Lotus Terminates European Dealer Network


Lotus boss Dany Bahar has written to the sports car maker's entire dealer network to tell them that their current contracts will terminate in July 2012.

The massive shake-up of the European Lotus dealer network is part of Lotus's plans to overhaul the entire company within the next five years.

According to Autocar, Lotus's current contract with its dealers requires a two-year notice period for the termination of contracts.

Existing dealers and franchise holders will be able to apply for a new contract, but Lotus won't yet reveal exactly what it plans to do with its European sales network.

Lotus will also reveal its new product plans - though not necessarily its sales network strategy - at the Paris motor show in September.

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  • netherledy 17 Aug 2010

    I have got a very low mileage (2000 miles) Exige S that I have had from new. I want to get a new Lotus next February because they are just so much fun, but if I want anything even vaguely comparable I have to place an order, basically for exactly the car I already have, and shell out £15K before 31st December. No supercharged 1.8 after that date.

    And then I know that my new Exige will be out of production unless Lotus decide to stick a V6 or some supercharged 1.6 in it sometime in the future (when they realise that their 8000 a year of 100K cars is fantasy).

    Of course I can buy a 1.6 Elise (32% of ALL Lotus sales to date are Elises) with the same performance as an MR2 for £28K, or I can get my eyeballs ripped out in a 211.

    Alternatively, I can spend £25K on an Evora to go substantially slower than the Exige.

    As someone else said, NEVER put an MBA in charge of a purist engineering company.

    As a strategy, this is a complete dog's breakfast, it will fail miserably and Lotus will be back as a small volume supplier of lightweight sportscars within three years - IF they survive.


    I am thinking that the best thing I can do is hang on to my mint Exige S and get a supercharger upgrade to 280BHP. Easily the cheapest option!

    Edited by netherledy on Tuesday 17th August 20:05

  • RTH 12 Jul 2010

    I had a close look at an Evora on display at the British GP over the weekend.
    It is a nicely finished car,looks better in darker shades and looks better in the flesh than in photographs.
    Price is the problem. At that level people look beyond just the car offered to them for prestige, reputation, total reliability and a level of service at a dealer way above anything you would find at a mainstream car maker and the perception by the buyer and onlooker of a premium high level product, something which takes decades of high quality to achieve in the minds of the motoring public.

    Edited by RTH on Monday 12th July 07:51

  • Puddenchucker 11 Jul 2010

    fridaypassion said:
    The problem Lotus face is that while everyone makes the right noises about wanting lightweight driver focused cars they end up caving in and buying on brand....

    ....Consumers these days value bling and image over heritage and driving experience.
    To a certain extent I agree with you, but if you were in the market for a sports car, in the region of £45-50k of you own money, that has a degree of everyday useability, would you be buying a Lotus Evora over a Porsche Cayman S ?

    The cold fact remains that while the Evora may be a slightly better drivers car (I haven't driven one), as a overall ownership prospect I think most would suggest the Cayman is the better car.

  • havoc 11 Jul 2010

    fridaypassion said:
    The problem Lotus face is that while everyone makes the right noises about wanting lightweight driver focused cars they end up caving in and buying on brand.

    If all performance car enthusiasts were true to their word we would all be driving Caterhams. ... Lotus have a wonderful history and real genuine heritage but when it comes to cars only a few of us actually put our money where our mouth is and buy such things. Consumers these days value bling and image over heritage and driving experience.
    I don't think it's just that. Caterfields (and the Elise, to a fair degree) are very uncompromising cars - no/minimal luggage space and minimal concessions to comfort and everyday/long-distance usability.

    And while some people CAN afford a brand-new track or short-range B-road car alongside a practical car, for many of the rest of us a car that expensive (mid-£20k upwards new for both brands, which is what matters to the mfrs) has to be a compromise - something that's either an everyday car, or is at least practical-enough and acceptable-enough to the wife/girlfriend for weekends away / holidays.

    There's also the issue of 'where/when can I use it properly'...and "do I really want to commute on the M-way today in that car".


    These cars genuinely ARE among the best to drive...but in achieving that they've distanced themselves from the majority of even the petrolhead population. And this coming from someone who used an ITR as an only car for 3+ years and 50k+ miles, and who still commutes in one. Not the same league of 'hardcore', I fully realise, but a lot more so than 95% of the cars on the road!

  • fridaypassion 10 Jul 2010

    The problem Lotus face is that while everyone makes the right noises about wanting lightweight driver focused cars they end up caving in and buying on brand.

    If all performance car enthusiasts were true to their word we would all be driving Caterhams. BMW are selling new Z4's left right and center. They are an almost shameful 1600 KGs and loaded with electronic garbage but people love them. Lotus have a wonderful history and real genuine heritage but when it comes to cars only a few of us actually put our money where our mouth is and buy such things. Consumers these days value bling and image over heritage and driving experience.

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