The CEO of Lotus believes that if the company decides to fund a completely new model line, it should be an SUV.
Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus’ CEO, told Reuters at the Geneva motor show that the company’s board will make a decision this year on whether to produce an all-new four- or five-door model.
Gales said that he’s “bit torn between an SUV and a four-door sports car, but in the end I can see that the SUV has the bigger market”.
The Lotus CEO did claim that, if the board decided to go down the SUV path, the company would “reinvent the category” and would produce a model “that is very light, very fast on the track and has outstanding handling”.
Speaking at the launch of the heavily updated Lotus Evora 400, Gales noted: “[The pre-update model] had an electronically opening glove box, which in a sports car is worse than useless. I don’t know who put that in, but I took it out.”
Should a Lotus SUV come to be, it’s unlikely to be related to 2006’s APX concept (below). The APX featured a 224kW/360Nm 3.0-litre supercharged V6, all-wheel drive and an aluminium intensive body. With weight pegged at 1570kg, it could sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds.
Lotus announced in September 2014 that it was looking to cut up to 25 percent of its workforce as part of plans to turn its financial fortunes around; the company hopes to make a profit by the financial year ending March 2017. In the financial year ending 2014, the company trimmed its losses from 168 million pounds ($329 million) to 71 million pounds ($139 million).
The Malaysian-owned specialty car maker has also expanded its network of retail outlets, and is on track to sell 2000 cars by the end of the current financial year.