Gotta do what you gotta do to survive.
Things are looking much, much better for Lotus these days than they have in years. Only a few days ago, the iconic UK sports car builder announced the 20th anniversary edition of the Elise. Sales last year of the Elise, Exige, and Evora grew by 55% over the year prior, and things are already looking great for 2015. But Lotus knows that in order to survive, it needs a massive hit and, unfortunately, sports cars alone typically don’t generate that needed profit. The solution? An SUV. Now, the idea of Lotus building an SUV in the first place just doesn’t feel right.
Even Ferrari won’t do one (for now). Autocar seems to have scooped the best indication so far of what exactly Lotus has planned: "The world’s first lightweight SUV." According to Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, this so far unnamed SUV will be built in an all-new production facility in southeast China. However, all design and management will still be located in Hethel. So when will we see this China-built SUV? Probably in 2019, and it’s already predicted to become the best-selling car in the company’s 67-year history. Is Lotus selling out here, or is it doing what it needs to do in order to survive?