Lotus Cars has revealed that the name of the replacement for its Elise sports car will be Emira as it unveiled plans for growth and a new omnichannel retail strategy this morning (April 28).
The Hethel-based performance car brand unveiled details of a new corporate identity (CI) for its franchised car retailers alongside details of its new product roadmap as part of a 'Driving Tomorrow' virtual conference.
It announced that the first of its new CI car retail locations had already opened its doors in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, and others would follow across the globe – alongside a new digital retail platform.
Geoff Dowding, the brand’s executive director for sales and aftersales, said: “Launching an all-new visual identity for our retail partners is another hugely exciting step in our transformation of the Lotus brand.
“The inherent flexibility of what we have created will be perfect for all environments, whether they’re solus or multi-franchise, urban or out-of-town, high street or shopping mall, single or multi-storey, pop-up, seasonal or permanent.”
Trevor Weller, Lotus Cars’ director for retail development, added: “The retail concept has been designed to adapt to the different markets that Lotus sells in, to reflect the cultural nuances and the different consumer behaviours.
“We are also working towards a digital store, which we are looking to pilot during the course of next year.”
Dowding said: “We have some stunning new products coming and this will bring a host of customers to the Lotus brand for the first time.
“The enhancements we’re making to our retail environment will give all our customers the best possible experience.
“We know that we have to do business with customers in a different way and we will over time implement a more direct transactional model.”
Even before the launch of Lotus’ new CI, it retail footprint in the UK has continued to evolve in recent months, including a dealership move for JCT600’s Bradford site, Park’s Motor Group’s opening of a new dealership in Hamilton and Hendy Group’s increased representation through the addition of new dealerships in Hampshire and Devon.
Lotus’ development plans accelerated in 2018 with the announcement of its Vision80 plan, launched soon after the company’s 70th anniversary.
Vision80 commits Lotus to meet its transformational targets by the time of its 80th birthday in 2028.
Following the £2 million Evija hypercar, Lotus’ first major launch under its new plan will be the Emira sports car.
The brand said today that the Elise replacement will not be a hybrid.
It will be the purely internal combustion engine (ICE) car produced by the brand.
The Emira will be built on Lotus’ new Sports Car platform, one of four new product architectures to be employed by the OEM on future models, including: Hypercar; Premium and Electric Sports Car.
To realise the potential of the breadth of platforms, Lotus said that it would be harnessing the resources of owner Geely Automotive to drive development across the globe.
Its Norfolk base, Hethel, will remain “the heart and soul of the business”, it said, as the location of the Lotus Advanced Performance Centre.
The Lotus Advanced Technology Centre on the Wellesbourne campus of the University of Warwick will be the centre of Lotus’ high voltage development and testing centre and Lotus Engineering consultancy, meanwhile.