Group CEO voices ambition for a wide range of world-class cars following substantial cash injection from Geely
17 May 2019

Lotus is plotting an extensive overhaul of its product line-up, according to Group Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng. 

Feng, who also holds the role of chief technical officer of Zhejiang Geely (owner of Lotus as well as the Volvo Group), spoke to Autocar at the recent Shanghai motor show after Lotus officially confirmed its Type 130 all-electric hypercar

Confirming the British brand’s new positioning as a cutting-edge, engineering-led company, he said Lotus plans to use its technical expertise throughout the group and to introduce new technology that will ultimately feature on cars from Geely’s other brands, too. 

“For the high-end and pioneering technology and applications, Lotus can serve as the frontrunner in many cases,” Feng told Autocar, “then gradually in the future that kind of know-how and those resources can be shared with the sister brands within the group.” 

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He is also refreshingly open about how he wants the company to be perceived, and which rival he most aspires to beat: “Today, Porsche is our target and our benchmark.” 

As with the German brand, Feng admits that Lotus will need to diversify beyond sports cars, but also insists that these will remain at the heart of the company’s efforts. 

“We know Lotus is famous for its sports car products but, to support the revival of the brand, we need a much greater line-up of products for future growth,” he said. “A variety of excellent products can provide pleasant and exciting driving experiences for our customers, not one that is limited just to sports cars.” 

While Geely is investing to encourage growth at Lotus, with plans to introduce a range of sporting models and even an SUV, Feng insists that this process must be approached appropriately. 

“A brand or a company incapable of being self-sustaining or profitable cannot last,” he said, “but a company focused exclusively on making profit without its own mission will not last in the long term. 

“No brand can stand if it’s always having a blood transfusion. Take the Porsche brand: it has wonderful products and is financially strong.” 

Feng shares Lotus CEO Phil Popham’s enthusiasm to return Lotus to high-level motorsport, but says the company won’t rush in before it can afford to. 

“Elite-level motorsport programmes depend on the success of our future products,” he said. “That is a precondition for this kind of expensive programme.”

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Exclusive details: Lotus confirms electric Type 130 hypercar​

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Comments
7

17 May 2019

 Yeah, Lotus needs an update, there best sellers look get little updates, a little nip n tuck there, but, there’s never a completely new design, nothing radical, Lotus at one time used to lead in design, now there just Lotus, never see many on the road and you don’t look at them twice either, no, Lotus need something new.

Peter Cavellini.

17 May 2019

Mr Duff,

I'm really confused by the quote above about Lotus' 'new position'.  Did you ask Mr Feng when exactly Lotus stopped seeing itself as 'cutting-edge' and 'engineering-led'?

17 May 2019

either it is going to be really good or really terrible. hopefully ot look nice not like some new SUV's on the market (not even going to mention names). the rendering looks like an alfa romeo. also a newer looking sport cars from the quite good sports car maker.

#IDONTPROOFREAD

17 May 2019

turns out Dany Bahar was not far off the mark after all....

17 May 2019
manicm wrote:

turns out Dany Bahar was not far off the mark after all....

My company has 5-8 employees.  Next year we're going to corner the vanadium battery market, build seven residential towers, and launch a high end whisky.

Do you see what I did there?

18 May 2019
jason_recliner wrote:

manicm wrote:

turns out Dany Bahar was not far off the mark after all....

My company has 5-8 employees.  Next year we're going to corner the vanadium battery market, build seven residential towers, and launch a high end whisky.

Do you see what I did there?

Nice try but no cigar, the truth is Lotus’ previous owners didn’t want to pour a single dime more into the company, just like GM did with Saab.

How many more weekly variants of the same model are you going to confuse customers with??

Bahar only wanted to do what current management is doing, except he didn’t foresee a SUV, but then neither did his bosses!!

19 May 2019
manicm wrote:

jason_recliner wrote:

manicm wrote:

turns out Dany Bahar was not far off the mark after all....

My company has 5-8 employees.  Next year we're going to corner the vanadium battery market, build seven residential towers, and launch a high end whisky.

Do you see what I did there?

Nice try but no cigar, the truth is Lotus’ previous owners didn’t want to pour a single dime more into the company, just like GM did with Saab.

How many more weekly variants of the same model are you going to confuse customers with??

Bahar only wanted to do what current management is doing, except he didn’t foresee a SUV, but then neither did his bosses!!

Yeah, that's what I was trying to get at.  There was no money available, so Bahar's plans were never ever going to eventuate.  Regardless of whether they were heading in the right direction or not.

Moving on...  I think most motoring enthusiasts are glad that it looks like Lotus finally have some well resourced backers willing to give them another chance.  I'm not happy they will be building a 4WD, but if that gives them funds to replace the Elise then the motoring world will be a happier, more interesting place.

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