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Staying true to its pillars: a new Lotus is formed

27 January, 2015

In a time where many automakers are struggling Lotus Cars are bucking the trend. They’ve recently announced that their overall sales are up by 54 per cent in the past nine months. In terms of volume, this is an increase of 551 cars on the prior year bringing sales to a total of 1565 cars.

Clearly Lotus Cars’ new strategy is working, with 25 new dealers added over the past nine months and a further 50 to join by the end of 2015. Lotus’ CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, said, “The positive reception that all our new Lotus cars are receiving in both new and established markets shows that our product development strategy is heading in the right direction.”

Lotus are set to reveal a new car at the Geneva International Motor Show in early March, 2015, said to remain true to Lotus’ core pillars of lightness, performance, and driving purity. The demand for Lotus’ cars is still rising in China and Japan, and a new model is speculated to considerably accelerate sales in the USA, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.


Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.