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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I polled 6 general car enthusiast groups not skewed to favor either car on social media. Except "a car club where everyone acts like boomers" has a mix of serious and satire votes (mostly zoomers making light fun of boomers by acting ironically like them--writing in all caps or posting Corvette pics w/ Hooters girls or scantily clad senior age wives, etc.). The poll question posed:
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Sort of dispels the opposing opinion of C8 being so lopsidedly superior to Emira they shouldn't be compared (reasonable if you armchair race on-paper specs). Would be interesting if other LT members were to conduct or find and share existing poll results maybe in other car forums or Twitter (great for polling if you have a sizeable following as is YouTube), etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
To clarify, the (mostly young) people in this group might forcibly vote Corvette and write comments like these in order to stay "in character." So votes don't necessarily represent true "out of character" preference. It's the only car group I didn't realize would have manipulated results until after I saw them. Given that, the results were still surprising.
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Interesting. This "poll," with a larger sample size (1m+) where participants are voting with their pocketbook, provides another data point:

Demand for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Dealers stopped taking orders for the 2021 model year in March, and demand remains so high that dealers are marking Corvettes up tens of thousands over MSRP.


21,686 C8's were sold in CY2020 (MY2020 production qty was also sold out).

14,582 C8's were sold during Jan-Jun 2021.

Will be interesting to see if majority of Emira buyers are new to Lotus, as the majority of C8 buyers are new to Chevy:


Reportedly the Emira also has sold out the first year's production for 2022. I understand Lotus aims to increase production from around 1,600 cars per year to around 4,800, but they're probably not quite there yet. So what is the projected 2022 Emira production number, maybe something like 2,000?
 

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Interesting. This "poll," with a larger sample size (1m+) where participants are voting with their pocketbook, provides another data point:

Demand for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Dealers stopped taking orders for the 2021 model year in March, and demand remains so high that dealers are marking Corvettes up tens of thousands over MSRP.


21,686 C8's were sold in CY2020 (MY2020 production qty was also sold out).

14,582 C8's were sold during Jan-Jun 2021.

Will be interesting to see if majority of Emira buyers are new to Lotus, as the majority of C8 buyers are new to Chevy:


Reportedly the Emira also has sold out the first year's production for 2022. I understand Lotus aims to increase production from around 1,600 cars per year to around 4,800, but they're probably not quite there yet. So what is the projected 2022 Emira production number, maybe something like 2,000?
There is no way the Lotus will sell as well as a Vette, just not possible with the dealer network and manufacturing. Plus the numbers you posted are what they actually sold, but how many could they have sold had there been enough quantity to meet demand. How many Vettes would they have sold if they offered a manual transmission, again likely at least 1/3 more.

the Vette is the most successful sports car launch in a long time. Lotus just needs to get to where Porsche is for units sold and hopefully one day profits.
 

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Interesting. This "poll," with a larger sample size (1m+) where participants are voting with their pocketbook, provides another data point:

Demand for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Dealers stopped taking orders for the 2021 model year in March, and demand remains so high that dealers are marking Corvettes up tens of thousands over MSRP.


21,686 C8's were sold in CY2020 (MY2020 production qty was also sold out).

14,582 C8's were sold during Jan-Jun 2021.

Will be interesting to see if majority of Emira buyers are new to Lotus, as the majority of C8 buyers are new to Chevy:


Reportedly the Emira also has sold out the first year's production for 2022. I understand Lotus aims to increase production from around 1,600 cars per year to around 4,800, but they're probably not quite there yet. So what is the projected 2022 Emira production number, maybe something like 2,000?
I'm guessing the majority of Emira buyers will probably be new to Lotus, as it seems to be getting the same kind of cross platform attention the C8 did when it was first revealed.

Matt Windle in an interview said that one shift can produce "about 5,000" cars per year, and they can easily add a 2nd or 3rd shift. He makes it clear that Lotus is looking to become a world brand that can produce many more cars than ever before. He pointed out the amount of land around the Hethel plant they own, which can be used for further expansion, so he's serious about growing the brand. They've got the backing now, so I wouldn't automatically discount those ambitions just because of the past performance of Lotus. His previous experience at Tesla and Lotus gives him all the right credentials and experience to take Lotus where it needs to go. This is looking good so far.

It's going to be interesting to see what the sustainable demand will be for the Emira. I'm not expecting them to be able to match Chevy's production numbers, but if they can sell 10k a year? That would be a huge increase for the company. They're already planning an SUV which will likely be successful, and if they come up with a 4 door saloon, all the better. Matt said they're designing and engineering bicycles for Olympic competition. He wants the brand to really expand and grow, and the Lotus Engineering group to be a force in designing platforms for marketing to other companies.

By replicating the sales/service strategy that Tesla uses, and building out those beautiful sales offices shown in Bahrain, he's addressing the needs for retail presence. So far it looks like he's doing the right things at the right time in the right way. If the Emira is just the start of what his leadership of Lotus is going to be able to do, I think the future of Lotus is looking really bright.
 

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Another interesting benchmark, Ferrari worldwide sales were 10,131 in 2019, dropped to 9,119 in 2020. Contraction was especially pronounced in China, probably not surprising due to Covid:


Lamborghini experienced a similar drop in 2020, but still booked record profit. Their Urus SUV appears to be a success in terms of boosting sales:


Personally I'm not a big fan of exotic car companies building SUV's, but this one doesn't sound too bad:

"The Urus is powered by a twin-turbo V-8 that makes a stout 641 horsepower, burbles deeply when idling, and absolutely howls under full throttle."

 

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Reportedly the Emira also has sold out the first year's production for 2022.
Not sure how you can count something as sold that doesn't even seem to have finalized pricing and not a single person has put more than a $1000 fully refundable deposit down on. Also, Lotus is not going to come out and publicly say they are disappointed in the Emira's interest so far. They are always going to tell people "Better hurry! Not many left!" Its the oldest trick in the book.

Obviously I have no clue how many will sell. The hype seems quite a bit higher than the Evora, no doubt, but lets not start counting chickens before they hatch.
 

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I don't see how one compares a real car, like the C8, which has had a year of reviews from people who have been able to test drive it and give first hand opinions with what is essentially a pre-production vehicle with very little exposure except by a handful of people paid to praise it.

The Emira has not been tested yet by the masses in any way. There is also a screwed up car market that has seen panic buying so everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt at this point. This has to factor in to deposits and views somehow.

I have a deposit down. I would handicap my actual purchase at 25%. The Emira seems to be very much a reskinned Evora with the 6 Cyl-MT platform. Very old technology and certainly a bit quirky. ( I still remember my new Evora GT test drive left me on the side of the road, LOL) The Evora GT couldn't compete with the C8 for volume sales. Sure the Emira is a pretty face but under the skin it still seems very similar to the old model. ( Still awaiting details, although it does seem the downgraded the the 2 piece rotors to save money) It's hard to see the old chassis-drivetrain bringing in that many new reliable customers just on looks alone...we'll see after we get some reviews from the usual Youtube/journalists folks.

Then there is the AMG version. I like the idea of a more contemporary power plant, but 6 figures for a 4 banger is always a mass market struggle. At 90K, the C8 seems like much better value.

All that said, I don't see the Emira anywhere near a mass market vehicle like the C8. It still going to be a niche product.

On the other hand, competing with Porsche and the Cayman wil not be a cakewalk either. In my experience, Porsche people are very resale value oriented. Many people buy Porsches thinking they have low depreciation, rightly or wrongly. I'm not sue what the history of Lotus depreciation has been.

I want the Emira to be a success but the more I ponder it, the more it seems it will be a quirky niche car. Old tech 6 cylinder face lift or tough sell 4 cylinder version. The facelift reminds me of how Triumph reskinned the TR4 into the TR6. ( I still own a TR6 by the way and love it but it is what it is,) Still sold 100K cars but it never had the cache of an exotic or exclusive sports car. It was the common man's car. That's a weird way for Lotus to position the Emira after introducing a $2MM Evira Hyper car. Looks like Geely/Lotus is suffering from some cognitive dissonance.

Anyway. C8 is real. Emira is still TBD.
 

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By the way, car "enthusiasts" and car buyers seem to be two entire different orthogonal groups. Just look at the crazy over the top comments about manual transmissions in any "enthusiasts" threads/Youtube videos. One would think that you couldn't even sell a contemporary sports car unless it had a manual....but then go look at sales...well...we know how that plays out.
 

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I'm guessing the majority of Emira buyers will probably be new to Lotus, as it seems to be getting the same kind of cross platform attention the C8 did when it was first revealed.

Matt Windle in an interview said that one shift can produce "about 5,000" cars per year, and they can easily add a 2nd or 3rd shift. He makes it clear that Lotus is looking to become a world brand that can produce many more cars than ever before. He pointed out the amount of land around the Hethel plant they own, which can be used for further expansion, so he's serious about growing the brand. They've got the backing now, so I wouldn't automatically discount those ambitions just because of the past performance of Lotus. His previous experience at Tesla and Lotus gives him all the right credentials and experience to take Lotus where it needs to go. This is looking good so far.

It's going to be interesting to see what the sustainable demand will be for the Emira. I'm not expecting them to be able to match Chevy's production numbers, but if they can sell 10k a year? That would be a huge increase for the company. They're already planning an SUV which will likely be successful, and if they come up with a 4 door saloon, all the better. Matt said they're designing and engineering bicycles for Olympic competition. He wants the brand to really expand and grow, and the Lotus Engineering group to be a force in designing platforms for marketing to other companies.

By replicating the sales/service strategy that Tesla uses, and building out those beautiful sales offices shown in Bahrain, he's addressing the needs for retail presence. So far it looks like he's doing the right things at the right time in the right way. If the Emira is just the start of what his leadership of Lotus is going to be able to do, I think the future of Lotus is looking really bright.
They MIGHT get within sniffing distance of 10k once. Once the newness wears off, it will probably settle in to closer to 3k or so annually worldwide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Like many things discussed in this Emira section of LT, the poll was absolutely speculative--goes without saying. Firsthand C8 knowledge among most of those voters is probably unchanged since 2019 before it sold and matches the level of knowledge they have on Emira and will likely remain after Emira is on market because most won't be in the market to vote w/ their wallets.

The poll is a cursory surface level snapshot of sentiment in the broader car community, not a serious survey among real buyers. Figured that'd be obvious. People don't go to Cars & Coffee to assess their next car purchase, they show up to be a tourist. This poll was a virtual C&C among tourists, not serious shoppers. I commented in almost all those polls defending the C8's insane value prop but it fell on the deaf ears of people swooning over the Emira. Sports cars are irrational purchases. Though C8 seems a more rational performance car choice, Emira styling plus manual prove to be more emotionally provocative.
 

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I want the Emira to be a success but the more I ponder it, the more it seems it will be a quirky niche car. Old tech 6 cylinder face lift or tough sell 4 cylinder version. The facelift reminds me of how Triumph reskinned the TR4 into the TR6. ( I still own a TR6 by the way and love it but it is what it is,) Still sold 100K cars but it never had the cache of an exotic or exclusive sports car. It was the common man's car. That's a weird way for Lotus to position the Emira after introducing a $2MM Evira Hyper car. Looks like Geely/Lotus is suffering from some cognitive dissonance.

Anyway. C8 is real. Emira is still TBD.
What's "new tech" in the C8, other than moving to mid-engine, which was new to Corvette but not new to the market? The LT2 engine is basically a tuned LT1 used in the C7 & many Chevy products. There's no really new tech in the C8. But what was new was it changed the value proposition of a mid-engine car.

The Emira does a similar thing but with great looks & great handling, neither are new but could be new for a certain price segment... so it's a value proposition just like the C8. But the price has to be right for that to work... and that's what many of us are waiting to confirm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
By the way, car "enthusiasts" and car buyers seem to be two entire different orthogonal groups. Just look at the crazy over the top comments about manual transmissions in any "enthusiasts" threads/Youtube videos. One would think that you couldn't even sell a contemporary sports car unless it had a manual....but then go look at sales...well...we know how that plays out.
Depends on the car and demographic. More than 3/4 of BRZs and Miatas (massive volume seller) sold in the US were manual because they appeal to car junky enthusiasts. STI, S2K, and Civic Type R (had sustained mark-ups years after launch) are manual-only and have massive cult followings. Corvette traditionally appeals to boomers who want a comfortable ride that looks cool and goes fast. Matt Windle said the V6 manual will sell well in US because it appeals to that niche driver junky, not magazine racers who have to have a V8.

The problem is US doesn't foster driver culture like, say, Europe or perhaps Japan. Partly due to our big open landscape geography of long, straight roads, thus, our most watched motorsport is NASCAR. Big V8 that's fast in a straight line is our mainstream. General (not domestic) car enthusiast groups tend to be aware of that, pride themselves in not being mainstream, and mostly want manual, ICE, more analog, etc. That will sell in low numbers to a disproportionately more passionate group of buyers--the true car enthusiasts.
 

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Not sure how you can count something as sold that doesn't even seem to have finalized pricing and not a single person has put more than a $1000 fully refundable deposit down on. Also, Lotus is not going to come out and publicly say they are disappointed in the Emira's interest so far. They are always going to tell people "Better hurry! Not many left!" Its the oldest trick in the book.

Obviously I have no clue how many will sell. The hype seems quite a bit higher than the Evora, no doubt, but lets not start counting chickens before they hatch.
Agreed that the number of refundable is not without meaning, but the only numbers that will really count will be the number of cars ordered/build slots reserved with non-refundable deposits. That will cull out the dreamers quickly.
 

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Depends on the car and demographic. More than 3/4 of BRZs and Miatas (massive volume seller) sold in the US were manual because they appeal to car junky enthusiasts. STI, S2K, and Civic Type R (had sustained mark-ups years after launch) are manual-only and have massive cult followings. Corvette traditionally appeals to boomers who want a comfortable ride that looks cool and goes fast. Matt Windle said the V6 manual will sell well in US because it appeals to that niche driver junky, not magazine racers who have to have a V8.

The problem is US doesn't foster driver culture like, say, Europe or perhaps Japan. Partly due to our big open landscape geography of long, straight roads, thus, our most watched motorsport is NASCAR. Big V8 that's fast in a straight line is our mainstream. General (not domestic) car enthusiast groups tend to be aware of that, pride themselves in not being mainstream, and mostly want manual, ICE, more analog, etc. That will sell in low numbers to disproportionately more passionate buyers--true car enthusiasts.
I think I have a different understanding of the term “massive following.”

Can you cite the actual qoute where Windle said it will sell well in the US because it appeals to that niche driver junky? There is a built in contradiction to using the term “sell well” and “niche” In the same sentence.

You have often spoken about demographics, which combined with the tired stereotype of boomer vette owner suggests you see the target niche skews younger.

Admittedly generalizing, the buyers of BRZs, Miatas, STI, S2k, and Civic R are not in the economic demographic of what will likely be the typical buyer of a Lotus with a likely minimum cost of entry being $80k+.

STIs and WRX were contemporaries of the Elise and Exige…and most of them didn’t cross shop the Lotus, even it was that more raw niche car.

There is also a certain irony in one coming on to a Lotus forum and feeling the need to school folks here, many of whom have been here more than a decade and many having been involved in Lotus ownership over multiple eras, on niche cars and what car enthusiasts want in a car.
 

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.....
The problem is US doesn't foster driver culture like, say, Europe or perhaps Japan. Partly due to our big open landscape geography of long, straight roads, thus, our most watched motorsport is NASCAR. Big V8 that's fast in a straight line is our mainstream. ....
Interesting comparison of NASCAR and F1:


Of course F1 is faster and to me at least it's much more in my line of enthusiasm. But among the most stark contrasts:

"An average NASCAR team’s operating budget for a season is about $7 million with a race car costing about $1.5 million each.

An average Formula 1 team’s budget is $300 million per season with a car costing about $9 million each.

A NASCAR team comprises of at most 100 members while Formula 1 teams employ over 1,000 people each.
"

Don't know how reliable this is, but the car costs do seem a bit low.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I think I have a different understanding of the term “massive following.”
You misquoted me in a big way by omitting "cult". But "cult" is inherently niche so I guess "massive cult" is an oxymoron. "Massively passionate cult following" would be more accurate. I misconstrued massive w/ passionate.

Can you cite the actual qoute where Windle said it will sell well in the US because it appeals to that niche driver junky? There is a built in contradiction to using the term “sell well” and “niche” In the same sentence.
Manual should sell well in proportion to Emira sales, not broader car market sales, in US.

Quote from this article:
Windle confirmed that the four-cylinder version of the car, using an AMG 2.0-liter engine, will soon be boasting outputs in excess of the hp of the supercharged 3.5-litre Toyota V6, and also that the smaller motor will serve as the basis for a higher performance R version. The V6 engine will ultimately be forced to retire by increasingly stringent European emissions legislation. “We’ve got five years for it,” Windle said, “and we anticipate it will be the most popular engine in the U.S. because of the the ability to order it with a manual gearbox.”

You have often spoken about demographics, which combined with the tired stereotype of boomer vette owner suggests you see the target niche skews younger.

Admittedly generalizing, the buyers of BRZs, Miatas, STI, S2k, and Civic R are not in the economic demographic of what will likely be the typical buyer of a Lotus with a likely minimum cost of entry being $80k+.

STIs and WRX were contemporaries of the Elise and Exige…and most of them didn’t cross shop the Lotus, even it was that more raw niche car.

There is also a certain irony in one coming on to a Lotus forum and feeling the need to school folks here, many of whom have been here more than a decade and many having been involved in Lotus ownership over multiple eras, on niche cars and what car enthusiasts want in a car.
I joined LT over a decade ago (since early 2006, almost 2 years before you) drawn by passion. Never had the money to own a Lotus til now but how deep ones pockets are shouldn't qualify a car enthusiast. My intent isn't to school anyone. Just posting hard data (cognizant of its limitations) then sharing my opinions around it. Not asking you to take it as gospel. BTW there are almost daily posts in some of those car groups (specifically Purist, Oppositelock, and subtle asian cars) about exotics they own worth multiple times more than Emira. Seems a fair cross-section sampling, not just affordable lower end sports car owners.

Most high end >$80k sports cars are DCT, no manual, while most low end sports cars do offer manual. Places the Emira in a higher end niche of "attainable" manual sports cars. Or in a lower end niche of less attainable high end sports cars. It's in a strange middle ground similar to the C8 also at the higher end niche of "attainable" sports cars but instead of manual/auto, has DCT like higher end sports cars. Cayman strangely doesn't share that middle ground perception (appeals more to higher end) though it technically should. I think because its styling is too subdued relative to its price. That middle ground is why C8/Emira appeals either low or high end sports car markets (low end being larger in population w/ more manual offerings).
 

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Not to be a Debbie Downer here but I may as well. Lotus’ idea of selling well may be 3000 cars. The more I think about the historical sales of Lotus, the heavy emphasis of electric in the future and the halo Evora electric hypercar, the more I see Emira as the end of something rather than the beginning. The Emira doesn’t seem like the “new” Lotus but rather just a stop gap to keep people employed until the “ new” Lotus emerges in 2025 with the electric future. Maybe compared to shutting down for a few years any sale is a good sale.

The Emira seems to be the face/body of the new Lotus but still with the heart/soul/engine of the old. when the first electric “ mass” ( OK. 5000 unit car) market sports car comes out of Lotus, it may well look like the Emira visually but be very different underpinning.

I know I have strayed a ways from the original thread topic. Just now occurring to me, duh, that the Emira is a legacy product in many ways. Selling well could be a lower benchmark than some of us imagine.
 

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By the way, American car culture is alive and well. At least as well as the rest of the world. People in Europe drove manuals for fuel economy amid high fuel prices. Not some special joy of driving. Now that autos typically have better fuel efficiency, the manual transmission in Europe is pretty much dead and buried,

Personally, I think driving in Western Europe sucks. The place is overrun with traffic cameras and speed limits lower than many places in the US. The autobahn has plentry of traffic and construction. The magical unlimited speed limit is only in the most boring straights. Give me the back roads of New England anytime..except when there or are bicyclists or deer...
 

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Lotus are promising a lot in terms of production. Automation/robotics will go a long way to improving their world-renowned efficiency, but who knows what kind of shape their supply chain will actually be in when they start production. Hell, it’s taken them 4 months to source a carbon bucket for my Evora!
 
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