Lotus gives a frank insight into the challenges it has faced over the last year.
In July last year, Lotus presented its first new car since the Evora, and it showed lots of promise. The 2022 Lotus Emira was revealed with two engine options: an AMG-developed 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot or a 3.5-liter supercharged V6. With these, Lotus signaled its intention to offer customers exceptional driving dynamics at multiple price points, and as you can imagine, the response was immensely positive.
But unfortunately, the world is not in a happy place right now, and the multiple challenges that automakers are facing globally are having a negative impact on the Emira, delaying some customers' deliveries by six months. One such individual is Harry Metcalfe of Harry's Garage, and he recently took a trip to the factory to find out why.
Metcalfe spoke with Lotus managing director Matt Windle, and he didn't hold anything back as he gave honest responses. No single issue can be attributed as the cause of the delays, and the factors contributing to this wait are ones we're all familiar with. For a start, the world is still trying to get a grip on the supply issues created by the COVID pandemic. For another, Brexit has forced Lotus to adapt slightly.
Because the Emira had to be homologated separately for the European Union and the United Kingdom, British buyers had to watch Europeans get their cars first. Windle explains that it was simply more pragmatic to homologate the car for Europe first, but production of cars for the UK, Europe, and China is now underway.
Other challenges that Lotus has had to face include inflation woes and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moreover, because the Emira has resonated so well with buyers, Lotus had to bring more staff on to start a second production shift to meet demand. Windle goes on to explain that the goal for the company is to be producing at full capacity next year. But for 2022, the British automaker has realized and accepted that it will only manage around a quarter of its planned output for the year.
Despite these delays, the Emira should be well-received. The video goes on to show how much of the car is assembled by hand, and there's no doubt that its handling will be a revelation for relatively affordable premium sports cars. Deliveries should reach the US in the second quarter of 2023.