Lotus CEO: the sports-car production remains in Norfolk; SUV could also go somewhere else

Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales has promised to hold a sports car-production in Norfolk, as he begins the development of a new generation of models, on the basis of 2021, as part of a plan, which is under the brand of new owner Geely.

Geely bought Lotus at the end of last month, with the sports car-company-entry of the Chinese manufacturer’s rapidly growing and very successful portfolio of various automotive brands, the flagship of which is a newly designed Volvo.

Gales, who has been confirmed as Lotus CEO, is now present on future plans, the Geely Board of Directors. The new line-up is set to be a SUV, believe for the storm that Lotus will find a new niche. “We always have sports cars, but we are looking at other segments,” he said. “The SUV market is changing – it’s not just cars, the six-foot is tall and wide, now, there is a huge market that is segmented more and more. It is a niche within this Lotus for a crossover that is light and aerodynamic and handles like nothing else.

“We are working on it. The new Board of Directors, it must happen, but the future is very bright.”

During Gales, Lotus said would remain a sports car to make its base in Norfolk, the other cars, which can be developed in-house or from elsewhere. “We stay in the UK for sports cars, what we do, for other cars will have to define,” he said. Storm has previously spoken about the desire of the introduction of the next generation of Elise, Exige and Evora models, a common architecture for the global sale of 2021, as well as plans for an SUV.

“We are still looking at the next generation,” said Gales. “It is an open book, which is good. We have a world-class automobile manufacturer behind us. I see it as a new Chapter. One has closed, and we can start over. It is a good news for us, good news for the region. There is much to do, and I’m here to stay.”

Lotus sold about 1500 cars last year, and storms is expected that the growth of the brand in terms of volume and employees. Note to Porsche’s annual sales of 240,000, he said, there is room between Lotus and Porsche could be in which the brand grow.

“We want to make profits and grow, but to grow in a sustainable way. We need to define and go to the board. There is a room left in the market.”

Q&A WITH LOTUS CEO JEAN-MARC GALES:

What Lotus will be the role of the Geely group? “We are Lotus and we are about the handling, light, and aero, where nothing can beat us. Lotus is like nothing else in the world. Our cars do not have the power, but it is the feeling, the way it drives and handles.”

What can Geely bring to Lotus? “Our last owners were very good and got us through 20 years. Now we have clear objectives and are in possession of a automotive specialist. I don’t think anything better could happen for us.”

You can increase engineering activities? “I’m sure we will get great support in the engineering. We are to increase the engineering team here, we will hire more staff, and quickly. The amount of work that will be in the next three years solid. We have shown what we can do on a limited budget, imagine what we can do with a shareholder who would like to invest in a legendary brand.”

They will source parts from within the Geely group? “We are part of a big family, so why wouldn’t we? Synergies are to be bound; we must have the identity of the brand. With parts of other brands, the option is there, but we need to identity our. Lotus is the identity of the light-weight, aerodynamics and handling.”

You can meet the identity with an SUV? “Absolutely. I’m sure many other growing segments to fit the Lotus-criteria.”

You make a profit? “Yes, and we can accelerate. The average revenue per car, so we are the same sell 1500 cars in this, as in the last year, but every car is to sell for more money. It allows for a better profits, as customers want a exclusive car.”

Related stories

Lotus Evora GT430 revealed

Lotus Exige review

Lotus Evora review