By on September 22, 2014

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As of 2015, Lotus will no longer sell road cars in the United States, as sales of the Evora sports car come to an end.

Car and Driver reports that a waiver granted to the Evora for its lack of smart airbags has come to an end, and Lotus won’t be making any modifications to help it comply with U.S regulations. That will leave Lotus with only a lineup of track-only variants of the Elise and Exige.

Lotus is also in the midst of mass layoffs at its UK headquarters, and both signs bode ill for the boutique sports car maker. Selling off the remainder of US-spec Evora inventory will take some time, but its unlikely that selling non-street legal cars will be enough to keep the American arm of Lotus afloat in the forseeable future.

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69 Comments on “Lotus Ceases Sales Of Road Cars In America...”


  • avatar
    tomLU86

    By most objective standards (except mass), cars are better today than ever.

    As much as I hate to say it, a big reason is big govt. The tight emissions regs drove carmakers to improve engine performance and longevity (to pass EPA requirements). Crashworthiness-thank the govt. Betterhandling—-the govt has mandated ‘stabilitrak’.

    The cost of all this–more expensive cars, and more importantly, for car lovers, like most readers here, we have legislated good, fun cars out of existence. Like Lotus. Or the 2nd generation Prelude. Or the BMW 2002. Or even the 1977 GM full-size cars.

    It also means that bbig govt and big business have effectively shut out new competitors, like Honda, and the reborn BMW of the 1960s, which brought us innovation and great cars.

    And it will only get worse, as google and the govt and traffic cameras and more legislation and hassle make driving less fun, and cars more boring.

    Lotus is the latest victim.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Tom,
      I wouldn’t give the government credit for performance and longevity, rather the opposite. I’m also not a fan of regs requiring certain types of safety equipment rather a standard of safety performance, though it isn’t always practical to write regs that way.

      Do you think anyone bothered to look at the actual crash information to see if lack of smart airbags had actually made a difference before rejecting the waiver?

    • 0 avatar
      mechimike

      Unlike emissions requirements, which affect the population at large, safety regs mostly (with the exception of pedestrian impact standards) only affect the car purchaser and whoever decides to ride with them.

      I understand we’ll never get rid of NHTSA or any of the other agencies, but why can’t there be a simple exclusion policy that the buyer could sign, essentially waiving the carmaker from liability if the vehicle is built to some level of “safety” standards other than those dictated by the government? The buyer would assume all liability unto themselves, etc etc, hold the carmaker blameless, etc. Obviously there would have to be exclusions due to things like faulty workmanship, etc, but basically, if the car works _as designed_, the buyer would accept whatever level of safety the car is provided with.

      • 0 avatar
        ja-gti

        Kind of like motorcycle buyers!

        I don’t ride, but I think some of the appeal of a bike has got to be the FREEDOM.

        When my weekend-use only, low miles per year, low volume sports car has to meet the same safety mandates as a mass produced people hauler, my choices get more and more limited. Especially when the hood has to be high enough to hit a pedestrian, uh, safely, my choices get even more limited and, well, boring to look at.

        And on a bike in my state, you don’t even have to wear a helmet…

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @mechimike:

        And what if GM had people sign waivers for faulty ignition switches? Not a chance…a good lawyer would have a field day with that.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          You nailed it on the head right there. If people were free to arrange their lives as they saw fit, lawyers wouldn’t have nearly as easy a time robbing them.

          If you’re a useless leech, it’s much more lucrative to pretend you are some kind of worth vile life form, and hence deserve to get very well compensated for the leeching you do, than to leave people the option to simply route around you and ignore you.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      If you want a ’77 GM full-size car, get one! There are plenty remaining, and one could be made totally up-to-date (drivetrain, brakes, tires, etc.) with an investment probably less than the price of a new Corolla.

      Even assuming that future new cars will be capable of self-driving and able to be tracked at all times (two sides of the same coin, really), plenty of older cars will be available for decades to come. The availability of such future-antique cars may even outlast the availability of gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Yep, we’ll key on bad old evil gubmint regulations…but the reason why they won’t pay to keep up with the reg is that their cars won’t sell here. And anyone who’s been within 30 feet of a newer Lotus knows exactly why that’s the case – you have to be a Jawa to fit in the damn thing. Lotus has bombed in this market, despite the fact that the exotic sports car market has grown.

      Meanwhile, normal-sized humans fit just fine in Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, etc…all of which have smart airbags because their sales justify the expense. And none of those marques have the reliability and quality issues that Lotus is infamous for.

      Let’s face it, Lotus has been a dead brand walking for a LONG time.

    • 0 avatar
      Counterpoint

      Big government didn’t do anything to block Tesla.

      But there should be a blanket crash safety waiver program available for low volume manufacturers. Just require them to permanently affix a prominent warning label to the dashboard and prohibit carrying children as passengers.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Along with high volume manufacturers. And medium volume ones. People who cared about safety, would still seek it out, rewarding makers who provided it. Even in states with no helmet mandate for motorcyclists, the majority of riders still choose to pay for the cost of one.

        Also, which cars children ride in, should be up to their parents. Parents can be fairly reliably counted on to care about their kids, after all. Just like government leeches can be counted on to car about their career and how much of other people’s money they get to make call their pension.

  • avatar
    Whoa Befalls Electra

    Or in the case of Tesla, encouraged new competitors.

  • avatar

    Unfortunately I think the Evora sealed Lotus’ fate. Even though a great drivers car it wasn’t particularly good looking or distinctive.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Here’s the problem: there are no compelling reasons to buy that car over, say, a Porsche Cayman (or a used 911), and lots of compelling reasons NOT to.

      And that’s why Lotus failed.

    • 0 avatar
      MK

      “.. Wasn’t particularly good looking or distinctive”.

      My God, compared to What????

      It looks like nothing else on the road (in a good way) and its as attractive as most Ferraris at a fraction of the ownership cost and without the Ferrari stigma.

      That being said, I’d still pick up a slightly used 911 turbo over the equivalent evora…. It’s just a more livable car, even if it doesn’t look as sexy and exotic.

      But the evora blows it away in the looks dept.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Evora is definitely a good looking car.

        The problem is the same with so many performance cars, it’s just not very livable.

        Lotus had so many good ingredients with their chassis designs, handling, and reasonable cost. Using a Toyota engine was brilliant. If they had only made a car that was just a little more livable. We could have paid a premium over a cayman for a car with just a bit more room and comfort, but with Lotus looks. With a Toyota engine you would think they could have done it, but no.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    What will become of the mythical Detroit Electric, who intended to energize rollers from Lotus, similar to what Tesla did years ago?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Oh no! Nine people are upset! Seriously though, I think the days for Lotus have passed. They were up there with TVR making interesting things long ago, but their cars (really since the Esprit became a teenager) have been in a downward spiral.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      What is the point of Lotus anymore? These days everything from MX-5 nee Miate to Mustangs at sub-$30K prices do everything a Lotus could once do except be light. They do so with everyday livability/reliability.

      I do think Lotus can survive as a ride/drive engineering skunkworks, as they’ve been doing for Hyundai. But I don’t see how they’ll survive with road cars if they’re leaving our market. Sir Colin Chapman has been gone 30 years, so let’s bid Lotus a fond adieu.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Mechimike, I could not agree with you more! I can accept emissions standards, because we all must breathe the air. But in my world, there would be no NHTSA. Caveat emptor! If you want 20 airbags and the body integrity of a tank, fine, buy a product that has them (and pay accordingly). And if you would rather drive without all that extra mass, and feel safer with just seat belts and no loaded guns pointing at you (aka air bags), it should be legal for a manufacturer to build and sell a new car like that.

    The established automakers would not like that however. It’s more difficult to engineer, and efficiently build model that has that kind of variation. The capital and R&D costs for the ‘safer’ car are the same whether you make 10,000 or 1,000,000, so carmakers would opposed this. They like their cozy oligoply that keeps new entrants out. Ditto dealers in the US (re:Tesla)

    I forgot about Tesla. But Tesla is not a ‘commonly priced’ vehicle. The present set-up is cozy for established manufacturers. Other than countries that actively support or protect their domestic carmakers (ie Hyundai and Daewoo thru the 80s, and China now), we have not seen any ‘new’ car companies in the West and Japan since the 60s/70s, with BMW, Subaru, and Honda being the newest. All of which, BTW, are generally well regarded.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “But in my world, there would be no NHTSA.”

      Your world would have a lot more dead people in it.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        His world would have more crash fatalities I would assume, though we really don’t know that for absolutely sure.

        You don’t really know the overall mortality effects because they are immeasurable. Attempts to measure them are inevitably biased (mostly in favor of more government since people tend to be self serving and selected under biased systems and because we don’t know what we don’t know and that’s the future).

        In the end you have to make a judgement call no matter what what. Dogmatists love to cry “science” and “pragmatism” but they are fooling themselves.

      • 0 avatar

        How many safety innovations has NHTSA invented? Perhaps we’d be better off if at least part of the DOT and EPA were operated more like Livermore and other government labs (or NASA in the early days) rather than just being the car and pollution police.

        I realize it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation but it’s hardly fair to guys like Bela Barenyi to solely attribute dramatically reduced traffic deaths (as passenger miles have simultaneously increased) to government regulations and regulators.

        The arguments by Ralph Nader and other safety activists back in the early 1960s were that the car companies were not using or offering available safety devices. Now I happen to think that view was not entirely accurate, that the industry has actively researched and promoted safety going back almost a century, but even the activists then recognized that if improvements were going to come, they’d come from innovations inside the industry.

        CFR 49 has many instances where potential polluters are obligated to use “best available technology”. To my knowledge, none of those technologies were developed by politicians or bureaucrats.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @PCH101

        You say that like it is a bad thing.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Are you sure, Pch101?

    How about all the extra millions of barrels of oil that are consumed hauling all that extra weight, unleashing millions of tons of pollutants? Can we really assess the impact of dirtier air on the elderly and young, or those predisposed to respiratory ailments? That’s harder to quantify.

    How about all the millions of working people who are priced out of buying a new, or newer car, and must drive older, less reliable cars, which consume more of their budget in the form of gasoline and repairs, which means they may not be able to buy health insurance, and are at higher risk of succumbing to an otherwise preventable disease?

    How about accidental airbag discharges (this does happen) that lead to accidents that would never have occurred?

    Personally, my 2011 Malibu is an objectively better car than a 1981 BMW 530i, which was about as good as a sedan got in the malaise era. Yet the Malibu would be even better, for me, if it weighed 200-250 pounds less and didn’t have airbags. I would be willing to give up the ‘potential’ safety benefit in case of an accident, for the very real savings in fuel, saving me money, keeping the air cleaner, and reducing the likelihood of sending my fellow Americans to fight confusing wars in the Middle East, and eliminating the possibility that when the car is 10 years old, the air bag will blow up in my face for no reason, possibly killing me and/or other people.

    Just saying.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Tom,
      Stop sayin’ and start doin’

      Stop complaining about your airbags and remove them.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Yeah, I’m sure. But I actually read relevant material, such as research on the effectiveness of safety equipment, prior to posting comments on the internet.

      There’s really no doubt that passive safety equipment saves lives. Even a cursory review of the literature makes that clear. Since you aren’t busy ripping the airbags out of your car, you might want to take some time to review the research before providing your insights on the subject.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        PCH,

        You mean like keeping kids in those ridiculous seats until school age or whatever? There has been some great research showing we are keeping kids in safety seats too long for no, and sometimes negative benefit.

        Yet we still have the regs.

        Current regulation virtually forces the use of ethanol as an oxygenate in fuel, but the mortality effects of the subsidies are still being researched. If we killed more people than saved who pays? And why is it right for government to so actively make obviously questionable decisions about our lives? Certainly we don’t know where to draw the line, but we have crossed it a while back.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You can believe what you want. I choose not to believe anything, I just read the data and process it. It’s pretty obvious that safety equipment saves lives, even if you would prefer to pretend that it doesn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Pch,
            That’s a self contradiction. Your process is full of things you are choosing to believe. Primarily, you believe in intellectual elitism. If the “experts” study something and come to a conclusion, you go along.

            I could go on for days about the assumptions and beliefs involved. It’s just as dogmatic as any religion. You merely replaced the leaders of the church with the academy and bureaucracy. The process is improved, but just like religions, the leaders are often corrupt, inbred, and maniacally full of hubris.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Belief” is an act of faith.

            Using facts to reach a conclusion is a superior alternative to ignoring, distorting or misunderstanding them. If you can’t see the difference, then that explains a lot.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @PCH101

            But whos data do you choose to believe? “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”. You can usually find a study to “prove” just about anything.

            And where is the point of diminishing returns? After all, if we made the national speed limit 5mph and required everyone in a vehicle to where nomex suits and helmets with 5pt restraints and Hans devices there would certainly be a tremendous reduction in fatalities. I think we have LONG reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to required safety equipment. And I certainly think low-volume vehicles should be exempt from most of it, just like motorcycles are. After all, I can choose to drive my utter deathtrap of a ’74 Spitfire around, I should be free to choose to buy a non-conforming modern equivalent with required disclosure. Put a big warning label on the visor saying the car does not meet standards and let the buyer beware.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “You can usually find a study to “prove” just about anything.”

            In that case, go ahead and post a few reputable studies that show that airbags and seat belts don’t work.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Of course airbags and seatbelts work. That isn’t the issue here. The issue is that the US has a requirement for airbags that work differently whether or not the seatbelt is in use, and this car is not engineered to meet that. The Europeans assume that the seatbelt will ALWAYS be in use, and design the safety system appropriately.

            I would posit that it is not really possible to do a study that can “prove” whether one way or the other is “better”. For one thing, there cannot be a control group. For another there are too many other factors involved (EMS response time for example). Personally, I would choose the European way for no more reason than it is simpler and cheaper.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I was looking forward to the links to studies that proved that any point could be proven. I can see that contrary to your claims, those don’t exist.

            Because you couldn’t prove your point, you’ve now changed the argument by claiming that it isn’t possible to know. This despite the fact that we have substantial data collection both here and abroad that can provide researchers with plenty of material.

            In any case, it has been shown that airbag deployment without seat belt usage can produce its own problems. We also know that not everyone wears seat belts, even if they should. The US is trying to address that reality, while the Europeans ignore it.

            The US has generally been ahead of the curve with respect to crash test standards and equipment mandates. If history repeats itself, then one can presume that the Europeans will eventually follow the US lead when they get around to it.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I’m not arguing over semantics. Your debate tactics are just silly.

            How about we play the opposite game. When is science and research settled? When is it right?

            You always believe the latest peer reviewed or government reports are what we should follow? (Feel free to provide whatever synonym for believe you like, but I have used the word properly by any actual standard). You always believe the cost benefit analysis is proper? We should submit to whatever medical procedures are presently found the standard of the day? Do you change your dogma based on time, location, authority?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you have a vehicle safety study that is flawed, then feel free to provide it along with a cogent assessment of what’s wrong with it.

            I have done that myself in cases that I found the research to be flawed. (It happens.) But I get specific about what the problem is.

            Engaging in this anti-intellectual handwaving that attempts to ignore anything factual that you find to be inconvenient is just a copout. You’re just looking for excuses to ignore everything that doesn’t suit your whim or gut feeling. That’s just a waste of time, and tells me more about you than it does about the subject matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Let’s see. You must argue my way, check. Hyperbole, check. Ad Hominem, check.

            I’ll take that as a surrender then. You must have realized where this is heading.

            A lot of today’s research contradicts earlier research. Just as it has been since research started. Anyone who thinks something is settled when it comes to science is clearly no scientist, nor rational thinker.

            We all must make our best judgements, and letting others do that for us is foolish. I think Napoleon was likely the most famous “no ideology” trickster. First, we must all give up on our ideologies and myths…

            …Now, we will do it my way.

            By the way, there are tons of pages wasted on bad red light camera studies. And, the families of the victims know not to trust pragmatism and science foisted on them by politicians anymore. The progressive pragmatic despots are no better than the theocrats, and not really much different.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            PCH, A friend of mine had a big poster of corollaries of Murphy’s law. One of them was: “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of time and annoys the pig.” Impenetrable ignorance is called that because it’s impenetrable. I’m sure a lot of us appreciate your efforts, but I’m afraid it’s wasted.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            05,
            That’s just as rude as just calling someone ignorant, while being a coward. If you want to join, jump in with a point, otherwise, get back on the porch.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The fact that you have a tough time turning these generic anti-guvmint rants of yours into anything that contains some substance is a good indication that the problem is with you.

            I frankly couldn’t care less about your opinions. What might be interesting is if you have a specific, cogent rebuttal to a particular work that you find to be flawed. The fact that you can’t do it tells me that you have lots of sizzle but no meat.

            So either step up or else be called out on it. In many instances, I’m inclined to believe the guys in the lab coats before I believe you because they’ve actually provided some data to back up their points. You haven’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            How did this go from a basic argument about how you, PCH, never even want to consider the downsides of government regulations, to a rant about me?

            This has gone according to your regular MO. You ignore any good points I make, any concession, anything, and then demand proof of something I never claimed. It’s just rude and stupid.

            My points have been that research can be flawed and that there are unknown costs to the regulations that rarely if ever studied and that today’s science is never the end of knowledge.

            I never said safety equipment doesn’t save lives except for pointing out child safety seats for larger toddlers are now being questioned. Of course, no matter what I point out,you will have another excuse because you never commit to anything specific being proof you are wrong. You have to have a hide available.

    • 0 avatar
      Counterpoint

      We are nowhere near the point of diminishing returns. Let’s at least get down to Sweden’s level of deaths per passenger mile before we consider slowing down the introduction of additional mandatory safety technology.

      For those who want lightweight deathtraps there are plenty available on the used market.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    We do know, that all things being equal, a vehicle that weighs less will consume less fuel.

    This means less air pollution.

    This should mean, all other things being equal, fewer respiratory ailments (but this is difficult to quantify).

    Better crashworthiness and air bags reduce the effect of impact. That means, in collisions, all things being equal, fewer deaths and fewer injuries. Or perhaps fewer deaths and more injuries, as those who live may be injured. But this is also difficult to accurately quantify.

    Just like estimate of live saved with seat belts are difficult to quantify. At this point in time, I’d say, most vehicle occupants who are killed in accidents are buckled in their seats. I could be wrong–but wearing a seat belt does not guarantee one will survive an accident.

    It is a prudent measure, so I wear mine because I value potential well-being more than I dislike being forced to do so by the govt.

    If the govt is so confident of seat belts, instead of using them as way to fine my when I’m not wearing them, why not say, “if you are killed and we unbuckle your corpse, your estate gets $1 million. Use positive reinforcement.

    What is not disputable is that, as consumers, we have no choice but to buy features that add cost and weight, whether we want them or not.

    Using the logic of “NHTSA regs save lives”, we not ban tobacco and alchohol? Why not equip cars with breathalizers? Why not mandate safety helmets for all motor vehicle occupants.

    All these measures “save lives”.

    They also have costs, visible and hidden. And that is my point of the NHTSA–reduces our freedom and has hidden costs–perhaps the biggest being dirtier air.

    I’d rather be free to choose what I want to do, so long as I don’t injure or threaten some one else in the process.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think it would be possible, the way cars are manufactured today, to make most safety systems optional equipment. You’d likely end up paying more for the airbag delete since they have to design and manufacture different steering wheels, panels, seats etc. Whether that cost would be offset by fuel savings is an open question.

  • avatar

    Getting back to cars and Lotus, the company’s biggest failing has always been distribution and sales in the United States. The world’s most important market for performance cars and they’ve never really done it correctly. This goes back to Chapman’s day. In the years following his death I think they went through two or three different U.S. based importers, though now they handle North American distribution themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      You’re absolutely right, Ronnie. I’ll admit I haven’t kept up with Lotus over the last 15-20 years, but who has?

      I’m a Mario Andretti fan. As a kid I worshiped his 1978 F1 success with the Lotus/JPS team. I lusted after that limited edition black and gold Espirit, or the white Turbo that Roger Moore drove in “For Your Eyes Only.”

      Colin Chapman died just as the DeLorean fiasco unfolded. My mother was in the electronics distribution business and knew nothing about exotic sports cars. She did, however, know plenty about the mess at one of her company’s big UK customers.

      Lotus managed some decent selling seasons during the Go-Go years of the Eighties stock market, but it’s all been downhill since. For me, the moment it was over was when GM owned Lotus for a nanosecond. I swear I once saw a Pontiac Bonneville steering wheel in an Espirit at the auto show.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Lotus has rarely been successful selling cars. The early Elan and the latest Elise is probably about it. Hopefully they can continue on, building cars to show off their enginnering skills which is where they have been successful.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        What is the definition of successful? Presumably they sold every one they made. Did they make a profit doing so? Nope, probably not ever. Making cars that appeal to a tiny subset of a tiny subset of drivers is not a profitable business.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I’m pretty sure that the 7 made a profit, since it had to fund the Elite debacle and the factory racing team. They also sold competition cars at a profit in the ’60s. Gold Leaf Tobacco may have changed the equation in ’68, as did Lotus’ involvement in the DeLorean mess.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Ronnie, even with a first rate dealer network, Lotus needed to bring over cars that were at least reasonably reliable, and they didn’t. No says that an exotic car has to as reliable as an Accord, but too many Lotuses were literally dreck. Take a look at this site, which is actually done by Esprit owners – these things were MISERABLE to live with:
      http://www.espritfactfile.com/Probs.html

      (“Red Hose Syndrome” is my favorite, by the way…LOL)

      Maybe that worked for the hardcore “Britain forever” folks back in the home market, but it sure didn’t work here. The latest models were an improvement, but they were also weird looking, cramped and had none of the luxury features that a guy looking at a $90,000 sports car would expect. You can’t sell around issues like that.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    This is unfortunate for a maker of no-nonsense sports cars, but getting regulated out of your biggest market is mostly Lotus’ own poor management. I don’t think a seat belt shunner even deserves airbags, but Lotus should have had the foresight to comply with upcoming US regulations to begin with.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      But at what cost? One of the results of an ever expanding regulatory environment is forcing our smaller players who can not afford to keep compliance.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        C’mon, 28…yes, I’m sure the car isn’t substantially less safer without the “smart” switch, but these are $90,000 cars we’re talking about. This technology for “smart” airbags has existed for a LONG time now. It can’t be that expensive in relation to a car that costs this much. Would an extra $1000 (and I’m being conservative here) on the sticker really turn off people from this type of car. I’d say no. The problem is that Lotus cars turned people off for all kinds of different reasons – weird looks, no room, no amenities, and an abysmal quality / reliability rep – and that’s why they’re no longer going to do business here. This “regulation” is an excuse.

        The flip side to your argument is that if a low-volume maker doesn’t have enough capital to meet this relatively inexpensive reg, particularly when we’re talking about a very expensive car, how does it have the resources to keep up with truly vital things like crashworthiness, or emissions?

        I’m sorry, the car manufacturing game is a heavy-capital deal, always has been, and always will be. The days when Henry Ford could cobble together a flivver and mass produce it are done. Are we the better for it? I’d say that in the final argument, we are.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I think you are wildly underestimating the cost of this sort of change. It’s not JUST the actual parts cost per car, it is the costs of proving to the regulators that you have met the standard, the engineering costs to get there, etc. On the scale of Lotus, that could well be $10K+ per car sold, and obviously higher than the profit margin on the car. Which is why they are no longer selling it here.

          I find it sad to see these niche cars disappear, but I am sure it pleases everyone on this site who would like nothing more than to see every person on the planet drive the same beige Camry at the lowest possible TCO.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The cost generally comes from the decision to build to a (generally) lower European standard in order to save money, in addition to the US standard only when it is mandated.

            If a car performs well in NHTSA and IIHS crash tests, then it will perform well in Euro NCAP.

            If a car meets FMVSS safety standards, then it will comply with Europe’s variant of UNECE with fairly modest changes.

            If a car meets California emissions, then it will comply with the various Euro emissions standards.

            The main reason to build fairly different versions for both markets is largely driven by the fact that they choose to do it. The US car will take more materials, and therefore cost more to build. They don’t want to have to spend that money in all markets if they can avoid it; they would prefer to build two versions if that means avoiding the costs associated with US requirements for their non-US customers.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            CAFE and Euro emissions schemes are two reasons not to build cars to the highest standards where not required. California emissions compliance consumes fuel, as does superfluous safety gear. If you need the lowest fuel consumption at all costs, you often can’t afford to build a car safer or cleaner than you have to.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I hope they’re not out of the submarine business too…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeBqf6bYZak

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Lotus built some interesting cars. Unfortunately, they decided that there was no compelling business case to continue doing so and stated that they intended to compete with VW’s Porsche and Lamborghini brands. Even if they remained on the market, they weren’t going to produce a new Lotus.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Reading of the demise of Lotus in America, I feel much the way I did when I heard Dimebag Darrell had died.

    “Oh….. Hey! Did you know they’re making Fizzies again?!”

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  • ttacgreg: Intersting. I just went to Toyota and NHTSA recall sites and entered my VIN on my 2020 RAV 4 HV. Zero...
  • Liger: To be fair, Ford always seems to decontent as models get older (especially after the first model year) and...
  • Liger: To be fair, Ford always seems to decontent as models get older (especially after the first model year) and...
  • Inside Looking Out: Torque. The magic was a torque.
  • Imagefont: You are so not buying a Cyber Truck.

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