GM stalwart linked to a Lotus advisory role as part of the firm's new five-year recovery plan

Bob Lutz has been linked to an advisory role at Lotus as the firm aims to reinvent itself under a new five-year business plan.

The recently retired General Motors stalwart is believed to have had formal talks with Lotus, although an offer for his services has yet to be tabled, industry sources have told Auto News Europe.

Read more on Lotus's new five-year plan

Lotus will reveal plans to turn itself from niche sports car maker to a producer of Aston Martin-rivaling GT and luxury sports cars at the Paris motor show in September. The plan has been hatched by Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, who joined the firm from Ferrari last autumn.

Former BMW executive Tom Purves has also been linked with an advisory role at Lotus and told Auto News that he “would be happy” to be involved with the firm.

"The goal is to make a contribution to projects of the future - improving the quality, the product offerings and the operations of the company,” he said, although no formal deal has been agreed.

“It's exciting, and there is no question it is a great brand and has a good future.”

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14

29 June 2010

That'll cost a packet!

29 June 2010

Well if they are going to go all upmarkety and fancy, at least they are putting together a team of good people to make it happen. Not sure that Bob Lutz is really the way of the future, but he has certainly forgotten more about good cars than most people will ever know.

29 June 2010

His experience should be very useful when they go into administration.

29 June 2010

Not sure if this is great news taking on a near 80 year old who was at the helm during GMs nosedive.

Yes he may well have a wealth of experience but is it of the right sort . I would feel younger blood is required to move a brand forward.

29 June 2010

The only thing that Lotus really need right now is a young guy from north London, with a pencil moustache and a fertile imagination. It would be a scary up and down ride that could well end in near disaster, but it worked for them once, so why not again?

29 June 2010

[quote crashbangwallop]His experience should be very useful when they go into administration[/quote]

I don't seriously think they are going into administration in the forseeable future but you raise an interesting point i.e. where is the money coming from?

Pre recession, Proton could have borrowed as much money as they wanted at low interest rates to develop the Lotus business but chose not to. They just kept Lotus ticking over for many years.

Then, in the recession when banks have stopped lending, Dany Bahar arrives and suddenly all this new investment happens.

Q1 What has caused this sudden change of heart by Proton?

Q2 Do Proton still own 100% of Lotus? Is the new money coming from a new investor who has yet to go public?

Q3 Exactly what is the link between Group Lotus (road cars) and Lotus Racing (F1 team) - is it more than we have been told so far.

Q4 Exactly what are the links between Group Lotus and Cosworth? - we know about the road car engine deal and the Lotus sponsored Takumo Sato Indycar run by a team owned by a co-owner of Cosworth, but is there more?

www.twitter.com/racingpuma

29 June 2010

Bob Lutz much like the Lotus founder, Colin Chapman, comes with bags of charisma. He prides himself on being an irritant. A positive irritant.

Sounds interesting. I'm not sure how he will get on with the present Lotus adviser Dr. Mahathir. Having said that Dr. M would have given his approval prior to his appointment.

He won't be happy to take a back seat thats for sure!

Interesting times.

John Mansfield http://motorsportuniversitymalaysia.com

29 June 2010

I've seen enough of Lutz's handy work on my beloved brand. 4 scrapped models and to pathetic excuses of a car.

Next thing we'll see is rebadged protons with a final scratching of his head as to why Lotus went down the drain.

He'll be able to quote all the same lines he did about SAAB. like "Lotus has never made any money since Proton bought them". "Lotus is a luxury Proton can no longer afford to keep". "Lotus will cost too much to redevelop so we are closing it down."

This is bad news.

29 June 2010

[quote Old Toad]

Not sure if this is great news taking on a near 80 year old who was at the helm during GMs nosedive.

Yes he may well have a wealth of experience but is it of the right sort . I would feel younger blood is required to move a brand forward.

[/quote]

The reason GM nosedived was because it was investing heavily in new models. New Camaro, Caddy CTS, new 9-5, new Astra, Insignia, the small Caddy crossover, a couple of Insignia-based Buicks, etc... Bob Lutz took on GM as a sea of beige and turned it into something interesting. It's unfortunate that he damn near bankrupted the company doing so - but dammit, it needed it. GM is now smaller, more streamlined and more interesting than it has been for decades. Lutz isn't stupid. If he comes to Lotus, I'll applaud cautiously - I don't know what he knows of what makes Lotus Lotus, but he's smart, and he's an enthusiast.

Hell, he was so confident in his new baby, the M5-rivalling CTS-V, that he challenged BMW, Jag and Merc to a race at a US racetrack. Guess what? They all chickened out. Various private individuals brought comparable cars to the race, though, and were thoroughly beaten by the CTS-V (which is a mean piece of kit, by all accounts), driven by an expert driver. Those who've driven with Lutz say he's absolutely brilliant behind the wheel, as if he was a retired F1 multiple world champion...

1 July 2010

Ferrari guy in charge. Guy from GM coming on-board (again). Intentionally heavy cars. Can anyone else hear Colin's grave spinning like a turbine?? GM guy has already had a go at running Lotus, he made a mess of it, the Bugatti buy-out couldn't come soon enough. Ferrari frequently hide a bad car behind it's badge. Before you start arguing, how many ferraris actually handle properly?? 4 or 5? Not good enough. And they're all fat, with build quality much lower than people seem to think. When i first read how heavy the Evora is i thought it was a mis-print. Or they'd weighed it incorrectly. Initial thoughts were "You're joking" and "The M250 would of weighed half of that". Apparently, this is just the start. The toyota engines seem to be something of the rumble before an earthquake. I hope someone in engineering is brave enough to say no. These people are going to kill Lotus, even now it's obvious that they don't know what one is.

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