Lotus boss: firm ‘feels like it’s alive again’

Matt Windle Interview 3

British marque’s boss, Matt Windle, is in good spirits about the firm’s future after overcoming setbacks

Matt Windle bullish about firm’s future as Emira deliveries start, with Evija soon to follow

Lotus managing director Matt Windle has told Autocar that “it feels like Lotus is alive again” as the British brand gears up to finally start delivering its long-delayed Evija electric hypercar, having overcome a series of setbacks. 

Meeting Autocar at company headquarters in Hethel, Windle also spoke of quality improvements on the Emira production line, Lotus’s enduring passion for sports cars and potentially transformative partnership opportunities that could one day become reality. 

Has the Evija (revealed in 2019 and priced at £2.04m) been a financial success for Lotus, or will it be? 

“It will be. We’ve said we will build a maximum of 130 and sales are good. We’ve got enough sales for next year. It had two purposes for us. It had to break even; we weren’t looking at it for massive profits. It’s a halo product, and we wanted to not only show what we could achieve technically but also redefine the design language as well.” 

Is Hethel big enough to deal with Emira demand? 

“Yes it is, definitely. We had teething problems, no doubt, mainly around parts supply; we do still struggle a bit. But what we’ve done is slow down production. We were aiming for a target, but we were missing it every week, and it was demoralising. We’re now getting good-quality cars coming out. “UK deliveries will start next week, so cars will be with the dealers the week after. It’s later than we wanted to be, but I can guarantee that everyone here has been working a lot of hours to try to get them out.” 

You’re going through a transition. What is Lotus about not just in 2022 but in 2030? 

“Lotus in 2030 will be very different from where we are today. But then Lotus in 2022 is very different to where it was in 2017.” 

How about your battery project with Britishvolt? 

“We have a memorandum of understanding with them. I think Britishvolt is a long way from having products available. We’re still investigating how we can work together. Ultimately for us, the interesting thing about batteries for sports cars is the use case is very different than for other electric cars.” 

Do sports cars and GTs still have a future? 

“Absolutely. The Evija is an amazing car. While there are some reservations around [ICEs] going away, [EVs] are the future. We want to be at the forefront of that and be innovative very early on.” 

Are synthetic fuels encouraging? ICE isn’t dead… 

“Not yet! It will keep going. We aren’t going to put an end date on the Lotus Emira. We’re just going to see how it goes. If we can get to the point of two cars running together, which is the plan, we will see if there’s life in it.”

Source: Autocar

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