Lotus and Spyker Team Up Not to Build the Esprit

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

It ain't easy being a small independent sportscar maker. Just ask Spyker. The Dutch firm lost $110m and a Formula One team last year. While Lotus knows exactly what hard times look like, they reversed the curse by eschewing flashy F1 campaigns in favor of a profitable technical consultancy and contract manufacturing (including the Tesla Roadster). The Motor Authority reports that Spyker and Lotus are facing the future under the umbrella of a "Parts and Platform Commonality Agreement." Lotus will source parts and assist in the design of forthcoming Spyker C8 Aileron and D12 Sports Utility. Spyker will… pay for it. The two firms have worked together in the past; Spyker considered buying Lotus back in the day. With a Lotus-fettled Spyker at the top end of the market, is there still room for a new Lotus Esprit? No.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Montgomery burns Montgomery burns on May 13, 2008

    I'd just like to point out that Team Lotus was an independent operation from the consultancy and manufacturing arms of Lotus. ACBC was forward thinking in his business arrangements as well as his road cars and race cars.

  • JJ JJ on May 13, 2008

    The whole idea of Spyker buying an F1 team was a crazy proposition from the start (and I say this being Dutch). In fact I'm still kicking myself for not buying deep out of the money put options on Spyker's stock.

  • R H R H on May 13, 2008

    Yeap, F1 = super expensive. You really need big pockets to sponsor an F1 team. Doesn't ferrari spend like $20-$30M PER RACE to field a competitive team?

  • JJ JJ on May 14, 2008
    Doesn’t ferrari spend like $20-$30M PER RACE to field a competitive team? The yearly budget for running the Ferrari F1 team is an estimated 400 Million Euros, so that would be something like 600 Million USD...there are 19 races this year...so yeah, pretty much you're right. Still, Ferrari is probably the only team that doesn't loose money on operating the F1 team (they actually make a nice profit, with TV-rights, merchandise, price money, sponsoring etc). The other teams existence is only justified by their marketing value (and of course nobody exactly knows how much that is) for the (car)brands that own them. But I guess global advertising campaigns are expensive too. Then of course there are the (ever more scarce) private teams, that exist for the pleasure and relaxation that Billionaire X gets from owning the team and the perks that come with that. The problem with Spyker is that the company itself sells about 3 cars per year (well, maybe 50) so their cash flow is limited and the billionare backing them up wasn't really a billionaire, but was estimated at about EUR 300MM. The minimum amount needed to field a respectable backmarker for a year is about 150MM Euros...and 100+MM a year sponsordeals from Vodafone or Marlboro aren't going to happen at the back end of the grid...so it was an ambitious project to say the least.