As the world is thrown into chaos and a mighty recession looms due to the Coronavirus pandemic Group Lotus Cars are confident of an upward trajectory. Lotus is a low volume manufacturer of sports cars, that much is known. Perhaps for the first time in the last 35 years, Lotus has a strong financial base on which to project this newly acquired confidence, the company is now owned by Geeley, the Chinese automotive conglomerate. Technically speaking Lotus can not afford to fail even in the unlikely event they do fail.
Phil Popham, the Lotus CEO, has plans to increase volume sales from 1,600 to 5,000 unit sales per year. It’s a familiar target number for such low volume sports manufacturers, and often the target is missed. As an example, Aston Martin has never achieved it’s 10,000 unit sales per year goal under Andy Palmer and historically sits between 5,000-6,000 unit sales per year.
Lotus’ priority for the foreseeable future is to focus on making sports cars, an SUV is not on the horizon, just yet. The new as yet un-named entry-level model will be a step up in terms of interior space and quality, an everyday sports car to rival the Porsche 911. Perhaps a cheaper alternative, Lotus is targeting a price tag of around $67,000.
An extension is being constructed alongside its existing facility to house the new production line. The model will either be unveiled later this year or Q1 2021. In a recent media interview, Popham said the new model will take design cues from the limited edition, $2m Evija electric hypercar.
When the new car does launch it will mark the beginning of the end, the last ever combustion engine powered Lotus. The company will make the switch to hybrids and eventually transition to fully electric powertrains.