Lotus Emira on tour: New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East
As travel restrictions have eased in many parts of the world, Lotus executives were able to embark on a brief promotional tour taking in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Bathurst, Dubai and Abu Dhabi during May.
The key objective was to meet with retail partners old and new – in some instances, for the first time – and customers, especially the fast-growing community of Emira depositors around the world.
In addition, the team were busy drumming up interest in the recently launched Eletre SUV and the Lotus Advanced Performance division. The goal was to ensure the Lotus retail network in the furthest regions of the world is ready for our new generation of products and customers.
From Lotus, the group comprised of Matt Windle, MD, Lotus Cars; Geoff Dowding, Executive Director, Sales and Aftersales; James Andrew, Executive Director, Communications; and Dan Balmer, Regional Director of Asia-Pacific and Middle East.
In Auckland, they met with representatives of the Giltrap group – still family run – and one of the best-known auto retail businesses in New Zealand. They were shown around the group’s flagship Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and Polestar showrooms, as well as an interim Lotus hub which has become a gathering point for owners and enthusiasts while a new showroom is established.
At the head office some 150 Lotus customers were invited to an audience with the Lotus executives. They were shown details of our new generation of products and were invited to bring their prized Lotus cars along to the evening. Many Emira depositors joined the event and enjoyed the opportunity to hear more about the testing programme and Lotus’ all-new manufacturing facilities for the Emira at Hethel.
Giltrap managers used their new Polestar showroom as an example of how they plan to reintroduce Lotus to New Zealand – starting with a ‘pop up’ presence as a hub for fans and customers to gather and test drive the latest models before establishing an all-new showroom. It’s a proven launch method in New Zealand, with great successes already registered for Polestar and hundreds of names already registered as Lotus customers via the new hub which is run by Chris Parker (@lotusakl).
From New Zealand the team headed to Melbourne, Australia, to view a new Lotus showroom in the heart of the city before the Emira’s debut in a typical Melbourne ‘Laneways’ bar environment. Some 200 customers were invited by Lotus Cars Australia (@lotusmelbourne) to a presentation of the Emira. Hosted by Lotus Melbourne General Manager Mark O’Connor, the Emira was met with great excitement from the depositors, all of whom were excitedly telling Matt Windle their order number and spec for their stunning new sports car.
Seneca Blue, as displayed at the event, is by far the most popular First Edition ordered by Australian customers, who were thrilled to hear the car’s V6 engine echo through the narrow lanes of Melbourne. The Emira GT4 racing car was also a hot topic of discussion as new customers came forward to place their order with the attending Lotus executives.
On to Sydney where Lotus Cars Australia’s flagship showroom and ‘race shop’ played host to another presentation of the Emira to an expectant audience of Aussie buyers.
Commenting on the events in Australia, Matt Windle said: “What’s clear is the enthusiasm and appetite for Lotus on the other side of the world. Not only is this a pure-bred sports car customer base which enjoys the community established by the Australia team around events such as Targa rallies and track days at iconic locations such as Bathurst, but also there’s widespread interest in electrification and the forthcoming perfect two-car garage offered by the Emira and Eletre. The excitement is palpable.”
The tour coincided with the world-famous 12-hours of Bathurst, after which the Lotus team had exclusive use of the iconic New South Wales circuit, complete with its famous cork-screw and kangaroos. More than 100 Lotus sports cars were present for the day-long track activity at which the Emira made its Australia dynamic debut. Presentations on the future of Lotus, a Vision80 update and a deep dive into the Eletre took place at a dinner for the Lotus fan base in the Bathurst paddocks.
Regional Director Dan Balmer commented: “Lotus is famous for its US LOT community and that was very evident in Bathurst. The opportunity for customers and fans to mingle with the executives from Hethel and take part in an ‘open mic’ Q&A session went down very well indeed. Lotus has an extremely loyal family down under, and our ability to travel here with the Emira has been an extremely valuable experience for all involved. Lotus Cars Australia has established a brilliant community of owners, fans and friends from across the country who are able every year to join the fun here at the iconic Bathurst track.”
Having met more than 500 customers across New Zealand and Australia, the team headed to the Middle East to meet with regional retail partner, Adamas Motors. In Dubai, it was the inauguration of a new flagship Lotus showroom on the iconic Sheik Zayed Road. Customers and dignitaries from across the region were on hand to open the new showroom and hear about the future of the brand, which is fast gaining a foothold in the Middle East and, so far this year, is the best-performing market in the world in terms of sales of Lotus cars.
In nearby Abu Dhabi, a similarly impressive Lotus showroom – in the heart of ‘Motor City’ sandwiched between Bentley and Ferrari facilities – was visited by the senior management team.
Geoff Dowding, Executive Director of Sales and Aftersales, commented: “Lotus sales performance in the Middle East in the last year has been nothing short of brilliant. We’re fast selling out of the last Exige and Evora models, and the team is now busy taking orders from customers old and new on Emira and Eletre. The notion that this region is petrol-only is a myth; what customers here really want is the newest, best, fastest and highest tech of automotive products, and with Evija, Emira and Eletre it seems Lotus has hit the sweet spot.”
Concluding the visit, Executive Director of Communications James Andrew said: “Over the 12 days on the ground and across three countries, we have met more than 600 customers, and representatives of the local media. What’s clear is the enthusiasm and appetite for Lotus products and news here on the other side of the world. We’ve appeared in newspapers, on the radio and on television in each region, and never once were we asked who we are. Lotus is a globally known entity with a fervent following all over the world and that’s something we should all be proud of and capitalise on. The world is hungry for our products and our brand, now we just need to feed that appetite and make the most of this unbelievable opportunity presented to us by our fabulous new range, spearheaded by the Evija and supported by Emira and Eletre.”