New Lotus CEO is making changes, and many fans aren’t happy
Lotus, the renowned but troubled British sports car manufacturer, has been having a tough time, probably some of the toughest that the automaker has ever faced, and for Lotus, that’s saying quite a lot.
Nobody is more aware of this than the automaker’s new CEO, Jean-Marc Gales. He has to keep the brand moving forward, but the way he’s going about it may not be what the purists will like. In a recent interview, Mr. Gales outlined some of the automaker’s plans for the years to come. It’s a mix of good and… maybe bad. It all depends on who you ask.
First and foremost, Mr. Gales believes that the brand needs to return to the values of Colin Chapman, sticking to values such as “light is right” and “agility” and “pure driving”. He admits that Lotus has lost sight of those values recently, and that future cars will be consistent with that strategy.
Secondly, Mr. Gales believes that the automaker’s immediate future is centered on the Exige, Elis, Evora, and the derivatives of those cars. However, beyond 2017 or so, he says that Lotus is considering expanding its range, but “you won’t see a two-ton animal somewhere wearing a Lotus badge.”
“Without going into detail because this is still three or four years ahead, but we believe we can combine Lotus brand values with many possible segments and crossovers as you say,: said Mr. Gales. “Nothing has been decided, but saloons and crossovers are certainly two segments that come to mind, I would say SUV/crossover definitely. If Lotus does an SUV or a four-door saloon it will be light, performance-led and it will have outstanding looks. This is what we want and this is in line with our heritage.”
That’s something that will undoubtedly not sit well with most Lotus fans, especially the die-hards. However, this news should be taken with a bit of optimism. The automaker may very well pull this off properly. Mr. Gales doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who’ll slap the Lotus badge on any hunk of metal and be on his way.
Read more about the story at Left Lane News.