The mid-engined successor to the Esprit, as yet unnamed, will be expected to challenge TVR and Porsche for sales, and priced accordingly.
“Standards will have to be raised to attract the type of customer we want to buy it,” says Robertshaw. “That’s part of the reason why we have brought in new dealers recently.”
A sign of the next step in the brand’s evolution is Lipscomb Motors’s new £8m multi-brand dealership in Maidstone, which opens in November. It will house a five-car Lotus facility alongside a larger Volvo showroom and a third franchise.
Lipscomb owner Peter Barnes launched his Lotus franchise in July from a temporary base and has already notched up 15 new and used car sales. He helped Lotus to create its new retail look.
Robertshaw insists the changes will be realistic and will allow dealers to profit from the franchise. The corporate identity will remain primarily green and white, using feature walls that depict Lotus’s sportscar heritage, chassis elements and prominent branding.
“We’re looking to evolve it rather than change it overnight and cost dealers a lot of money,” Robertshaw says.
“We got everybody up to the same bar last year, but our standards are fair. We have set dealer standards that are relative to the network in bringing them to the next level but we recognize that dealers are there to make a profit rather than spend it all on infrastructure.”