, five years hence, is that it will be a company with a £350 million turnover (£150 million now) with the earnings split two-to-one in favour of car production (at present it's about equal). By then Lotus should be producing 6000 cars a year in three models: 3000 Elise and Exige, 2000 Boxster-chasers; 1000 Esprits – and about half of them targeted towards the US.

'At that stage Lotus's shareholder (only Proton, since it acquired Romano Artioli's 20 per cent last year) will be getting what Kiam terms 'a proper return on its years of investment'.

Racing will always be important to Lotus, he believes, but only the kind that involves production cars. F1, he believes, is a bit too expensive. But after a period of stringency the company will come back to supporting racing series around the world, and produce the performance equipment (through its Lotus Sport and Performance arm, on site at Hethel) which competitors will need.

Contrary to his man-of-mystery image. Kiam is a day-to-day Norfolk resident, whose work base is in Hethel, and who sends his kids to the same school as Simon Wood's. He travels a lot, choosing and appointing importers (as you read this, he's just back from Mexico), and enjoys the independence of operation a little company far away from the smoke of Norfolk. The quality of dealers and importers is one of his hobby horses; Lotus halved its German network some time ago, because Kiam wanted quality, not quantity.

The bit question is whether the Malaysian backroom boy will be around to see his remedial work prosper. He hopes so, though he admits this will be a matter decided in Malaysia. 'I enjoy every mintue with this company.' he says. Departing momentarily from his Asian mildness of manner, 'and I would definitely like to see things through, at least to get to a point where the shareholders feel comfortable to hand on to someone else. Luckily, there is still very much to do.'


http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EOtherstuff/Comeback_AutoCarMag.html
 

·
shay2nak
Joined
·
25,068 Posts
i thought the elise replacement was going to be sold here in 2006, so it could meet the US safety requirements for the bumpers and headlights. The article says 2008. :confused: 2008 makes sense to me because, if Lotus brings the Exige here, it will be in 2006 (I'm guessing). And i'm sure the Exige will also require exemptions. Then a couple years later the new Elise/Exige will be designed to meet the requirements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,802 Posts
Robert,
Kiam is just the appointed director of Lotus from Proton, he's been there a couple years. I've heard no indications of him being involved in a buyout. He's very much a behind the scenes guy, very little publicity about him.


Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,301 Posts
I think they were just trying to be funny since he shares the name with the guy famous for "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,927 Posts
3 Model Line Up- Latest Rumors

AUTO SPIES EXCLUSIVE: Lotus readying Ferrari-killer



Dear 001,

The man who bought the company (Victor Kiam) has been ensuring that enough money gets pumped into Lotus to ensure a fabulous 3-model line-up by 2006/2007 starting with the rebirth of 007's favorite submarine, the Esprit.

Just like Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, Lotus have been working on a new chassis technology called VVA (Versatile Vehicle Architecture) but unlike Fords subsidiaries, the boys from Norfork in England have been developing other interchangeable building blocks allowing them to make different cars from the same systems, front engine, rear engine, transverse or in-line engines, way ahead of the opposition.

What that means is...

An inline mid-engine 2-seater Esprit in the 2005’ish timeframe. An inline front engine 4-seater Excel Coupe in sometime in 2006-07 and a transverse mid-engine 2-seater Elise in 2006-07

First to arrive will be the Esprit replacement, a very lightweight, strict 2-seater cloaked in a stylish body with some family resemblance to the Elise but with a new Lotus trademark, ie, "sharks gills" for engine cooling vents behind the doors. In a change of strategy, from the start, Lotus is building an interior cabin structure that fits drivers, then designing a body to go around it, so the esprit will be a "very comfortable" car indeed (by supercar standards). What will power this 200+mph monster is still undecided, some say a turbo-charged BMW M5 engine, others say a development of the existing 3.5-litre V8 that was last used in the old Esprit.

Whatever, performance and handling to shame all supercars is Lotus aim. With a super strong structure, the option for a Ferrari GTS style removable roof is being explored for the first time too. The "E" naming system will continue, though the Esprit development car is called Elvis, this probably will not be its production name! Expect a debut at the 2005 Geneva motor show, where the original first appeared in the 70's. Expect a £75,000 ($135,000USD) price tag.

Following a year later comes the front-engine Excel replacement, once regarded as the best handling car of its type (beating the old Porsche 944's in it's day).

Again, based on the VVA platform, it is intended to be a proper 4-seater, equally aggressively styled as the Esprit but keeping a strong family resemblance. Lotus intend to produce a smaller, less powerful motors for the Excel, probably a blown and unblown versions of the current 3.5-litre V8, endowing the car with sufficient power to see off most of the competition, ie, Nissan Z350, BMW M3 etc. With a super strong structure, insiders say a convertible is possible, and market forces suggest that experimentation is already in had to produce a rag-top. Exceptional road manners will be this cars selling point. Expect this on sale in 2006ish, priced at around £45,000 to £55,000 ($81,000USD to $99,000USD) at launch.

Lastly, because it's just been revised by Lotus in the last couple of months, the final model to use the VVA systems will be the replacement Elise. It will remain a transverse mid-engine car as it is now, and it's styling will follow the new family theme. Better interior space will be the main benefit of the new car when it appears in 2008. For it's baby model (and main seller) Lotus will continue to out source the engine, and as Toyota have some interesting developments of their own going on too - a good engine/gearbox option should not be too difficult to locate. The idea of using GM parts (as Lotus currently builds their VX220) has been quashed and that partnership is soon to end completely. This new baby Lotus is expected to move the handling/performance envelope to another level when it arrives, just like the current car has done.

You will need to be patient, as this pocket rocket will not be in the showrooms until 2008, though it will be a bargain at £27,000 to £30,000 ($49,000USD to $55,000USD) for a car that will humble a Ferrari 360 on a back road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,311 Posts
Article in AutoSpies

AUTO SPIES EXCLUSIVE: Lotus readying Ferrari-killer

Dear 001,

The man who bought the company (Victor Kiam) has been ensuring that enough money gets pumped into Lotus to ensure a fabulous 3-model line-up by 2006/2007 starting with the rebirth of 007's favorite submarine, the Esprit.

Just like Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, Lotus have been working on a new chassis technology called VVA (Versatile Vehicle Architecture) but unlike Fords subsidiaries, the boys from Norfork in England have been developing other interchangeable building blocks allowing them to make different cars from the same systems, front engine, rear engine, transverse or in-line engines, way ahead of the opposition.

What that means is...

An inline mid-engine 2-seater Esprit in the 2005’ish timeframe. An inline front engine 4-seater Excel Coupe in sometime in 2006-07 and a transverse mid-engine 2-seater Elise in 2006-07

First to arrive will be the Esprit replacement, a very lightweight, strict 2-seater cloaked in a stylish body with some family resemblance to the Elise but with a new Lotus trademark, ie, "sharks gills" for engine cooling vents behind the doors. In a change of strategy, from the start, Lotus is building an interior cabin structure that fits drivers, then designing a body to go around it, so the esprit will be a "very comfortable" car indeed (by supercar standards). What will power this 200+mph monster is still undecided, some say a turbo-charged BMW M5 engine, others say a development of the existing 3.5-litre V8 that was last used in the old Esprit.

Whatever, performance and handling to shame all supercars is Lotus aim. With a super strong structure, the option for a Ferrari GTS style removable roof is being explored for the first time too. The "E" naming system will continue, though the Esprit development car is called Elvis, this probably will not be its production name! Expect a debut at the 2005 Geneva motor show, where the original first appeared in the 70's. Expect a £75,000 ($135,000USD) price tag.

Following a year later comes the front-engine Excel replacement, once regarded as the best handling car of its type (beating the old Porsche 944's in it's day).

Again, based on the VVA platform, it is intended to be a proper 4-seater, equally aggressively styled as the Esprit but keeping a strong family resemblance. Lotus intend to produce a smaller, less powerful motors for the Excel, probably a blown and unblown versions of the current 3.5-litre V8, endowing the car with sufficient power to see off most of the competition, ie, Nissan Z350, BMW M3 etc. With a super strong structure, insiders say a convertible is possible, and market forces suggest that experimentation is already in had to produce a rag-top. Exceptional road manners will be this cars selling point. Expect this on sale in 2006ish, priced at around £45,000 to £55,000 ($81,000USD to $99,000USD) at launch.

Lastly, because it's just been revised by Lotus in the last couple of months, the final model to use the VVA systems will be the replacement Elise. It will remain a transverse mid-engine car as it is now, and it's styling will follow the new family theme. Better interior space will be the main benefit of the new car when it appears in 2008. For it's baby model (and main seller) Lotus will continue to out source the engine, and as Toyota have some interesting developments of their own going on too - a good engine/gearbox option should not be too difficult to locate. The idea of using GM parts (as Lotus currently builds their VX220) has been quashed and that partnership is soon to end completely. This new baby Lotus is expected to move the handling/performance envelope to another level when it arrives, just like the current car has done.

You will need to be patient, as this pocket rocket will not be in the showrooms until 2008, though it will be a bargain at £27,000 to £30,000 ($49,000USD to $55,000USD) for a car that will humble a Ferrari 360 on a back road.

How do you like them apples?

Take care,

Professor Victor Van Nostrom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,607 Posts
THis may not belong in this forum, if not I apologize and feel free to move to other or something.


I was perusing a "british car forum" and saw this article about "Lotus's New Ferrari Killer"


The man who bought the company (Victor Kiam) has been ensuring that enough money gets pumped into Lotus to ensure a fabulous 3-model line-up by 2006/2007 starting with the rebirth of 007's favorite submarine, the Esprit.
Just like Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, Lotus have been working on a new chassis technology called VVA (Versatile Vehicle Architecture) but unlike Fords subsidiaries, the boys from Norfork in England have been developing other interchangeable building blocks allowing them to make different cars from the same systems, front engine, rear engine, transverse or in-line engines, way ahead of the opposition.

What that means is...

An inline mid-engine 2-seater Esprit in the 2005’ish timeframe. An inline front engine 4-seater Excel Coupe in sometime in 2006-07 and a transverse mid-engine 2-seater Elise in 2006-07

First to arrive will be the Esprit replacement, a very lightweight, strict 2-seater cloaked in a stylish body with some family resemblance to the Elise but with a new Lotus trademark, ie, "sharks gills" for engine cooling vents behind the doors. In a change of strategy, from the start, Lotus is building an interior cabin structure that fits drivers, then designing a body to go around it, so the esprit will be a "very comfortable" car indeed (by supercar standards). What will power this 200+mph monster is still undecided, some say a turbo-charged BMW M5 engine, others say a development of the existing 3.5-litre V8 that was last used in the old Esprit.

Whatever, performance and handling to shame all supercars is Lotus aim. With a super strong structure, the option for a Ferrari GTS style removable roof is being explored for the first time too. The "E" naming system will continue, though the Esprit development car is called Elvis, this probably will not be its production name! Expect a debut at the 2005 Geneva motor show, where the original first appeared in the 70's. Expect a £75,000 ($135,000USD) price tag.

Following a year later comes the front-engine Excel replacement, once regarded as the best handling car of its type (beating the old Porsche 944's in it's day).

Again, based on the VVA platform, it is intended to be a proper 4-seater, equally aggressively styled as the Esprit but keeping a strong family resemblance. Lotus intend to produce a smaller, less powerful motors for the Excel, probably a blown and unblown versions of the current 3.5-litre V8, endowing the car with sufficient power to see off most of the competition, ie, Nissan Z350, BMW M3 etc. With a super strong structure, insiders say a convertible is possible, and market forces suggest that experimentation is already in had to produce a rag-top. Exceptional road manners will be this cars selling point. Expect this on sale in 2006ish, priced at around £45,000 to £55,000 ($81,000USD to $99,000USD) at launch.

Lastly, because it's just been revised by Lotus in the last couple of months, the final model to use the VVA systems will be the replacement Elise. It will remain a transverse mid-engine car as it is now, and it's styling will follow the new family theme. Better interior space will be the main benefit of the new car when it appears in 2008. For it's baby model (and main seller) Lotus will continue to out source the engine, and as Toyota have some interesting developments of their own going on too - a good engine/gearbox option should not be too difficult to locate. The idea of using GM parts (as Lotus currently builds their VX220) has been quashed and that partnership is soon to end completely. This new baby Lotus is expected to move the handling/performance envelope to another level when it arrives, just like the current car has done.

You will need to be patient, as this pocket rocket will not be in the showrooms until 2008, though it will be a bargain at £27,000 to £30,000 ($49,000USD to $55,000USD) for a car that will humble a Ferrari 360 on a back road
 

·
shay2nak
Joined
·
25,068 Posts
Good find.
Sounds familiar. I've read this somewhere before. One of the major magazines?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
Re: More info on the Future plus who's Victor Kiam

wallabyguy said:
New article from Autospies.com (usually very reliable)
hmm, not in my experience.

most of their "inside scoop" is taken from perusing the most popular message boards of the particular models they comment on
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top