MG-Rover.org Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Production of the next-generation Lotus Esprit is set to move overseas, possibly to Malaysia, in a cost-cutting move aimed at improving profit at the British sports car maker. The new Esprit is pencilled in for launch in 2007/8, and revealed here in Lotus’ own design sketches (note the Esprit moniker on the rear pillar).

It’s an all-alloy mid-engined design using Lotus’ VVA – versatile vehicle architecture – that allows front and mid-engined designs to be built using the same structural building blocks. And in a shock move, sources say that it could use the AMG-sourced V8 from the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

Several sources report that Lotus is looking at overseas production and the plan appears to be an open secret among the workforce at Lotus’s Hethel HQ in Norfolk. ‘The Esprit would be the focus of the decision,’ said an insider familiar with the project, ‘but I think it boils down to a question of whether you harm your brand by moving production overseas.’

Today’s Elise is not being considered for overseas production, according to our source. ‘You would expect us to go with a new car first,’ he said. Although Lotus won’t confirm its plans, in a statement the company admitted to considering ‘additional production sites.

‘Lotus will continue to manufacture cars and components at its headquarters in Hethel, and has not ruled out opening additional manufacturing facilities elsewhere.’ Malaysia is understood to be the favoured option because that’s the home of Lotus’ parent company Proton. And costs are lower than in the UK.

But shifting production of the new £75,000 Esprit – set to be one of the jewels in the crown of Britain’s sports car industry – overseas would be a huge blow to the UK car industry as a whole.

News of the plan will also be a bitter blow to Lotus’s long-suffering workforce. At the end of this year production of the Vauxhall VX220 will cease and new projects such as the Esprit offered hope to the 400-strong workforce that Hethel would be kept busy.

In 2003, Lotus management predicted a rosy future with production of 10,000 cars a year, split between three different models — the Elise, Esprit and a front-engined 2+2 coupe positioned between the two. Lotus says that this strategy is still current. The key to this potential is VVA, which would enable several cars to be developed from the same architecture and so spread costs over a large production run.

In the new Esprit, the engine is likely to be a in-line mounted V8 with forced-induction. The target weight is a competitive 1300kg and racing is a major consideration in designing cooling and aerodynamics. It’s also said to have a sophisticated launch control and stability system.

Meanwhile, sources say that engineering prototypes of the new Esprit have been seen at Hethel in recent days. Observers say that car is being tested alongside a McLaren SLR and that the two share a very similar engine note, fuelling the speculation about the use of the AMG V8.
Oh dear...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,888 Posts
Only if it means he end of Hethel. Two factories would suggest higher production volumes, no bad thing if you ask me.

I can see the potential for Lotus to return to their roots with the VVA as well. The Seven was key in making a success of the Lotus brand, and was massively succesful in kit form, as were many early Lotus models. From what I've seen of VVA then it could be possible for builders to bond and bolt their own chassis together, and still have a real Lotus at the end of it. I for one would relish the opportunity.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
Already posted on this one LAST WEEK!
China is THE place they be built, the VVA platform IS being built there as is a Home market (for China) 4X4. The K series is heading there and for coppers you can get a "Top Gun" work force. The Works at Hethel are very expensive!

China, mark my words.
Mega
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Still, how are they going to cash in on this cheaper labour if they don't sell? Like the article states, many people will not want a Chinese or Malaysian built Sportscar especially if its a Lotus, the Holy of all Holy's.

I know I wouldn't...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Bazzer_Mcbead said:
Still, how are they going to cash in on this cheaper labour if they don't sell? Like the article states, many people will not want a Chinese or Malaysian built Sportscar especially if its a Lotus, the Holy of all Holy's.

I know I wouldn't...

why not?it still a lotus right...don't u know almost 90% of computer part in world market are made in Taiwan..almost 60% of LCD panel and semiconductor are made in Malaysia...and u dont even know whether the Toyota that sold in UK being made in Thailand or not...it's globalisation..as long as Lotus make more money..why not..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,020 Posts
Most people won't have a clue where they are made though, they just like the look of a car and buy it. People do not buy cars based on where it is made, only price/equipment.

Steve
 

·
Registered
classic_rover
Joined
·
197 Posts
Too true.
That's why we no longer have a motor industry.

Soon we'll be an island of people who's only skill is working in McDonalds,
and 'doing up' their houses that no-one can afford to buy.

It can only go on for so long.

We can all support our own manufacturers, such as they are.
If it's made here, it's giving people employment here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,662 Posts
Im not sure you would save a great deal producing such a niche model in China. Its not a pile em high, sell em cheap car. You would have import taxes and transport costs you wouldnt have if you produced in the UK as well. You still have to use the same parts wherever you stick it together
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,888 Posts
Don't get me wrong I am more passionate about Lotus than I am about MG-Rover, but if it makes business sense to build the cars overseas, then thats what will happen.

I would prefer Lotus cars to be built in the UK, and I am sure the same would be said by Lotus, but if it's cheaper for them to be built overseas, and we buy the same product anyway, then the cheaper option is what will be taken.

I don't know the full story, but if it is just the Esprit that will be built in Malaysia, then I would expect that production of the proposed 2+2 (Elite/Excel?) would be alongside the Elise at Hethel. That means maufacturing jobs in Britain, provided by a company with a stable future, thanks in parts to it,s overseas ventures.
 

·
Registered
classic_rover
Joined
·
197 Posts
Once all the 'family silver' is sold, where are the jobs coming from in this country to enable a population of 60 million + to buy these foreign made cars?

Presumably they'll be using foreign steel and plastics too.
Why manufacture that here, when it's cheaper to do it in Asia also?

We are allowing China, etc to become first world countries while we slide gently down the slope into the 2nd division.

All because short-sighted people think they're saving a few quid.
Better put plenty by, to pay for all those up and coming pensioners.

When the new 'Queen Mary' broke, I sighed.
Should have built it here.
We, as a country have merely become another dissatisfied customer.

We all know how THEY are treated these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
StreetBoy said:
Im not sure you would save a great deal producing such a niche model in China. Its not a pile em high, sell em cheap car. You would have import taxes and transport costs you wouldnt have if you produced in the UK as well. You still have to use the same parts wherever you stick it together
My point entirely, what you make in one area, you lose in the other... Catch 22 in a way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
grahamw48 said:
Once all the 'family silver' is sold, where are the jobs coming from in this country to enable a population of 60 million + to buy these foreign made cars?

Presumably they'll be using foreign steel and plastics too.
Why manufacture that here, when it's cheaper to do it in Asia also?

We are allowing China, etc to become first world countries while we slide gently down the slope into the 2nd division.

All because short-sighted people think they're saving a few quid.
Better put plenty by, to pay for all those up and coming pensioners.

When the new 'Queen Mary' broke, I sighed.
Should have built it here.
We, as a country have merely become another dissatisfied customer.

We all know how THEY are treated these days.
my thoughts exactly, only more succinct.

Will
 

·
Registered
rover_800
Joined
·
3,497 Posts
Bazzer_Mcbead said:
Oh dear...



Not to say that this report is not true, but it came from Autocar right? The same Autocar that had a huge article about how MG had been sold to SAIC. It Turns out (From Various sources) that in fact this was not the case. Also I haven't read the posted article about the Esprit, but I did read the Autocar report that this probably came from and it was full "Maybe's" And "Perhaps" and Might be's" In other words S P E C U L A T I O N. Just like the MG story that was presented as a chiseled in granite deal. Ahh! the British Media you've gotta love them. They never let facts (or the lack of them) stand in the way of a good story.:eyes: :eyes: :eyes:
 

·
Registered
other_manufacturer
Joined
·
3,679 Posts
"Production of the next-generation Lotus Esprit is set to move overseas, possibly to Malaysia, in a cost-cutting move aimed at improving profit at the British sports car maker" But this article is flawed from the first sentence as they haven't been British for yonks!

I dunno what the surprise is here. Lotus has been foreign owned for nearly 2 decades so it was gonna happen sooner or later, especially as the design consultancy that farms out stuff for GM, Proton etc makes more profit than the car manufacturing arm.

DD
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top