The Los Angeles Auto Show has become a significant event for auto makers and equals in importance with the Detroit show in January. For Lotus the show has become a fixture along side Paris and Frankfurt for the company to launch new cars and make major announcements. In 2010 Lotus used Paris and Los Angeles to introduce the new up market strategy along with 5 new cars. So, it was that the GGLC headed to the Press Days at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Lotus booth was modest in comparison to their 2010 presence. Most apparent was the focus on the present versus the future focused 2010 booth. The 4 cars in the booth represented cars currently being sold, the Evora, Evora S and Evora (S) with IPS (Lotus nominclature for automatic transmission).
In the booth was a lounge area, refreshment/information bar, meeting area and display of Lotus merchandise. I had an opportunity to meet and speak with Antonio Marsocci, Head of Retail with Lotus Cars Ltd. Antonio is oversees the design, creation, sales and distribution of the Lotus merchandise that was launched about a year ago on www. lotusoriginals.com
Antonio has bold plans for the Lotus merchandise. He was at LA to speak with some of the 40 US Lotus dealers about the distribution and sales of the Lotus merchandise in the US. The US it turns out is a large market for Lotus gear with over 25% of worldwide sales! The US plans are to immediately have US dealers sell Lotus Originals. There are plans for opening Lotus boutiques in key markets like China and Abu Dhabi.
LOTUS PRESS CONFERENCE
Lotus held a press conference on Thursday morning (Nov 17th). Kevin Smith, PR Director for Lotus Cars USA opened the conference. The big news was with Lotus Motorsport and the announcement that 3 Indy Car teams had signed with Lotus Motorsport and the Lotus V6 engine was on the dyno at Judd (see separate blog posting).