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Lotus plan heralds a return to supercar status

Lotus will be presenting its dealer network with a late Christmas present when it unveils its next business plan.

Due to be announced in February, the plan is expected to give the green light to another model aimed at a dramatic extension of the manufacturer’s product line-up.

Though details remain secret, it is understood that the model will be designed to broaden the appeal of Lotus by taking a dramatic turn upmarket in an effort to compete more effectively
with rival sports car brands.

Drawn up to cover the company’s activities over the next seven years, the plan looks set to steer Lotus into supercar territory – a move that would come as welcome news to the 23-strong dealer network, believes UK sales general manager Chris Arnold.
“Taking the brand upwards is something dealers have been talking about for some time. They regard it as putting Lotus back to where it used to be in the marketplace and something that is long overdue,” he told AM.

The Norfolk firm’s policy of basing its range on three platforms came to an end seven years ago when its biggest car, the iconic Esprit, completed a production run that spanned three decades.

Under the business plan to 2017, the intro-duction of a new large platform allows the company to field another halo product in key global markets.

According to Arnold, dealers see the move as a natural follow-up to the Evora, the mid-size platform model that became available in August.

“The Evora has opened up a fresh market and provided the network with new opportunities. Significantly, our average buyer is new to the brand and a conquest from our rivals. The car has met with such an enthusiastic response that there have been calls from some quarters for a new large-platform car.

“There is a hankering in the marketplace for a new interpretation of the Esprit and I can confirm that the business case has been made for an upscale Lotus,” he said.

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