Andreas gave an insight into the sales history of the company, highlighting the peak in sales during the 1960s. Andreas explained that the challenge for Lotus derives it essentially being a niche company operating in a niche market. In taking the company forward Lotus did not want to abandon its roots, but at the same time wanted to open up to different segments. Lotus had to become more customer orientated and listen to what the market wanted. They had to find out what customers thought of Lotus and what they thought of other competitor brands. According to Andreas the vision for Lotus required opening up the brand to customers of competitor brands.
Andreas went on to highlight some of the features that new Lotus models would need to have such as reduced CO2 emissions, more luxury features and an unparalleled driving experience.
The Paris Motor Show in 2010 was to mark what Lotus termed the ‘dawn of a new era’. Lotus was to unveil five new models in addition to variants of current models. Ahead of the launch Lotus had to carefully define its brand values. Lotus revised its corporate identity accordingly, and applied this to the stand at the Motorshow.
Andreas explained how Lotus created some mystery ahead of the Motor Show by issuing a press release, backed up by a misled email, blogs and spy photos of just the existing models. Lotus announced that they were to unveil five new models just prior to the show. 300-400 journalists turned up to the press day to witness the unveiling.
Lotus held a VIP event at the Carousel de Louvre, open to 550 VIPs. As the event took place during Paris Fashion Week this theme was adopted for the event and the new models were unveiled on a catwalk. Andreas also highlighted the huge amount of work behind the scenes that needed to be done to be ready for the launch, including a brand new website, new multilingual point of sale materials, a range of films and a lifestyle magazine.
Andreas concluded by highlighting other areas that Lotus were investing in to further establish the brand, including customer experience programmes such as Customer Racing, Driving Academy and the Lotus Cup. He also emphasised the importance of the dealer network and efforts to take the new corporate identity into the showroom through a new interim dealership facility.