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veevee

1,207 posts

38 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
Tuna said:
Have you checked the figures for the Gen-3 Elise?
1095kg at last estimate, we won't know what it actually weighs until when (if) it is launched in 2015.
I stand corrected.

Tuna

4,804 posts

171 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
Tuna said:
Have you checked the figures for the Gen-3 Elise?
1095kg at last estimate, we won't know what it actually weighs until when (if) it is launched in 2015.
This is the bit I don't understand. People are getting mightily offended about a car that only really exists on paper at the moment and won't see the light of day before 2015 - even if Lotus hit their schedule bang on time. Lotus, Ginetta, Caterham, Atom all produce various shades of lightweight sportscar and none of them sell in significant numbers. What sells well? The MX5 - at 1248kg.

The two things I'm getting from this are that Lotus have at least three years to get the Elise right, and we really don't have the slightest idea about what they're going to do. Whatever they do, sales are more important than pleasing a minority of drivers.

poo at Paul's

3,203 posts

62 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
s3fella said:
It went to pot before they hired the Fresh Prince of Belair to be their marketing director, but that just let the word know they were fooked.

Shame.
With Fresh Prince in charge, does that mean the new Lotus Carlton will be sporting a sweater?

RYH64E

5,066 posts

131 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
This is the bit I don't understand. People are getting mightily offended about a car that only really exists on paper at the moment and won't see the light of day before 2015 - even if Lotus hit their schedule bang on time. Lotus, Ginetta, Caterham, Atom all produce various shades of lightweight sportscar and none of them sell in significant numbers. What sells well? The MX5 - at 1248kg.

The two things I'm getting from this are that Lotus have at least three years to get the Elise right, and we really don't have the slightest idea about what they're going to do. Whatever they do, sales are more important than pleasing a minority of drivers.
It sells well, at £18-£21k on the road, that's less than an S1 Elise sold for 15 years ago (with absolutely no frills don't forget, not even a sun visor). There's no way Lotus can compete in this market with a manufacturer like Mazda. Imo niche marketing is the only way forward for Lotus - which may well involve a substantial 'downsizing'.

otolith

26,434 posts

91 months

[news] 
Monday 16th April 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
The two things I'm getting from this are that Lotus have at least three years to get the Elise right, and we really don't have the slightest idea about what they're going to do. Whatever they do, sales are more important than pleasing a minority of drivers.
If you don't think that what differentiates Lotus from everybody else is important, why do you care either way? If you want them to make something like an MX-5, why don't you just buy an MX-5? If you want them to make something like a Porsche, why don't you just buy a Porsche? Honestly, if Lotus stops making cars which are distinctively Lotus, why the hell would you buy one?
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BarnatosGhost

8,096 posts

140 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
poo at Paul's said:
s3fella said:
It went to pot before they hired the Fresh Prince of Belair to be their marketing director, but that just let the word know they were fooked.

Shame.
With Fresh Prince in charge, does that mean the new Lotus Carlton will be sporting a sweater?
Very nice.

Ozzie Osmond

16,309 posts

133 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
Honestly, if Lotus stops making cars which are distinctively Lotus, why the hell would you buy one?
^^^^ This

julian64

10,512 posts

141 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
chapmen and bahar are not the same and never were.

Chapman wasn't interested in glitz, he tried to sell kit cars to avoid VAT in a very practical help the student into a sports car way, and spent his life more interested in motor racing than selling cars. His very sucessful mantra was make it lighter, cos it goes better on a track that way. People wanted his cars because they knew he did what he said on the tin.

Bahar seems to be trying to sell lotus on brand imaging. Truly the complete opposite of Chapman.

Whichever way works in todays climate of car ads when you never hear anything about the car I don't know, but what I do know is the the poster who tried to compare Bahar and Chapman as similar types is barking IMHO.

The Crack Fox

10,081 posts

79 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
Interesting point, Julian, I'd say that every business needs both a Bahar (Marketeer) and a Chapman (Engineer).

900T-R

19,497 posts

144 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
Ozzie Osmond said:
otolith said:
Honestly, if Lotus stops making cars which are distinctively Lotus, why the hell would you buy one?
^^^^ This
Exactly. Plus how would a tiny player - which Lotus is even allowing for Bahar's 500 million plan - ever be remotely competitive against those already in the mainstream? It's a lose/lose situation.

The whole equation of many posters on here just doesn't make sense. MOST buyers in the sports car segment want all the doodahs and gizmo's and put perceived quality before dynamics in their list of priorities - granted. For Lotus, that's inconsequential as they are not trying to sell 100,000 cars - they need to shift 5,000 at the most.

I suggest Lotus should strive to cater for the wants and needs of sports car buyers that don't want a mainstream car first and foremost. Marketing is as much defining who's not your target group as determining who is, and acting accordingly (for all his faults, this is something that Peter Wheeler understood quite well, as did Saab USA's president Bob Sinclair during the 'boom' years of that brand in the first half of the 1980s). smile

forzaminardi

1,277 posts

74 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
julian64 said:
chapmen and bahar are not the same and never were.

Chapman wasn't interested in glitz, he tried to sell kit cars to avoid VAT in a very practical help the student into a sports car way, and spent his life more interested in motor racing than selling cars. His very sucessful mantra was make it lighter, cos it goes better on a track that way. People wanted his cars because they knew he did what he said on the tin.

Bahar seems to be trying to sell lotus on brand imaging. Truly the complete opposite of Chapman.

Whichever way works in todays climate of car ads when you never hear anything about the car I don't know, but what I do know is the the poster who tried to compare Bahar and Chapman as similar types is barking IMHO.
Chapman might not have started out interested in glitz, but his head was very easily turned by glamour and the trappings of success. For example, his enthusiasm for David Thieme, picture below, and the lifestyle he and Essex petroleum embodied. The Esprit was nothing if not an attempt to move Lotus 'upmarket' and indeed Chapman, almost despite himself, was always striving to make cars that were genuinely perceved as being sexy and desireable for more than just the committed helmsman. Having Roger Moore in a 007 Esprit must have been heaven for him. Similarly, he was easily swayed by John Delorean, and there seems to be little doubt that a big part of that was due to the glamorous American with the shiny teeth and sharp jawline and Californian tan.

He was a great engineer, but he wasn't a man without flaws.


Twincam16

27,646 posts

145 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
julian64 said:
chapmen and bahar are not the same and never were.

Chapman wasn't interested in glitz, he tried to sell kit cars to avoid VAT in a very practical help the student into a sports car way, and spent his life more interested in motor racing than selling cars. His very sucessful mantra was make it lighter, cos it goes better on a track that way. People wanted his cars because they knew he did what he said on the tin.

Bahar seems to be trying to sell lotus on brand imaging. Truly the complete opposite of Chapman.

Whichever way works in todays climate of car ads when you never hear anything about the car I don't know, but what I do know is the the poster who tried to compare Bahar and Chapman as similar types is barking IMHO.
I find interesting parallels here with Ferrari.

Enzo Ferrari was of a similar mindset to Chapman, who saw the road cars as merely a way to fund the racing. He was utterly preoccupied with Formula 1 and sports-car racing, and his road cars sold in small quantities at very high prices, were consistently criticised for their poor refinement and build quality, and didn't make any money.

This changed when Fiat stepped in in the early Seventies and took over the road-car operation. Enzo concentrated entirely on racing and his racing developments were allowed to influence the road cars, but Fiat's influence ensured they were well-made, properly-priced, acceptably reliable and easy to buy and sell.

Annoyingly, Lotus's 'Fiat' should have been Toyota, but GM swept in unexpectedly in 1988 and Chapman died unexpectedly in 1982. A company like Toyota could still do this, but DRB-Hicom needs to sell Lotus to someone who understands it.

Bahar is fine as a marketing man, but I agree, he needs a Chapman. Someone like Tetsuya Tada, come to think of it. Now there's an idea - Toyota buys Lotus, Tada installed as heir to Chapman, and Bahar sticks to sales and marketing.

Tuna

4,804 posts

171 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
otolith said:
If you don't think that what differentiates Lotus from everybody else is important, why do you care either way? If you want them to make something like an MX-5, why don't you just buy an MX-5? If you want them to make something like a Porsche, why don't you just buy a Porsche? Honestly, if Lotus stops making cars which are distinctively Lotus, why the hell would you buy one?
Actually I think that Lotus cars have a 'feel' that is quite different from any other on the road, and that differentiates them from the competition. However, having driven (and enjoyed) a fat old Excel, I don't think the Lotus feel comes from being lightweight so much as a fantastic understanding of vehicle dynamics. I love the pleasure of driving a Lotus, both classic and new.

The thing is, besides the fact that I think the Lotus differentiator is engineering skill and vehicle dynamics, I'm fairly certain that most car buyers don't differentiate on weight. So, the fact that the Elise is lighter than the MX5 does not help sell a single car - and has certainly not stopped the MX5 selling 30 cars to every one Elise.

I personally do not want an MX5 or a Porsche. I want a Lotus. But I want a Lotus that sells well enough to let the company do well, and produce more exciting, rewarding cars. So, I don't give a monkeys about a completely artificial weight limit (why not worry about it being under 2000 lbs?) - I care that the car is a pleasure to own and drive.

braddo

4,501 posts

75 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
So, the fact that the Elise is lighter than the MX5 does not help sell a single car
The Elise's weight has always been an integral part of its appeal and is the car's defining feature.

Tuna

4,804 posts

171 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
braddo said:
Tuna said:
So, the fact that the Elise is lighter than the MX5 does not help sell a single car
The Elise's weight has always been an integral part of its appeal and is the car's defining feature.
I really don't think so. The Ford Ka weighs about the same as the S1 Elise. Which would you rather have?

Sure, the weight was a handy headline figure, but the thing that sold the Elise was the dynamics and inspired styling.

900T-R

19,497 posts

144 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
And the dynamics of the Elise would be mainly a function of...?

otolith

26,434 posts

91 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
900T-R said:
And the dynamics of the Elise would be mainly a function of...?
They have a magic wand in Hethel. No other car manufacturer in the world has such a thing. They keep it in the basement. When an engineer has come up with a good configuration for the chassis - the sort of perfectly aqequate configuration that any of the equally talented engineers at Porsche or BMW or Audi could come up with - he takes his drawings and calculations down to the basement, waves the wand over them and shouts "Simplificato Addlightness". And then the car handles like a Lotus.

Tuna

4,804 posts

171 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
900T-R said:
And the dynamics of the Elise would be mainly a function of...?
It's chassis. And in that respect it shares a lot with the Esprit, Excel and Europa in using box section members for high rigidity at a given weight.

RYH64E

5,066 posts

131 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
It's chassis. And in that respect it shares a lot with the Esprit, Excel and Europa in using box section members for high rigidity at a given weight.
That will be the light weight aluminium chassis? The one that uses epoxy adhesives to further reduce the weight that would have resulted from increasing the extrusion thickness to allow for welding?

900T-R

19,497 posts

144 months

[news] 
Tuesday 17th April 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
It's chassis. And in that respect it shares a lot with the Esprit, Excel and Europa in using box section members for high rigidity at a given weight .
Eyethankyew bowtie

If you want to expreince what an Elise would be like if it were heavier - try a Tesla Roadster. wink
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