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Official Group Lotus Thread


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#201 GTF1man

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 14:40

However more cars were sold in this October than last in the UK. Premium brands like Land Rover (up 63%), Maserati (up 33%), Mercedes-Benz (up 19%) all performed better than last year. Porsche were down 9% (599 units to 546) but compared to Lotus's drop 93% (61 to 4) would frankly be nothing to worry about. The results are particularly poor given how much GL are spending on marketing at the moment.

In 2011 so far Lotus have sold 281 cars in the UK - compared to 448 up until October 2011 - a 37% drop which has been accelerating through the year.

Yes UK sales YTD are down, much because production of the Elise/Exige range with the 1.8 engine was stopped in january, and all Elise production for the UK market has been with the 1.6 this year.

As for the figures in both September and October, don't confuse registrations and actual sales. Yes, UK registrations in both months are way down, but in August the factory had it's annual shutdown so wasn't producing any cars for delivery in September. Then in September the MY12 models of both the Evora, new Elise S with a new 220hp supercharged 1.8 and the 350hp supercharged Exige S were announced. Naturally most customers now signing contracts want to wait for the MY12 cars, and since delivieries of these won't start until january, it means that UK registrations for the rest of the year is expected to be low. As for the actual current sales however, word has it that numbers of signed contracts since the Frankfurt show sales so are strong with especially the entire 2012 UK allocation of the Exige S being nearly sold out already.

Since the factory now is hard at work with getting these new cars into production, what is the factory actually making these days then, you might wonder?
Well, one bit that should keep them busy is that Lotus opened it's first showroom in China earlier this week, and even before the opening they have presold more than 300 cars, of which more than 100 are of the Evora GTE which comes in at about £120.000 a piece.
More here: Lotus opens first showroom in Beijing

It brings into context comments made by Karl-Heinz Kalbfell recently, too.

The funny thing about that Autocar article is that those comments are taken from the "New era - one year on" media event held at Hethel in mid June, so not reallyt that recent, but Autocar only pulled them out to make a story when the September registration figures came out (most likely not asking anyone at Lotus to comment or explain about the factory shutdown as explained above). The point he makes is however that while most activities in the first year of the "New era" plan have focused on building brand awareness and exitement about the future cars, they have silently also been improving the current Evora, Elise and Exige into the the MY12 models and with the launch of these they are now ready to spend much more of their markerting and sales effort on these going forward.

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#202 TennisUK

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 17:37

Yes UK sales YTD are down...


But remember it's compared to October last year - again just after the August shutdown and again just after new models were announced (The Evora S and IPS were announced in August 2010) so actually it's a very reasonable comparison which does point to some serious strategic errors.

The Exige pre-orders may well have been reasonable, I haven't seen those numbers so I don't know. If they have indeed done OK with the Exige, it may be worth Dany Bahar making a note of that - and observe that Lotus customers prefer traditional Lotus sports cars like the Exige to relatively high spec and expensive GT cars like the Evora.

As for those Chinese Evora numbers Bahar mentioned - that figure is being treated with a lot of scepticism by people I know who know - are these sales to actual customers, or orders from Youngman dealers for example? I hear it's the latter which would make it a pretty meaningless number.

A big problem they have is that Lotus customers simply don't want the Evora. There are second hand examples going for under 35K now - and many good nick, low mileage Evoras have remained un-sold for over a year (at least two near me for example have been on the market for over a year, I'd be quite tempted if they were nearer £25k... maybe in 12 months!) even at that discounted cost.

The point he makes is however that while most activities in the first year of the "New era" plan have focused on building brand awareness and exitement about the future cars, they have silently also been improving the current Evora, Elise and Exige...

Well, the modern Elise is far from improved. They let it wither on vine with the gutless 1.6 - and then having the bizzare lack of insight to introduce an Elise with an auto 'box (which isn't even legal in the US - surely the only territory where it might be popular). The new improved Evora gets good reviews ... and still sells nothing as it's perceived as over priced and not good enough quality compared to it's competition ... all despite the biggest and most expensive marketing campaign in the brand's history.

#203 DanardiF1

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 18:01

4 cars sold in a month compared to 60 a year before is incredible. Do Lotus not realise that they still have to sell cars NOW, otherwise they'll have no chance IF these proposed cars come to fruition!?! Putting a 1.6 back in the Elise? Making an automatic Elise? Ridiculous...

I wouldn't consider making an Elise, the sporty track day special, an automatic an improvement in the slightest. And taking the 1.8 engine out and sticking a gutless 1.6 in it's place is regressive engineering too. The Evora is a nice car, but apparently from some reviews it's showing a lack of consistent build quality (panel gaps etc.) and nowhere near the caché of it's competitor the 911. People don't buy Lotus' for luxury, and at the moment, people don't buy Lotus' for ANY reason. If they want a luxury sportscar, they're going to buy the Porsche every time.

#204 GTF1man

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 21:37

But remember it's compared to October last year - again just after the August shutdown and again just after new models were announced (The Evora S and IPS were announced in August 2010) so actually it's a very reasonable comparison which does point to some serious strategic errors.

The Exige pre-orders may well have been reasonable, I haven't seen those numbers so I don't know. If they have indeed done OK with the Exige, it may be worth Dany Bahar making a note of that - and observe that Lotus customers prefer traditional Lotus sports cars like the Exige to relatively high spec and expensive GT cars like the Evora.

As for those Chinese Evora numbers Bahar mentioned - that figure is being treated with a lot of scepticism by people I know who know - are these sales to actual customers, or orders from Youngman dealers for example? I hear it's the latter which would make it a pretty meaningless number.

A big problem they have is that Lotus customers simply don't want the Evora. There are second hand examples going for under 35K now - and many good nick, low mileage Evoras have remained un-sold for over a year (at least two near me for example have been on the market for over a year, I'd be quite tempted if they were nearer £25k... maybe in 12 months!) even at that discounted cost.


Well, the modern Elise is far from improved. They let it wither on vine with the gutless 1.6 - and then having the bizzare lack of insight to introduce an Elise with an auto 'box (which isn't even legal in the US - surely the only territory where it might be popular). The new improved Evora gets good reviews ... and still sells nothing as it's perceived as over priced and not good enough quality compared to it's competition ... all despite the biggest and most expensive marketing campaign in the brand's history.

No the figures really aren't comparable. Evora S deliveries began almost imideiatly after the announcement, but the MY12 cars (which includes the new improved Evora that you mentions gets good reviews but "isn't selling") haven't gone into production yet.

The intereseting part about the Exige V6 is that it was only after Bahar arrived that the project got going. The concept of a V6 Exige had been talked about ever since an Exige was used as an engine development mule for the Evora in 2008, but previous management, including the previous product manager Tony Shute who have now gone to Caterham, didn't want to do it.

As for the China sales, let's just wait and see shall we? If what you claim is true then surely they will not bother opening up an aditional 29 showrooms, as the only reason for having a showroom is to sell and deliver cars to customers...

Regarding what you say about Evora sales and residuals in the UK, sales in the first two years have been about as budgeted, so not really sure I will agree that Lotus customers simply don't want it. Yes prices of some early cars have started going below 35k, but then again a similarly aged Caymam S with similar new selling price seem to go for about the same.

4 cars sold in a month compared to 60 a year before is incredible. Do Lotus not realise that they still have to sell cars NOW, otherwise they'll have no chance IF these proposed cars come to fruition!?! Putting a 1.6 back in the Elise? Making an automatic Elise? Ridiculous...

I wouldn't consider making an Elise, the sporty track day special, an automatic an improvement in the slightest. And taking the 1.8 engine out and sticking a gutless 1.6 in it's place is regressive engineering too. The Evora is a nice car, but apparently from some reviews it's showing a lack of consistent build quality (panel gaps etc.) and nowhere near the caché of it's competitor the 911. People don't buy Lotus' for luxury, and at the moment, people don't buy Lotus' for ANY reason. If they want a luxury sportscar, they're going to buy the Porsche every time.

Again, you're looking at deliveries in a period when the factory almost haven't been manufacturing cars for UK delivery. Virtually all the production in sept and october has been exported.

As for the 1.6 Elise beeing gutless and pontless, have any of you actually driven it? I have, both on track and thousands of miles on the road, and think it's a brilliant car. Not only is the general build and fit and finish the best it has ever been on an Elise, but remember that the 1.6 is a replavement for the old 1.8l 134hp Elise, not the 192/220hp 1.8, and I think the 1.6 is not only a much better engine that revs more smoothly, has a better noise and uses less fuel and as a bonus it also has a new 6 speed gearbox is really excellent. Unlike what you think the automatic (which technically is a robotised manual, not a torque converter, and only adds 1.5kg to the car) is however not only in demand in the US, is going to be the choice for nearly all Elise customers in Asia and the Middle East. In fact, in some of these markets the Elise has so far been nearly unsellable because it has been manual only, so I only see this as a positive addition to the range. As for those (mainly in Europe) that want a manual, you can still have one, so what's the problem?

Finally, about quality and general fit and finish on the cars. Yes, Porsche is still some way ahead, especially on things like panel gaps, which is the reason why on the New Era cars body panels are going to be either aluminium or CF. Many Evora reviews, especially the Launch Edition cars have also given the car a lot of stick for the interor quality, and righly so, because considering the development time and budget Lotus had to spend on the project they simply had no chance of matching a Porsche interior. Since then there has however been huge improvements in this area, and the MY12 cars take it up even quite a bit further, and in my oppinion the interiors of both the later MY11 and MY12 cars are a really nice place to be. If you don't believe me, I suggest you actually go and try one. :wave:



#205 DanardiF1

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 21:53

No the figures really aren't comparable. Evora S deliveries began almost imideiatly after the announcement, but the MY12 cars (which includes the new improved Evora that you mentions gets good reviews but "isn't selling") haven't gone into production yet.

The intereseting part about the Exige V6 is that it was only after Bahar arrived that the project got going. The concept of a V6 Exige had been talked about ever since an Exige was used as an engine development mule for the Evora in 2008, but previous management, including the previous product manager Tony Shute who have now gone to Caterham, didn't want to do it.

As for the China sales, let's just wait and see shall we? If what you claim is true then surely they will not bother opening up an aditional 29 showrooms, as the only reason for having a showroom is to sell and deliver cars to customers...

Regarding what you say about Evora sales and residuals in the UK, sales in the first two years have been about as budgeted, so not really sure I will agree that Lotus customers simply don't want it. Yes prices of some early cars have started going below 35k, but then again a similarly aged Caymam S with similar new selling price seem to go for about the same.


Again, you're looking at deliveries in a period when the factory almost haven't been manufacturing cars for UK delivery. Virtually all the production in sept and october has been exported.

As for the 1.6 Elise beeing gutless and pontless, have any of you actually driven it? I have, both on track and thousands of miles on the road, and think it's a brilliant car. Not only is the general build and fit and finish the best it has ever been on an Elise, but remember that the 1.6 is a replavement for the old 1.8l 134hp Elise, not the 192/220hp 1.8, and I think the 1.6 is not only a much better engine that revs more smoothly, has a better noise and uses less fuel and as a bonus it also has a new 6 speed gearbox is really excellent. Unlike what you think the automatic (which technically is a robotised manual, not a torque converter, and only adds 1.5kg to the car) is however not only in demand in the US, is going to be the choice for nearly all Elise customers in Asia and the Middle East. In fact, in some of these markets the Elise has so far been nearly unsellable because it has been manual only, so I only see this as a positive addition to the range. As for those (mainly in Europe) that want a manual, you can still have one, so what's the problem?

Finally, about quality and general fit and finish on the cars. Yes, Porsche is still some way ahead, especially on things like panel gaps, which is the reason why on the New Era cars body panels are going to be either aluminium or CF. Many Evora reviews, especially the Launch Edition cars have also given the car a lot of stick for the interor quality, and righly so, because considering the development time and budget Lotus had to spend on the project they simply had no chance of matching a Porsche interior. Since then there has however been huge improvements in this area, and the MY12 cars take it up even quite a bit further, and in my oppinion the interiors of both the later MY11 and MY12 cars are a really nice place to be. If you don't believe me, I suggest you actually go and try one. :wave:


Ok, thanks for the info. I didn't realise that it was the lower 1.8 that they were replacing.


#206 TennisUK

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:08

No the figures really aren't comparable. Evora S deliveries began almost imideiatly after the announcement,


They trickled out initially, and of course the IPS deliveries didn't begin for a full 6 or so months or so later so I think my point stands actually. Besides, the fact that the newer Elise and Exige aren't going to be at the dealers until January which is creating 'dead air' is hardly an excuse, but is in fact another mistake.

but the MY12 cars (which includes the new improved Evora that you mentions gets good reviews but "isn't selling") haven't gone into production yet.


Well, no. I was referring to the MY11 Evora S and IPS, both of which got good reviews but didn't sell. Remember it's not just October's fingers which are disappointing - the whole year is badly down - far worst than industry averages. It's worth noting the launch Evora also received good reviews. And that each newer car got the 'this is the Evora they should have launched with' line in almost every review with both the MY11 and MY12.

And of course dealers have been discounting existing MY11 stock for some time in anticipation of receiving the MY12 models - and even discounted cars are not shifting, as the sales numbers demonstrate.

And of course, these poor sales come off the back of a supposed $20m investment in f1 sponsorship this year in F1 - Not a great show for the investment.

The numbers can be spun which ever way you like, but the fact that remains that this year's UK sales have been very disapointing.

The intereseting part about the Exige V6 is that it was only after Bahar arrived that the project got going. The concept of a V6 Exige had been talked about ever since an Exige was used as an engine development mule for the Evora in 2008, but previous management, including the previous product manager Tony Shute who have now gone to Caterham, didn't want to do it.


Perhaps. I've read much in a couple of Lotus forums that contradicts this. If it is true then perhaps he has observed that his other plans are doomed to failure and is creating a back up plan ;)

Regardless it's refreshing to see them actually seeing sense. I'll be interested to hear how the new Exige handles with it's longer wheelbase and different weight distribution.

As for the China sales, let's just wait and see shall we?


OK - much like we did a few months ago when we chatted about the likelihood of the Elan cancellation ;)

If what you claim is true then surely they will not bother opening up an aditional 29 showrooms, as the only reason for having a showroom is to sell and deliver cars to customers...


The risk Youngman are taking isn't huge since the Lotus dealerships are just a corner of their existing dealerships...

Regarding what you say about Evora sales and residuals in the UK, sales in the first two years have been about as budgeted, so not really sure I will agree that Lotus customers simply don't want it.


Well, Lotus's public aspiration was to sell 2,000 Evoras a year which is something they have singularly failed at achieving thus far. I don't believe they have been able to sell the platform on to other customers yet either to get revenues for the engineering division (though I suspect you may have more insight than me here).

If you don't believe me, I suggest you actually go and try one. :wave:


I've tried a 2009 and 2011 Evora and enjoyed both (as well as having been a passenger in 1.6 Elise around Castle Combe) - but they're just too expensive for what you get. Even with a 2011, the cabin is not a patch on a Cayman.

Just a quick thought - of those 4 registrations in October, I suspect one of them was the 'Freddie Mercury' edition Evora purchased by Chris Evans (the proceeds of which went to charity), which would mean only three were sold through normal retail channels...

#207 WBarnato

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 16:49

I’m not trying to change the course of this required discussion on the validity of the sales figures (which, incidentally, either way you look at them is just awful compared to where the “brand” needs to be) but I do have two questions.

Firstly we have seen the Elan be postponed (indefinitely?), and the cancelation of the Le Mans Project. I appreciate the Variable Chassis is a brilliant concept being able to allow various models onto the same platform but does anyone see all models making it through the 5-6 year programme? If not which ones will go? I have a gut feeling the Eterne might be next based purely on the fact of all the models unveiled at Genève it was the one that seem less complete (windows blacked out and less information on its performance). It also has a very tough market to compete in especially with the likes of super salons from Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Jaguar as well as the Porsche, Aston Martins and Maserati’s its aiming for.

Secondly how many “wins” will the “new” Lotus have next season. Will they count their next as number 80 (which would be impossible as 79 were for Team Lotus) or 63 (27 for Benetton and 35 for Renault)?


#208 vas04614

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 17:33

Which team will be discussed under this thread next season :eek: :eek:

#209 DanardiF1

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 17:42

I’m not trying to change the course of this required discussion on the validity of the sales figures (which, incidentally, either way you look at them is just awful compared to where the “brand” needs to be) but I do have two questions.

Firstly we have seen the Elan be postponed (indefinitely?), and the cancelation of the Le Mans Project. I appreciate the Variable Chassis is a brilliant concept being able to allow various models onto the same platform but does anyone see all models making it through the 5-6 year programme? If not which ones will go? I have a gut feeling the Eterne might be next based purely on the fact of all the models unveiled at Genève it was the one that seem less complete (windows blacked out and less information on its performance). It also has a very tough market to compete in especially with the likes of super salons from Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Jaguar as well as the Porsche, Aston Martins and Maserati’s its aiming for.

Secondly how many “wins” will the “new” Lotus have next season. Will they count their next as number 80 (which would be impossible as 79 were for Team Lotus) or 63 (27 for Benetton and 35 for Renault)?


Well the F1 website doesn't even attribute the 79 race wins to the current Team Lotus, so surely this 'new' Lotus will have to start from 0, as the Team Lotus history is not theirs to claim (as was proven in court). What they don't lose by this going through the Commission is their prize money for the years raced as Renault, and neither will Caterham for the years they raced as Lotus Racing/Team Lotus.

#210 WBarnato

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 17:56

I suppose its fair to start from 0. Renault did and couldnt claim Benetton', so there is a precadent. However, Im sure Fernandes said to Clive Chapman that should Lotus Racing (as was) claim their first win it would be "Lotus's" 80th.



#211 Red17

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 18:03

Well the F1 website doesn't even attribute the 79 race wins to the current Team Lotus, so surely this 'new' Lotus will have to start from 0, as the Team Lotus history is not theirs to claim (as was proven in court). What they don't lose by this going through the Commission is their prize money for the years raced as Renault, and neither will Caterham for the years they raced as Lotus Racing/Team Lotus.

This whole thing about comebacks and factory based teams has been handled in two ways by the FIA.

When the constructor age was in full force the F1 site accepted the link to the old teams and made their entries as a defacto continuity. So Renault F1 was considered the same team that had folded back in the 90's. Small notes remain as engine supplier and the mention that the outfit was formerly Benetton.
http://www.formula1....rivers/teams/6/

Then most constructors pulled out and Merceded buys Brawn GP. The F1 site lists Mercedes as and I quote: «first works squad since 1955». Yet, no championships or victories.
http://www.formula1....vers/teams/190/

Team Lotus: same thing, even if the outfit had all the good papers to claim ownership over the heritage of Lotus in Formula 1 the F1 site lists them at zero.
http://www.formula1....vers/teams/194/

So you have two recent entries that have a background, both entries are listed as new with a small note about their past.

Unless Group Lotus is really picky about their image I cant see the FIA simply handing them the titles won by Lotus. My guess is that their entry will be handled as was Lotus and Mercedes.

#212 DanardiF1

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 18:13

This whole thing about comebacks and factory based teams has been handled in two ways by the FIA.

When the constructor age was in full force the F1 site accepted the link to the old teams and made their entries as a defacto continuity. So Renault F1 was considered the same team that had folded back in the 90's. Small notes remain as engine supplier and the mention that the outfit was formerly Benetton.
http://www.formula1....rivers/teams/6/

Then most constructors pulled out and Merceded buys Brawn GP. The F1 site lists Mercedes as and I quote: «first works squad since 1955». Yet, no championships or victories.
http://www.formula1....vers/teams/190/

Team Lotus: same thing, even if the outfit had all the good papers to claim ownership over the heritage of Lotus in Formula 1 the F1 site lists them at zero.
http://www.formula1....vers/teams/194/

So you have two recent entries that have a background, both entries are listed as new with a small note about their past.

Unless Group Lotus is really picky about their image I cant see the FIA simply handing them the titles won by Lotus. My guess is that their entry will be handled as was Lotus and Mercedes.


I don't think Group Lotus has a choice in picking another team's history. We proved that much in court all those months ago... they have no right to claim the history of the 'old' Team Lotus.

#213 peacockantony

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 20:27

Unless Group Lotus is really picky about their image I cant see the FIA simply handing them the titles won by Lotus. My guess is that their entry will be handled as was Lotus and Mercedes.

It should be as Mercedes' says, only without the notes about being in F1 before, as they have never been.

I don't think Group Lotus has a choice in picking another team's history. We proved that much in court all those months ago... they have no right to claim the history of the 'old' Team Lotus.

This. GL have always been saying that they never wanted to be Team Lotus, so they should not try and claim Team Lotus' achievements, as TF's Team Lotus chose to, and instead chose to be a new era of Team Lotus.

#214 One

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 20:40

What have Joe Saward say about Genii's purchase? Now Lopez is the owner of Lotus?

#215 DinocoBlue

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 21:57

What have Joe Saward say about Genii's purchase? Now Lopez is the owner of Lotus?

It's quite curious. Don't think Lopez is the full owner of Group, well at least not yet. I still wouldn't be surprised if TF was part of the consortium, just based on how many twists this saga has had so far.

In actual fact, it'd be quite a coup if TF and the company were part owners of Group, that way they could license the Team name... :drunk: :stoned:

Caterham could then become the junior team, similar to the Torro Rosso to Red Bull setup.

#216 iotar

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 22:19

Which team will be discussed under this thread next season :eek: :eek:


Ask stupid mod(s) who allowed this abomination of the thread to exist. 90% percent of nonsense here has nothing to do with Group Lotus which still is only a sponsor of one of the F1 teams. Just like Vodafone or Petronas. Yet there's no threads dedicated to them in RACING COMMENTS section. It's just a haven for Lotus name thread rejects/Fernandes groupies to spout their usual rubbish.

Edited by iotar, 07 November 2011 - 22:20.


#217 Red17

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 22:28

What have Joe Saward say about Genii's purchase? Now Lopez is the owner of Lotus?

Joe must like you!
http://joesaward.wor...lt-name-change/

Anyway, the status of LRGP next year will be the same as Lotus Racing last year. Using the name as a «blessing», and lots of show off from Dany and the occasional Clive Chapman certifying this is the real deal.
I honestly hope the marriage this time doesnt go wrong, but at this point of time I suspect Eric is more concerned about next year's car and a good driver other than the chassis name. In fact since they got that huge roundel on the nose performance has been filled with ups and downs with more downs than ups recently.

#218 peacockantony

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 22:46

Joe must like you!
http://joesaward.wor...lt-name-change/

Anyway, the status of LRGP next year will be the same as Lotus Racing last year. Using the name as a «blessing», and lots of show off from Dany and the occasional Clive Chapman certifying this is the real deal.
I honestly hope the marriage this time doesnt go wrong, but at this point of time I suspect Eric is more concerned about next year's car and a good driver other than the chassis name. In fact since they got that huge roundel on the nose performance has been filled with ups and downs with more downs than ups recently.

I wonder if they will adopt the Lotus logo as the team logo? If they do it will have to dramatically reduced in size to meet the regulations.

21) CAR LIVERY
22.3 - The name or the emblem of the make of the car must appear on the front of the nose of the car and in
either case be at least 25mm in its largest dimension. The name of the driver must appear on the external
bodywork and be clearly legible.

http://argent.fia.co..._30-06-2011.pdf

#219 Nustang70

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:06

I wonder if they will adopt the Lotus logo as the team logo? If they do it will have to dramatically reduced in size to meet the regulations.

http://argent.fia.co..._30-06-2011.pdf


Reduced? Doesn't that regulation only specify a minimum size, not a maximum?

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#220 TennisUK

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 22:48

The latest on the Judd-Lotus thing:

http://auto-racing.s...ack-to-january/

#221 Disgrace

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:49

Lotus has terminated its title sponsorship deal with sportscar manufacturer Group Lotus.

With Judd engines also going wrong, is this the beginning of a wholly predictable failure of Bahar's plans?

#222 2ms

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:09

I'm so confused on the lotus car company. Can anyone point me to an explanation of it all. I am aware of a grandiose plane by Bahar to come out with a very large number of models of new lotuses to replace the current very small lineup of about two niche-ish cars. But I am not knowledgeable on who Bahar works for (eg Proton?), who Group Lotus is exactly, what they have to do with Lotus F1, etc. Can anyone help a beginner?

#223 Disgrace

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:17

Bahar works for


Group Lotus Plc.

who Group Lotus is exactly,


Parent company of Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering that is owned by Proton.

what they have to do with Lotus F1, etc.


Ex-title sponsors of what actually remains the Lotus F1 Team, and remains owned by Genii Capital.

Edited by Disgrace, 06 April 2012 - 10:21.


#224 LostProphet

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:26

I'm so confused on the lotus car company. Can anyone point me to an explanation of it all. I am aware of a grandiose plane by Bahar to come out with a very large number of models of new lotuses to replace the current very small lineup of about two niche-ish cars. But I am not knowledgeable on who Bahar works for (eg Proton?), who Group Lotus is exactly, what they have to do with Lotus F1, etc. Can anyone help a beginner?


They way I understand it is:

- Group Lotus (cars) were sold to Proton
- Team Lotus (the name) was kept in the UK
- Fernandez bought the Team Lotus name for his now-Caterham team
- Genii (and Proton?) got into a fight with Fernandez over the use of the Lotus name, as Proton assumed by owning Group Lotus (cars) they owned Team Lotus (name).
Group Lotus were a title sponsor of Genii's team, thus it was named Lotus Renault.

- Courts settled, Genii rebranded the team Team Lotus, with title sponsorship by Group Lotus. So they appeared to be one, but was still a manufacturer / sponsor relationship (like Virgin Racing was)

- Danny Bahar was employed by Group Lotus (cars) to redevelop the brand with a spangly idea that nobody thought would work as it seemed way too expensive.
- Part of his plan was to get the company back into motorsport, either through direct association (actually owning teams / parts of teams) or sponsorship. In F1 it was simple, because it looked to the casual outsider that Team Lotus was a wholesale part and parcel of the Lotus car company. But it was still a manufacturer / sponsor relationship.

Proton have now sold Group Lotus to someone else with a weird name, I'm guessing without doing any research that it's one of these shady investment funds, so we'll probably see Lotus disappear into nothingness.

AFAIK, Bahar is still part of Group Lotus and there are still plans to make all those wonderful new cars that he promised.

However now Group Lotus have ceased sponsorship of the Team Lotus team. It's unclear to me who owns the name Team Lotus at this point, but I guess it must be Genii Capital.



... I think that's mostly right. God what a confusing mess.

#225 DanardiF1

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:28

Lotus has terminated its title sponsorship deal with sportscar manufacturer Group Lotus.

With Judd engines also going wrong, is this the beginning of a wholly predictable failure of Bahar's plans?


Having been anticipating this man's downfall for a long time, I can only hope that this is the case. Also haven't seen any further sign of these new models that he was raving about quite a few years ago now.

#226 mechadaniel

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:36

wholly predictable failure of Bahar's plans?


As someone who grew up a Lotus fan, completely depressing really.

#227 madraykin

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:38

Lotus has terminated its title sponsorship deal with sportscar manufacturer Group Lotus.

With Judd engines also going wrong, is this the beginning of a wholly predictable failure of Bahar's plans?

It depends on what you think his 'plans' were though. If it was intended to actually get any of these projects off the ground then yes, he's failed. But if it was to tart the company up a bit and make it an attractive proposition to potential buyers then surely he's succeeded?

#228 2ms

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:39

Why does Genii use the Lotus team rather than calling it Genii F1 or something (eg like Benetton or Red Bull). It's not quite the same, but it seems a little bit like if Benetton or Red Bull had entered F1 and just picked some random car company like Lamborghini or something and called their team Lamborghini or Pagandi or whatever F1 despite receiving no money from the car company. It appears to defy common sense, in a way, to me.

Also, not so related to F1, I was really looking forward to seeing Lotus becoming a real car company again. I'm rather bored of the same old Porsche and handful of others in price category. Really wanted to see some fresh blood and much-needed competition in segment. That's looking like it's out of the cards now? I thought there were all those prototypes shown at car show a few months ago. They were all just total shells of showcars?

Edited by 2ms, 06 April 2012 - 10:41.


#229 mechadaniel

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:43

However now Group Lotus have ceased sponsorship of the Team Lotus team. It's unclear to me who owns the name Team Lotus at this point, but I guess it must be Genii Capital.


We know nothing about what kind of deal was stuck, apart from the visible things like TF suddenly being on the board of the Malaysian national carrier, but the right to "Team Lotus" seems to be owned by Group Lotus. That the Enstone F1 team doesn't use any TL branding or a TL chassis number has always been a bit mysterious :)


#230 Disgrace

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:44

Proton have now sold Group Lotus to someone else with a weird name, I'm guessing without doing any research that it's one of these shady investment funds, so we'll probably see Lotus disappear into nothingness.


I don't think that is the case.

DRB-HICOM conducts due diligence on Lotus.

Edited by Disgrace, 06 April 2012 - 10:46.


#231 mechadaniel

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:50

Why does Genii use the Lotus team rather than calling it Genii F1 or something (eg like Benetton or Red Bull).


It's more like how the Marrussia team was using the name Virgin, even though they got no money from Virgin Group, it made it sound like they were big players and so helped sell other advertising.

If you look at the Lotus F1 team, they are getting no money from Group Lotus, they are getting no money from Microsoft, and they have a driver's personal sponsor's logos splashed all over the car - which they probably are getting minimal money for, but it's better than looking like you have no sponsors...

#232 THE "driverider"

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:55

So does this mean a name change?

#233 mechadaniel

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:59

DRB-HICOM conducts due diligence on Lotus.


Interesting link...

There has also been talks in the market of a consortium of local banks, which includes CIMB Bank Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd,
having stopped lending money to Lotus due to its management’s inability to meet certain conditions in their loan agreements.


Hmmm, was wondering where the 500 Million loan had gone...


Thus far, the bankers have advanced Lotus as much as £200 million (RM976 million). It is understood that the decision to send in the two forensic teams was made last month after Proton’s management and Lotus’ top management team from Norwich were summoned to Kuala Lumpur to brief the new owner of Proton on what is happening in the company.


Uh oh.

Business Times understands that separate teams from Ernst & Young (EY) and a unit from the influential Rothschild Group have been given the mandate to evaluate Lotus and its management team.


That's going to go well...

#234 LostProphet

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:59

So does this mean a name change?


No, Genii have stated they want to keep the Lotus name in F1. 'Good for F1 and Good for Sponsors' seems to be the general message. I don't think they'd get another name change approved this year anyway, but if Kimi and Romain can knock it out of the ballpark a few times this season (which I think they have the potential to, if they can keep developing the car) then who's to say another big brand (or an existing sponsor) won't step up and demand a rebrand?

#235 King Six

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:06

No, Genii have stated they want to keep the Lotus name in F1. 'Good for F1 and Good for Sponsors' seems to be the general message. I don't think they'd get another name change approved this year anyway, but if Kimi and Romain can knock it out of the ballpark a few times this season (which I think they have the potential to, if they can keep developing the car) then who's to say another big brand (or an existing sponsor) won't step up and demand a rebrand?

I'd rule out a manufacturer as it seems the threshold has been passed for new manufaturers as nobody except Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari and PURE are going to be making engines for 2014. So whoever takes over ex-Renault now-Lotus but not really Lotus won't be a major manufacturer.

I guess the only way to makes things even more farcical is for US F1 to bid for the team. :up:

Edited by King Six, 06 April 2012 - 11:07.


#236 mechadaniel

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:16

They seem to be able to use the name this year, but next season will be up to the owners of GL. new or not.

#237 King Six

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:32

I think this time Group Lotus really won't care if their name is being used in F1. The only reason there was so much hoo ha before was because they wanted to shift from Fernandes Lotus to Renault Lotus. They wanted to shift because obviously Renault is much better than Fernandes new team. Now they're essentially getting free publicity from a good team on the F1 grid. They won't have a reason to sue Renault Lotus to stop them using the name, unlike when they sued Fernandes to stop using the name.

No matter what Gerard Lopez says, this team will be looking for a new title sponsor and eventually constructor name for 2013 onwards. No use carrying around dead weight. They just need to perform this season in order to attract some big names.

Edited by King Six, 06 April 2012 - 11:33.


#238 One

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:33

A basic question will someone please answer?

how healthy is Genii financially?

#239 Myrvold

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 14:11

- Courts settled, Genii rebranded the team Team Lotus, with title sponsorship by Group Lotus. So they appeared to be one, but was still a manufacturer / sponsor relationship (like Virgin Racing was)


Nope - Team Lotus is gone from F1 - again.

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#240 Amphicar

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 14:42

They seem to be able to use the name this year, but next season will be up to the owners of GL. new or not.

It would be really funny if DRB-Hicom decided to sell Group Lotus to Tony Fernandes.

#241 olliek88

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 14:51

Lotus (group/Proton) have been spending & spending some more on both their road car program and their involvement in motorsport. With the road cars Lotus have never been a mass market brand of high performance sports cars, in the same way as Porsche as an example, Dany has tried to turn them into this and its not going to end well in my opinion. They've been similarly ambitious in motorsport and its now starting to unravel. I wouldn't be surprised if the Lotus name (Road) goes the same way as MG, Rover, TVR etc etc.

#242 DanardiF1

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 15:25

Lotus (group/Proton) have been spending & spending some more on both their road car program and their involvement in motorsport. With the road cars Lotus have never been a mass market brand of high performance sports cars, in the same way as Porsche as an example, Dany has tried to turn them into this and its not going to end well in my opinion. They've been similarly ambitious in motorsport and its now starting to unravel. I wouldn't be surprised if the Lotus name (Road) goes the same way as MG, Rover, TVR etc etc.


What Bahar should've done really is look at why people buy Caterhams and things like that instead of Lotus cars. If they were struggling in a sector where their name is the by-word for performance and handling, what hope would he have of breaking into a sector where the might of Porsche, BMW, Audi etc. etc. all have a large share?

What they should've done is work on new cars that were firmly in that light sportscar sector, a new Elise, a stripped-out monster like the Ariel Atom, a hardcore Evora, and THEN market them in places where the sportscar market is just emerging, like Asia (funnily enough somewhere Caterham is growing quickly) and even burgeoning track day scenes like in US.

The one thing I'm glad Bahar's done is take more notice of the Evora (mainly because he has no money to make his new cars happen), because that should be their 'halo' car. It's a fantastic car, but it's the one that should be at the top of the Lotus range, as it's relatively heavy and more towards the luxury end.

Personally I also wouldn't mind seeing some retro-styled throwbacks, with modern underpinnings. If Lotus introduced a range of cars that on the outside looked similar to the classic Elan, Europa, Espirit shapes, but had modern chassis, engines and fittings, I could imagine them being popular, in the same way that Morgan produces long waiting lists for some of their retro-styled cars. Produce a track car in the style of the classic Type 11 and I (if I had the money to buy ANY car :p) would be at the front of the queue.

Lotus lives off it's history an awful lot, but not really in the right way.

#243 WBarnato

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 16:17

Why am I not surprised?

Probably because the idea that Bahar had was so fanciful, so utter void of fact and so completely and utterly vacuous.

Group Lotus are still trading, they may even sell a car somewhere in the world on Tuesday, however, all of this news is not looking good. I would love to say "told you so" but that would be childiss and disrespectful. I love the Lotus brand, which is why I was so upset with the direction (and predicatable outcome) it was going.

The smart money is on Gennii bidding for the group when it comes up for disposal, however, that is a hell of a mess to take on.

All in all it is a sad day.

Incidently - anyone heard of edruth recently?

#244 Nustang70

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 16:24

Jesus Christ! Was it all worth it, Bahar?

#245 DanardiF1

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 16:26

Jesus Christ! Was it all worth it, Bahar?


He doesn't care. He's been paid a bunch of money, and will use his contacts (he married into Swiss money) to get himself another cushty job, just like he has after he got fired from Ferrari and Red Bull. If anyone asks he'll blame other things like the economy and politics, rather than his own stupid ideas.

#246 BRG

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:32

He doesn't care. He's been paid a bunch of money, and will use his contacts (he married into Swiss money) to get himself another cushty job, just like he has after he got fired from Ferrari and Red Bull. If anyone asks he'll blame other things like the economy and politics, rather than his own stupid ideas.

Ah, I get it at last! YOU were up for the job of Lotus CEO as well but didn't get it! :lol:

#247 DanardiF1

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:43

Ah, I get it at last! YOU were up for the job of Lotus CEO as well but didn't get it! :lol:


Yes... yes I was. :p

#248 One

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:46

OK, nowe is Bahar gone from Lotus??????

IF so ....ANGRY!!!!!!!!!

Mess, mess and messsssssss

#249 rentonB

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:02

A basic question will someone please answer?

how healthy is Genii financially?

Good, they know how to make money

#250 DanardiF1

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 12:12

OK, nowe is Bahar gone from Lotus??????

IF so ....ANGRY!!!!!!!!!

Mess, mess and messsssssss


No word of him leaving as of yet.