Employees will be told new model ideas by Christmas
20 October 2009

New Lotus CEO Dany Bahar will reveal his seven-year product plan to employees in December.

Bahar, who officially took over from retired CEO Mike Kimberley on 1 October, said the firm wants to become a customer-led company and would respond to market demands for new Lotus products.

See the hi-res pics of some of Lotus's current models

“My vision is simple; Lotus will be profitable by producing beautiful, environmentally relevant, credible sports cars that are honest and authentic,” said Bahar.

“By doing this, we will return the brand to where it was in the past, and where it rightfully belongs. Our future lies in aligning ourselves to what the market wants, rather than what we think the market wants; we must concentrate on our customers.”

The firm’s much-praised Elise platform has been in production since 1995 and has been used to underpin the Europa, Exige, 2-Eleven, 340R and the Elise itself, as well as the Vauxhall VX220 and Tesla Roadster.

Lotus introduced the Evora this year and that platform will spawn a convertible in 2012, as well as an all-new Esprit in the same year. Both of these models are expected to be confirmed in Bahar’s product plans.

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Join the debate


20 October 2009

He can confirm all he likes about Evora spin-offs and new Esprits, what he needs to do is get his team working on an all new Elise that captures the imagination and sets the standards like the original did in 1995.

They have also got to become the kings of lightweight again. The Evora is a bloater with two surplus, laughable seats and British press loyalty is stopping everyone saying it.

The new Esprit will doubtless be a mega drive, but will it (or do Lotus) have the cachet to sell at this price level?


20 October 2009

[quote Paul J]The Evora is a bloater with two surplus, laughable seats and British press loyalty is stopping everyone saying it.[/quote]

I agree with Paul J. I never understood the UK press love affair with the Evora. OK it may be a great drive, but certainly no looker. And at such a high price.

Again agree, we need to see another Elise re-invention.

20 October 2009

I think we've got to appreciate that the Elise is on V2.5. Second generation with new engines from Toyota. With the low sales and a special edition arriving daily you could say that each owner gets a bespoke car!

We all want to see Lotus bring out something stunning, I really can't wait.

Here's the point. As a boy I loved the Esprit in the Bond films. I had them on my wall. When I grew up I wanted one, a Lotus above the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. Times have changed, Lotus has been replaced by Aston Martin. But the desire to see a Lotus worthy of my bedroom wall still remain! (Although as an adult I may substitute the bedroom wall for my garage).

20 October 2009

[quote Paul J]They have also got to become the kings of lightweight again.[/quote] In spite of that I'd still love to see them collaborate with another manufacturer to create a Lotus Carlton successor. How nice would that be!

21 October 2009

[quote Ruined]In spite of that I'd still love to see them collaborate with another manufacturer to create a Lotus Carlton successor. How nice would that be![/quote]

No doubt it would be a very fine thing, but how many manufacturers would want to be half badged up as a Lotus these days? If the proposed F1 return comes to anything, and if it punched above it's weight, the Lotus profile might start to grow on a global basis. Until then they need to persevere with the cheapish lightweights for enthusiast petrolheads, because that, and behind the scenes development work is where their bread gets buttered.


21 October 2009

If there's ever a phrase that makes my blood run cold it's 'customer focused'. Customers are idiots. They want autos because they can't change gear. They want cars that are easy to get their fat asses in and out of. They want steel not fibreglass bodies. Worst of all they also don't really know what they want. They wanted an Esprit with a V8. Lotus made one but it didn't sell. They are unimaginative idiots that need to be shown the way by a visionary car maker. The Elise wasn't customer focused at all, it was the result of Lotus focusing on their core values and it turned out to be a stroke of genius with more than a touch of the old man's magic about it. Focus groups would have killed it off. I'm so sick of focus groups taking the place of visionary designers and engineers. It's cowardly corporate bullshit and a huge waste of Lotus's precious resources. Lotus need to get rid of Bahar as soon as possible. The incoming boss at Alfa took a look at the marketing budget and said screw this, lets make a car instead. The 8C is the result. This sort of courageous visionary leadership is what lotus needs not more f-ing focus groups.

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