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i find myself wondering if the real world effect of this campaign will be to assure more cars are sold at a premium, rather than at (or heaven forbid below!!) MSRP
 

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this seems like something Lotus definately does not need. The cars are all basically sold, with many people (enthusiats) not even on a list yet. Why waste money on an ad capaign with "Hollywood-style hype and entertainment based promotions."
Hopefully they wont spend too much money on an ad campaign for a car you cannot buy.
 

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Thanks Neil, great read. Perhaps less people will ask "Who makes that?"

When the general public find out that there are no luxuries, there will be an active used Elise market too
 

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I dont think Lotus is trying to market the elise...they are trying to market "Lotus," especially as they want to begin selling esprit-type cars here again. It makes sense to start selling name recognition now. Look at how difficult it was to sell the last generation lotus cars.
 

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I stand corrected on my statement about Lotus not likey to ever advertise on another thread and I agree that bringing Lotus to more of a spotlight is likely to heat up the market for the Elise in the future.
 

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Maybe they can get the new lotus shop open at the same time they get the new website open!
 

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It would be nice to have a good online shop. At PBMC they have virtually nothing to buy only a few of the caps and shirts but no accessories. I asked the parts guy for price and delivery on a few items that I'm intertested on and hopefully tey'll let me know by tomorrow.
 

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Building name awareness and recognition is not a bad thing, in fact I think it's good!

IMHO one of the biggest reasons the Esprit has a less than stellar depreciation record is because there's little recognition of the Lotus name. As long as people ask "who builds it", means that Lotus is an unknown and will have a difficult time pulling decent resale values.

For example, within the past 12 months the values of older Lotus models like the Elan, Europa & Sevens has risen much faster than one would expect here in the states. I believe much of that has to do with all the press the Elise has been getting. A year ago a nicely restored S2 Elan would have pulled about $15-18K, maybe $20K tops. Today that same Elan can pull $22-28K.

So, from where I sit, having Lotus advertising and promoting the Elise is a good thing. Greater awareness will only help all the Lotus cars (old & new), thus it's money well spent.

Kiyoshi
 

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I also believe that increasing P.R. and advertising is useful even if all cars are sold out.

1st, it increases brand awareness as has been pointed out by others. This is important because the Elise buzz won't last forever.

2nd, you want to do this when you have a hot and favorably regarded product. That way the positive impression you are trying to create is backed up by the actual product itself, and the favorable opinions and reviews garnered by same.

3rd, they need to expand their core audience for the day when all the dedicated Lotus fanatics have bought their cars. This type of talk always ticks off purists, but to avoid having the tenuous existence which has been Lotus' history the past 40 years, they need to have a bit larger audience than they traditionally had.

4th, Lotus needs to establish their name because in the future, they may see competition in their niche (how many other manufacturers are preparing small, light sports cars?) If they establish themselves as the premier name in this niche, it will help them survive heavy competition by having a premium name and reputation.

I give the iPod as an example. This has been established as the benchmark that portable music players aspire to, and Apple is regarded as the hip, premier maker of these devices. Now, even though other companies are trying to knock them off, and a few actually have favorable reviews compared to the iPod, the iPod still rules in terms of people's thinking and purchasing. It's an uphill battle for other makers. If Lotus can establish this image, it will really pay off when other makers start competing in this market.




DLY
 

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The flip side...

Lotus Cars Limited is not making money, it has not made money in quite some time. Lotus Cars USA did make money, until the new management showed up, now it loses money almost every month.

While an advertising campaign is a positive thing, in the environment where all of your cars are pre-sold, it's impact will be limited. It will certainly accomplish some of the things in the posts above, however, if Lotus cannot stop the bleeding the results might be catastrophic.

The current management team has Proton convinced that they can sell "thousands" of cars in the US (a lot more than 2-3K). It remains to be seen if the dealer network, product quality, warranty process, parts availability and manufacturing are up to that task even if Lotus Cars US could do it. Personally, I'd rather see them run the business profitably for a couple of years (depending on the order backlog vs. sales) and then invest money in building the brand. Their current strategy of spending a lot of money, and planning that sales/profits will catch up, is risky. If it works, great, if not, the current management will move on to their next job and Lotus will be in serious trouble (unless they are bought).

Just my .02 worth.
 

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Tpup,

It depends on what Proton/Lotus's commitment is (which I don't know.) If they're in it for the long term, with a long term capital investment plan and budget, then this is the time to get started.

But if they're looking for a quick fix and instant turnaround, then it is money wasted. Of course this has often been Lotus' fate - how many turnaround plans have they been through? I would have to assume someone has committed to something like a 3-5 year business plan, that incorporates the current financial situation. If this is just some short term marketing persons' whim, which it could well be, then it indeed is probably money wasted.




DLY
 

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Cars on the road are the best advertising. All the cars are sold, so I see little this spending does other than just spend.

Last I heard, Ferrari doesn't spend a dime on advertising....
 

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meat said:
Cars on the road are the best advertising. All the cars are sold, so I see little this spending does other than just spend.

Last I heard, Ferrari doesn't spend a dime on advertising....
There will not be many of the cars on the road, and most people won't be seeing them - it's not like it's a new Chevy or Ford withl a million of them out there.

Ferrari doesn't have to spend a dime on advertising - they have plenty of name recognition. Nobody ever asks a Ferrari driver "Who makes it?"...

As was suggested above - now is the time for Lotus to build their name recognition while they have the hot car out there. That just may increase the sales of the other cars they are planning in the years to come - even though it may cost them in the short term.
 
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