After the gloom of last month, when Lotus confirmed that a restructuring would likely result in the loss of 200 jobs following a pre-tax loss of £145.1m, there's some news today out of Norfolk. The forecast for 2023 is said to be much rosier, with an order book of around 17,000 Emiras and Eletres accounting for a dramatic turnaround in fortunes after it sold just 576 cars in 2022.
In just the first half of 2023, more than 2,200 Emiras were made, which is a 381 per cent increase on the whole of 2022. There’s now said to be a two-year waiting list for Lotus’s final combustion-engined sports car, in case those ones lurking in the classifieds weren’t tempting enough. Lotus says it aims to ‘further ramp up’ production and sales for the rest of 2023, expecting it to surpass all previous years.
The Eletre will contribute significantly to that, of course, with European and UK deliveries set to commence later in the summer (it reached Chinese customers in March). The SUV has already scooped some awards and feels like a crucial - as they always seem to be - stepping stone into Lotus’s future. Also notable from January to June was the introduction of 24 new retail outlets, including in South Korea, taking the global total to 193 stores.
Feng Qingfeng, CEO of Lotus Group, said: “We set an ambitious goal in 2018, with the launch of our Vision80 strategy to transform the business from a traditional automotive brand to become an all-electric, luxury, mobility provider in ten years. We have spent the last few years laying the foundations for success and today’s announcement demonstrates that Lotus is no longer the same business that it has been in previous years. We are firmly on track to becoming a global performance brand by 2028.” Let’s hope for more announcements like today’s - rather than those from just a few weeks ago - to keep the faith in that transformation.
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