Automotive elder statesman and former General Motors chief Bob Lutz has said he gives the new Lotus recovery plan “a 60 per cent chance at least” of achieving its objective of launching five new models, moving prices towards the £100,000 bracket and finding 6000 to 7000 buyers a year.

Lutz was recently invited by Lotus CEO Dany Bahar to become a member of Lotus’s senior advisory board of industry experts, put together to advise on the running of the company.

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“People keep asking me if I’m sure the new plan will work,” Lutz told Autocar, “and of course I can’t guarantee that. It’s a risk. But I’m quite certain it stands a better chance than the Lotus status quo, which for sure would eventually lead this great brand into terminal decline.”

Lutz admitted that Bahar’s unprecedented strategy of revealing five new models at once contains “a fair bit of showbiz”, and acknowledged that the cars and timings are likely to change a good deal before they hit the market. But he claimed the idea of making cars that are “fantastically desirable” is the only option and exactly the way to go.

He said Lotus’s backers, which indirectly include the Malaysian government, are taking “a pretty big gamble”. But he added, “The engineering I’ve seen so far is very good, and they’re definitely going about it the right way. The money they’re spending on each model is only a fraction of what we’d have spent at GM on similar projects.”

Steve Cropley

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