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Hedgerley

Original Poster:

577 posts

156 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
With all the doom and gloom out there, this is a reasonably upbeat piece on the state of play at Lotus these days.

http://www.wallpaper.com/cars/lotus-in-transition-...

Given the source I am not too sure of the authors credentials but its nice to read something reasonably positive for a change.

Not sure about Aslam's CEO title though, unless he has been promoted recently. DRB placed him as COO last I heard.

bobo

1,404 posts

166 months

[news] 
Sunday 30th September 2012 quote quote all
good spot. good stuff.

Hedgerley said:
With all the doom and gloom out there, this is a reasonably upbeat piece on the state of play at Lotus these days.

http://www.wallpaper.com/cars/lotus-in-transition-...

Given the source I am not too sure of the authors credentials but its nice to read something reasonably positive for a change.

Not sure about Aslam's CEO title though, unless he has been promoted recently. DRB placed him as COO last I heard.

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Problem that it's just fluff.

If the production lines are working, why are there no exige s's with end customers?


Toaster

613 posts

81 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
Problem that it's just fluff.

If the production lines are working, why are there no exige s's with end customers?
Production seemed to be working when I was there a couple of weeks back

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Toaster said:
Scuffers said:
Problem that it's just fluff.

If the production lines are working, why are there no exige s's with end customers?
Production seemed to be working when I was there a couple of weeks back
so where are the cars?
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Tuna

4,816 posts

172 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
so where are the cars?
Do you have a list of the people who are waiting? Across the UK, if they're delivering anything less than a couple of thousand a week, you're not going to see more than the very occasional car on the streets for quite a while, surely?

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
Scuffers said:
so where are the cars?
Do you have a list of the people who are waiting? Across the UK, if they're delivering anything less than a couple of thousand a week, you're not going to see more than the very occasional car on the streets for quite a while, surely?
well, let me put it another way...

as far as I can tell, there is not a single Exige S in customers hands, despite several hundred on order with money down for them.

Toaster

613 posts

81 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
so where are the cars?
As I say the production line was working I did not say with what cars

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Toaster said:
Scuffers said:
so where are the cars?
As I say the production line was working I did not say with what cars
and we have a winner, give yourself the pedantic **** of the week award.

Toaster

613 posts

81 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
and we have a winner, give yourself the pedantic **** of the week award.
:-) thank you I take that as a complement its taken years to perfect the skill


KelWedge

1,045 posts

73 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Just to confirm, The production line is working smile

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
doing what though?

no Exige S's, and looking at SMMT, jan-Sept only 120 cars registered....

Hedgerley

Original Poster:

577 posts

156 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
doing what though?

no Exige S's, and looking at SMMT, jan-Sept only 120 cars registered....
Plus around 700 for export. Let's say around 1000 for the year. That's half the 2011 figure. Even accounting for the 3 month shut down post acquisition earlier this year, that's not great. Its getting harder to maintain my eternal optimism for the marque...

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Looks like the reality of the situation is becoming ever clearer

http://skiddmark.com/2012/10/is-drb-hicom-fiddling...


Tuna

4,816 posts

172 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
Looks like the reality of the situation is becoming ever clearer

http://skiddmark.com/2012/10/is-drb-hicom-fiddling...
You know I don't like talking down a company that's been struggling for years now.

When DRB took over and threw out Bahar, I couldn't understand the delight the news received. It was pretty clear at the time that you can't just abandon such a bold plan and instantly replace it with another. It was also pretty clear that any reaction to Bahar's over exuberance was likely to be conservative at best. The Esprit project just wasn't going to happen this year or any time soon.

At the time I said that DRB had to engage the community, to prove themselves committed to moving Lotus forward rather than just fighting the losses. They were faceless, in the face of a community that is personal and passionate. It's not a surprise that people are getting restless.

DRB have some great products on their hands - all products of Bahar's reign. It's really unclear to me what they want to do with them. The company appears directionless, and all the talk from the top level is money when customers want to hear about cars.

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
total hoggwash...

Dannyboy was spending some £3.5M a week apparently, just how many more weeks could Lotus last at that kind of cash burn rate?

they are in a F'ing big financial hole, even if they could come up with the hundreds of thousands owed to suppliers, it's not at all clear any of them would want to play ball again.

I really don't want to see them die, but face facts, I can't see any other outcome, short for them going into administration and somebody buying the bits without the debts.

in the mean time Caterham are starting to take on Lotus work.

Tuna

4,816 posts

172 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
total hoggwash...

Dannyboy was spending some £3.5M a week apparently, just how many more weeks could Lotus last at that kind of cash burn rate?
Well, given that Proton had originally committed to backing Lotus to the tune of half a billion, somewhere over three years. That's assuming the burn rate was constant and they got no products out in that time.

Scuffers said:
they are in a F'ing big financial hole, even if they could come up with the hundreds of thousands owed to suppliers, it's not at all clear any of them would want to play ball again.

I really don't want to see them die, but face facts, I can't see any other outcome, short for them going into administration and somebody buying the bits without the debts.

in the mean time Caterham are starting to take on Lotus work.
I don't think we're actually disagreeing here.

I'm not being an apologist for Bahar. At the same time, the logic behind his plan made some sense - if Lotus wanted to be a global player, they had to put time, effort and money into getting there. The problem I have is that DRB appear to have rejected that plan in every respect. No new products, the same struggling dealer network, no actual investment beyond maintaining existing bank loans. It's fine that they've cut back the spending, but what are they doing to change the fact that the company is on it's arse?

I agree with you that they're in deep trouble. I don't see any evidence that they're doing anything to change that.

RYH64E

5,160 posts

132 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
I agree with you that they're in deep trouble. I don't see any evidence that they're doing anything to change that.
I'm not sure that there is much that they can do, or not much that makes financial sense. The options as I see it are 1) sell it, 2) scale it right down, or 3) close it.

Scuffers

14,976 posts

162 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
Scuffers said:
total hoggwash...

Dannyboy was spending some £3.5M a week apparently, just how many more weeks could Lotus last at that kind of cash burn rate?
Well, given that Proton had originally committed to backing Lotus to the tune of half a billion, somewhere over three years. That's assuming the burn rate was constant and they got no products out in that time.
problem is it was not Protons money, they borrowed it from banks against god knows what?

also, do the math, £3.5M a week = £182M a year, how long was it ever going to last?

2+ years in, Dannyboy's plan was still years away from having any product you could sell, and at that burn rate, they would have been nearer £1Bn in debt (from where god only knows?)

even if that has panned out, how many cars would you have to sell to even just service a £1Bn debt?

realistically, anybody with GCSE maths would be able to work out that it was always going to be a disaster.

Tuna

4,816 posts

172 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
Scuffers said:
even if that has panned out, how many cars would you have to sell to even just service a £1Bn debt?
It seems to me a significant amount of the spending under Bahar was either one-off or discretionary. They weren't planning on rebuilding the test track every year, were they? DRB haven't achieved much by cutting the spend rate, when a lot of it was infrastructure costs that had built up over a decade of neglect by Proton. Most of the spending was to get to Paris this year with an Esprit to show and a story to back it up - after that, how do you know what they might have spent?

Regardless, you're forgetting it was a get big or die trying plan. Porsche's profits last year were €1.4Bn on a turnover of €2.5Bn. If Lotus were a tenth that size, they could service a £1Bn debt. I'm not saying Bahar was the right man to execute the plan, but it was one of the few options left to them.

There are a lot of people on here who're determined that Lotus couldn't be a global player, but are then surprised when they're struggling. It's long seemed to me that they either have to get bigger or go bust. They're at a size that is just not sustainable. You're very certain the answer is that this is the end of the company - and yes, you're right that without any other plan, that's what they'll do.

See, it's easy to say they're doomed. Much harder to come up with a plan that gives them a healthy future.

Edited by Tuna on Saturday 6th October 17:09

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