News - Lotus
Buyers keen on Lotus Evora, despite downturn
‘More than a dozen’ sales leads for Lotus premium coupe
16 Mar 2009
By PHILIP LORD
LOTUS says its new Evora has already generated more than a dozen expressions of interest from potential buyers who saw it at the Melbourne motor show, despite the financial crisis.
Lotus Cars Australia managing director John Startari said the launch timing of Lotus’s premium $162,900 Evora coupe could have been better.
Speaking at the opening of the new Trivett Lotus dealership in Sydney last week, Mr Startari said: “Timing is everything. Obviously if we could predict the future, now is not the time to launch a car in that price range.
“However, the car is ready to go. The operation in this country has a very low cost base, so it’s not as if we don’t achieve a certain volume, we’re out of business. We can survive on a very low volume.”
Mr Startari said it was impossible to nominate a sales figure for the new premium Lotus.
“Initial forecasts aren’t really relevant in this climate. A car like that is really susceptible to any changes in the credit market.
“It really tightens up available credit in the market, standards lift, and less cars are sold.”
While the Evora is likely to arrive in September, Mr Startari said Lotus Cars Australia was still working on a production slot with the factory, and that would be finalised in the next two weeks.
“I imagine the first order will be for 10 vehicles,” he said.
Five of the cars would go to each of the five dealers, and five would be held by Lotus Cars Australia.
“Then it’s built to order, because I think customers will want to build to their own tastes,” he said.
“With shipping the way it is at the moment there won’t be significant delays (for customer order cars). It’s a smarter way to do business.”
While he would not be drawn on numbers, Mr Startari said that “more than a dozen” leads had been generated by the Melbourne show display.
“We hope that the initial launch will be quite successful it’s the follow-up that we’re concerned with.
“You really need the flow-through of credit for the car to be readily available to the right client.”
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