Talk about a huge missed opportunity: Lotus's 2010 Paris business plan and five-pack of concepts might be arriving for sale about now if the world had be different.
The cars are so on-trend and stylish four years later that it is hard to really see them in real-life photos without a deep sense of regret. Only the city car seemed silly then and still does.
In the world of car-making and luxury brands, the three hardest and most unattainable pieces of the puzzle are:
-- great ideas
-- a fantastic brand name and legacy
-- global distribution and sales
The only missing piece of the puzzle is investment to make the ideas real. Lotus nailed three out of four under Dany Behar, but was forever lacking the money part of the equation.
When a cash-poor firm does a buyout with leverage, the results are disgusting to watch over the mid-term future. These investors expect immediate and handsome cash flow, but are willing to invest virtually nothing to make it happen.
It is a damn shame, but Lotus has suffered corporate ownership like this for decades upon decades.
In 2010, the difference was in the ideas and the so-close nature of the strategy.
So-- here is the juiciest bit of gossip left-over from Dany Behar's rude termination from the company a few years ago: an expense-account wrist watch and a chartered flight down to Monaco. Pennies on the dollar.
But for such a foolish and cash-poor owner like Proton or the current bozo's -- that was apparently enough to put the accounts in the red.
Unfortunate, as these cars are amazing.
2010 Lotus Elan Concept
2010 Lotus Esprit Concept
2010 Lotus Elite Concept
2010 Lotus Eterne Concept