Now that it’s found the safe and comfortable arms of burgeoning Chinese auto conglomerate Geely, Lotus isn’t wasting any time putting a new long-term strategy in place. The things that financial stability can do, right? Part of this strategy involves a 10-year plan that, according to CEO Jean Marc Giles, will bring life to a new generation of sports cars that will be different from the current models that the company has in the market today.
In a conversation with Top Gear, Giles didn’t outline the specifics behind the new strategy, but he did say that priority will be placed on a number of different options. The man credited for steering Lotus back to solid footing added that the company needs to evolve with the times and adapt to the trends that are shaping the industry today, including electrification and the development of a future SUV. These items are all part of Lotus’ 10-year plan, which it expects to kick off in 2018, two years ahead of the first Lotus model that will be the physical representation of that plan. To those expecting more of the same from Lotus, a recalibration of expectation is probably warranted in light of Giles also saying that these new-era Lotus models will be different from anything we’ve seen from the company. That said, just because they’re going to be different, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be robbed of the very qualities that helped Lotus become one of the most famous sports car companies in the world. All future models will still put premium importance on being light in weight, agile in handling, and affordable in price. In other words, the core foundation of Lotus will remain intact; the only thing different will be on how Lotus builds off that old foundation and creates something new and better over the next decade. On that note, I’m excited to see what the future looks like for the automaker. It’s been too long since we really got excited about Lotus as a brand. But then again, better late than never.
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Time to see what you’re made of, Lotus
It’s low-lying fruit, sure, but I’ll say it nevertheless. It’s a new era for Lotus and one that looks to have a bright future for the British sports car brand. One of the important things that Jean Marc Giles touched on was that the different things we can expect from the company’s future models will be noticeable on the surface. But everything else, especially quintessential Lotus expertise in handling and performance, will still abide by all the foundational characteristics that the company has had since its inception.
It’s hard to tell what we can expect from Lotus as it unveils its new 10-year plan, but I am optimistic that the British car brand will thrive under the ownership of Geely. We’ve already seen what Volvo has become since the Chinese auto brand acquired it and there’s no reason to doubt that the same thing can happen to Lotus if it succeeds in rolling out its new long-term plan. There’s certainly a lot of expectation now that Lotus doesn’t have to worry about having enough money to see its plans through. It’s rich in resources now that it has Geely by its side so the onus now is on the company itself to prove that it can still thrive in an industry that continues to evolve by the day.
We’re going to find out soon enough what Lotus can do now that it has a lot of resources at its disposal. The smart money is on the company to take its status to another level and finally become the automaker we’ve always wanted it to be. Only time will tell if it can get to that level, but this new 10-year plan, if executed properly, is a good way to build some momentum towards becoming a legitimate threat to all other established sports cars out there.
All eyes are on you, Lotus. Time to see what you’re really made of.
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