LOTUS: DEAD WEIGHT LIFTED OR DEAD MAN WALKING?
We investigate whether Lotus is back on track in the post-Bahar era
FoS sculpture was well received
Then the company this week opened the doors on its flagship Regent St merchandising store in London. A £333 car coat might not be high on your shopping list, but the kit is mainly stylish and the shop well appointed. Let's not forget that Ferrari makes around a quarter of its profit from its stores.
The racing is going great guns, meanwhile. It might be mostly in name only, but when the Lotus F1 team is now regularly making the podium and currently sits third in the championship ahead of Ferrari, it's got to have a positive effect on the global perception of the company.
This is the car that's promised to accelerate faster to 60mph than the much-praised supercharged S but record just 55g/km of CO2 (around 120mpg).
So all this must be having a terrific effect on sales, right? Er no. Up to the end of June this year, Lotus had sold just 82 cars in the UK. That's down from 218 the year before, a fall of over 200 per cent. Even Saab sold more than that, and it's been defunct since December.
So what's the problem? We put that question to Lotus, who then sent it all the way to new owners DRB-Hicom in Malaysia, who declined to comment.
Let's hope the Evora convertible, expected to be revealed in a month or so, can go some way to halting the decline.