Lotus is Finally Moving On With Life After £100M Investment Nears Completion
Lotus is finally getting much-needed attention and investment it has been severely lacking for many, many years. For too long the company has relied upon the so-called goodwill of the British motoring media to provide a nostalgic stenography of why Lotus is great instead of saying why you should buy a Lotus over a Porsche. It’s a business model that simply doesn’t work. Coverage be it through reviews or ‘pomp and ceremony’ media fawning can only take you so far. Of course, the British motoring media is going to say Lotus makes great cars. Patriotism is always exclusively subjective.
The motoring press have always been stenographers, their business objectives rely on the power of smooching so they can get the exclusive invites, and they can be flown to exotic test drive locations and they can dine on fine food. And eventually, be first to press. And while they (the media) increased their waistlines, they continued to nostalgically look on, smiling lovingly as Lotus slowly began to fade still doing great things on tight budgets. Now under Chinese majority ownership Lotus is being resurrected to the tune of £100M, not including prior investments.
That isn’t a lot of money in today’s world but for Lotus it is priceless. The investment finally means the company can get ready for the next generation of electric vehicle sportscar production. Under Lotus’ Vision80 plan, the company will go fully electric by 2028. That £100M has already paid for a new 12,000m2 semi-automated assembly hall. A new robotized paint shop and a new fabrication facility.
The assembly facility will be the new home for the electrified Emira and Evija pure-electric hypercar production. These state-of-the-art facilities will significantly improve product quality. And it has taken Chinese money and vision to put the British back into Lotus. I like the sound of that.
But the job isn’t done just yet. Lotus still needs to increase sales to justify the investment. The company managed to shift 1,630 cars in 2019, we don’t know how the pandemic affected sales but Lotus did say sales were up 4.4 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. The lack of exact figures is strange, it suggests Lotus is hiding something.
Nevertheless, under Geely, the Chinese are long-term strategic investors which something Lotus has never really enjoyed. It is remarkable Lotus is still around, if it had been under British ownership it would sunk without trace years ago.