CEO Jean-Marc Gales is confident about Lotus' future.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe, the man in charge of the struggling British sports car manufacturer said Lotus will return to profit in the current financial year 2016-2017 which started in April. He believes the company will sell about 2,200 - 2,300 cars or even more thanks to the Evora’s launch in U.S. where it has already received 250 for the coupe, with the roadster due in about a year.
When asked about whether Lotus is still implementing cost-cutting measures, Jean-Marc Gales said ‘the worst is behind us,’ but there is still work to do in that area, especially to drive down the costs of components. In the last two years, the workforce has been reduced from more than 1,200 people to around 900 employees. Despite the smaller staff, Lotus has managed to optimize the production process and reduce the time it takes to assemble a car by 10 percent.
As far as the company’s first ever SUV is concerned, Lotus’ boss said they are ‘making progress’ and it’s ‘going well,’ without going into a lot of details. We do know a prototype was shown to Chinese authorities, as Lotus wants to produce the vehicle in the People’s Republic, but it’s unclear at this point whether the model has been green-lighted for production. If it will be made, Lotus has already promised it will ‘reinvent the category’ and it will be ‘very fast on the track’ with ‘outstanding handling.’ Interestingly, Jean-Marc Gales mentioned a hybrid setup would make sense for the SUV, but not for a sports car.
Lotus is working on a brand new architecture which will stick with the aluminum construction because the company’s boss believes it offers more flexibility compared to a carbon chassis. He went on to specify the engineers are trying to find ways to slash more weight to make the next-gen models even lighter.
Before the introduction of a new platform, the Elise will receive an upgrade which will bring more power, a lower weight, and upgraded infotainment system. The bad news is Lotus does not have plans to sell the current-gen model in U.S., but the next one due in 2020 will be available. Meanwhile, the beefier Evora 410 Sport unveiled recently at the Geneva Motor Show will also make it stateside in the future.
You can read the full interview at the source link below.