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Lotus Cars Consults With Advisors From BMW and GM

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On: Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 10:41AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Lotus Cars Consults With Advisors From BMW and GM

It has always been said that if you want to be rich, surround yourself with millionaires; advice that Lotus Cars Ltd., British automaker, has taken seriously as the company plans to team up with automotive expert, Bob Lutz from GM, and retired BMW and Rolls Royce exec.; Tom Purves, regarding a 5-year turn-around plan.

According to auto week.com source, Lutz who has been retired only 2 months from GM, is talking to Lotus, but no formal offer has been accepted.  Purves reportedly stated, in a phone conversation, that he wants to be involved in the project, but plans have not yet been finalized.  Purves was quoted as saying; “The goal is to make a contribution to projects of the future--improving the quality, the product offerings and the operations of the company,” Perves also stated: “It's exciting, and there is no question it is a great brand and has a good future.”

The 5-year plan includes selling 8,000 Lotus vehicles worldwide by the year 2015 as compared to the company’s current track record of just 2,500 cars sold last year.

The Lotus Elise is a two-seat, rear wheel drive roadster designed in the 90’s and launched in 1996. The most recent Elise roadsters are lightweight enough that the sports cars only have a 134-hp; 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is enough to propel the car from 0-60 in just 6 seconds. The 2011 Elise gets a whopping 56 mpgs (which could go toe to toe with Prius) combined city/highway gas mileage. Lotus has 48 dealers in the U.S. who offer the Elise two-door roadster, which starts at $48,375; the two-door Exige coupe ($66,815); and the Evora coupe for ($74,675).

If Lotus could bring Lutz and Purves on board as consultants, the company would have gained the advantage of a combined 90 years of knowledge in the industry according to autoweek.com. “Our aim is to raise the Lotus brand equity back to its rightful place as it existed in the 1970s when it competed with the likes of Ferrari, Porsche or Aston Martin,” Lotus said in an e-mail to Automotive News. “Maintaining the unique Lotus DNA is crucial, but with more relevance, greater efficiency and even more sustainability than we have had in the past.”

Lotus, once owned by GM (from 1986 to 1993), before it was sold to Bugatti International, is now in the hands of by the Malaysian carmaker Proton. Proton purchased Lotus in 1996.

Last week Lotus said the company is preparing to launch a new prototype this fall, but no specs were announced- only a picture of Stonehenge at sunrise with the phrase: “Dawn of a New Era.”

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