2017 Lotus back in the black

2017 Lotus back in the black

style=”flat” size=”4″]Lotus back in the black. Under the guidance of CEO Jean – Marc Gales, Lotus appears to be recovering , with more efficient operating practices and new models scheduled.

Lotus Cars has made a profit for the first time since Colin Chapman was at the helm of the Norfolk-based company. It is confirmation that Ceo Jean Marc Gales has got it right when pulling Lotus out of the mire it was driven into by former boss Dany Bahar. In the 30 months he’s been at Hethel, gales has put his purchasing background to good use. ‘Every nut and bolt, supplier and component that goes into every car has been scrutinised,’ he reveals. ‘Is this the best product for the job we need it to do? Are we sourcing it from the best supplier? Are we paying the right price?’

This may seem a simplistic approach by gales, but it’s an effective and successful one. The Evora sport 410 and Exige Sport 380 have been funded from the money the company is making, representing a self-sufficiency Lotus hasn’t seen since 2000.

[trailer_box style=”25″ image=”images/mews2015/drive2015/2018-lotus-elan-front-view.jpg” title=”The Future of Lotus” align=”center” url=”https://drive-my.com/en/social/item/325-lotus.html”]Lotus Elan Concept[/trailer_box]

The turnaround has not only been because of the efficiency and quality improvements to all models. The Evora is now on sale in the us and is sold-out until march 2017. In 2016 the Hethel factory built around 1800 cars, a 600 increase compared with when gales took over in 2014. Since then he has also cut the workforce by 400 employees. ‘We had the same number of staff as we were building cars. That’s not sustainable,’ he explains. Some 2000 cars are expected to be delivered in 2017, 2500 in 2018.

The next stage is for Lotus to take advantage of its recent success. Expect a steady flow of enhanced versions of current models. ‘Our customers want the best,’ states gales. ‘The Evora 410 sold out almost immediately, half the Exige 380 production run was presold when we announced the car. If we deliver the quality, the performance and the core Lotus DNA, our customers are willing to pay for it.’

[trailer_box style=”25″ image=”images/mews2015/drive2015/2018-lotus-elan-front-view-1.jpg” title=”The Future of Lotus” align=”center” url=”https://drive-my.com/en/social/item/325-lotus.html”]Lotus Elan Concept[/trailer_box]

But gales knows he can’t continue to rely on endless iterations of the current cars – an Evora roadster arrives in 2017 – and that new models, crucially a new Elise, are needed: ‘the new Elise will be here in 2020. ‘We need this car, it’s integral to Lotus and the new one will be as close to the original as possible. It will be everything you expect an Elise to be – lightweight (sub 1000kg), affordable and the best in its class.’ Plans for a Chinese-built SUV are progressing, but recent stories of Geely’s interest in buying Lotus are a little wide of the mark, says gales, suggesting he’s exploring a manufacturing partner in China to build his SUV and conclusions have been jumped to.

After the folly of the 2010 Paris motor show, when Bahar announced Lotus would produce five all-new models within six years, there’s every reason to believe that the future of Lotus is now back on the right track.

“The new Elise will be here in 2020. We need this car, it’s integral to Lotus”

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