Sliver of Hope

Car enthusiasts worldwide have mourned Lotus’ decision to end production of simple, lightweight sportscars. However, a savior has arrived. Caterham, now owned by Lotus, has announced the creation of an engineering department that is focused on making all new, affordable sportscars.

Right now, Carterham produces the 7. The 7 is often held up as the purest driving machine and was the first car Lotus ever built. Caterham bought the rights of the 7 and have been making kits ever since. Everything has gone full circle now since Lotus has bought Caterham. With Lotus stiopping to make pure driver’s cars in pursuit for profit, it is great to see Caterham stepping up to fill the void. Sportscars for the masses are not dead, yet/

Source: Autoblog

  

Lotus Continues March to Mediocrity

The Elise you see pictured above will be the last good car Lotus will make since Danny Bahar continues to show that he has no idea on how to run the brand.

First, Lotus announced intentions to go upmarket with four blandly designed concepts. Then came the clothing line to solidify “the brand” of Lotus. And now comes the addition of Swiss Beatz. At every turn, it appears that Danny Bahar would like to produce empty corporate speak instead of cars, especially with the use of Swiss Beatz.

Swiss Beatz does not appear to come from Switzerland, or enjoy beets, but is a multi-talented singer/producer/dj/corporate shill. His hiring is supposed to help Lotus break into the premium market in some way or another. So what nuggets of wisdom does this rapper have to offer Lotus about producing sports cars?

A few key quotes from the article in Insideline are:

“The key is to infiltrate the market in a cool way,”
The best is for “things to happen organically,” Beatz expounds.
“They want flash,” Beatz says in describing prospective Lotus buyers.

Truly riveting and unique statements on producing cars. The last time someone said something this important, their 10 quotes were put in stone tablets and brought down a mountain.

What is Lotus thinking exactly? I see no serious advice that this person is adding, or advice on how to create cars with those values. Danny Bahar just seems to be throwing money at people that kind of know what a car looks like. He might as well hire John Madden for automotive advice. Mr. Madden could tell him that, “To make a really good car, you gotta have four wheels,” or, “Engines are crucial to make a car move, people like to move.” You can just imagine Danny boy just sitting there soaking in all these gems of wisdom with a clipboard muttering under his breath about “branding,” “synergy,” “merchandising,” and “global reach.”

The only thing you haven’t heard from Lotus is what the cars will look and drive like. The last time we heard that was last year, and those were merely concepts. Lotus is acting more like an internet startup than a car manufacturer.

Danny “I don’t like cars” Bahar continues to show that he hasn’t the slightest clue on how to run Lotus. In fact, he has never had experience making cars at all. his last job was at Ferrari expanding their brand through merchandising. That might have worked with Ferrari to shill out the brand with clothes and pop star recomendations, but only because Ferrari had the lore and history to make that happen. Not to mention that that lore and history was made by the drive to make the best racing cars possible. Road cars for Enzo Ferrari were only a way to make money to go racing, not a hollow “branding” exercise to make money for more Grey Goose and Saville Row suits. Maybe Bahar should go work for Goldman Sachs instead one of the most hallowed brands in automotive history, he can bring Swiss Beatz with him.

Source: Insideline

  

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