Lotus Cars has posted its strongest sales results in seven years with 1,630 cars sold worldwide and retail sales up 2% on 2017.
Coinciding with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars recent announcement of record sales, Lotus Cars has compounded Jaguar Land Rover’s misery by posting its strongest sales results in seven years. This is a clear indication that even if the UK car market is struggling due to exterior forces, the right products and correct marketing will always result in strong sales performance.
Record sales performance wasn’t the only highlight for Lotus Cars. 2018 was also the 70th birthday of the Hethel-based manufacturer and coincided with new majority ownership from Geely, substantial investment in product development and new facilities, and a number of senior appointments, with respected auto and luxury-sector leader, Phil Popham, joining as CEO.
The news from the UK car manufacturing industry over the past couple of days has been interesting. Recently, Chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, Ralf Speth told the BBC “We are taking decisive action to help deliver long-term growth, in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry,”. But, in this writers eyes, he doesn’t address the main issue which is Jaguar cars simply do not inspire or target the aspirational.
As a Jaguar owner, I feel I am in a position to offer an opinion on that company’s woes. And, rather than offer a convoluted opinion, I’ll keep it simple by saying that Jaguar does not know where to position itself in today’s car market. Nonetheless, Jaguar Land Rover’s board are in charge and it will be interesting to see where the Jaguar Land Rover brand goes from this point onwards.
Commenting on Lotus Cars 2018’s sales, Phil Popham said: “The year’s results show success on many levels, in what is a new dawn for the brand and business. Strong sales and an increasing presence in many international markets underline growing confidence as new shareholder backing starts to shape our future. The many appointments to the company in the executive team and across the business demonstrate a real confidence and ability to deliver our ambitions for Lotus globally.”
Sales highlights around the world include Sweden, up 87%; Japan, up 59%; Australia, up 50%; Middle East (GCC), up 39%; Italy, up 14%, with a solid sales performance also delivered across most of mainland Europe and the UK.
* All retail figures based on Lotus warranty registrations in the calendar year.
** 274 UK cars sold in 2018 vs. 267 in 2017