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Archived hot and Important news from the GGLC and the Lotus world!


  • Elise News!
  • GGLC News!
  • Lotus Is Sexy? (12/16/04)
  • Group Lotus Names New CEO (11/30/04)
  • Lotus to use Pasha for Transportation (11/11/04)
  • Lotus Website is Updated! (10/16/04)
  • Lotus to Grow Workforce (7/29/04)
  • Lotus Wins Specialty Manufacturer's Award (7/29/04)
  • Lotus wins at Goodwood and smashes course record
  • Lotus Cars USA Announces NEW CEO!
  • Lotus Cars USA Moves!
  • Last Esprit
  • New CEO of Lotus Holdings
  • Tire Technology by Paul Haney

  • GGLC Track Days

    Lotus is one of the Sexiest Cars
    December 16, 2004

    Top 10 sexy cars for men to drive - as chosen by women

    The Aston Martin has been chosen as the "most sexy" car for a man to drive, as chosen by women. When asked which car they most associated with sexy men, James Bond's favorite ride came in on top.

    The survey, for Tesco, questioned 4,500 women and revealed that Porsche came in at second place, with a surprisingly good performance from Lotus, coming in 3rd, far outpacing Italian rival Ferrari at 10th!

    Top 10 Most Sexy Cars
    1. Aston Martin
    2. Porsche
    3. Lotus
    4. Mercedes Benz
    5. BMW
    6. Jaguar
    7. Audi
    8. Range Rover
    9. Jeep
    10. Ferrari The survey also listed the 10 Least Sexy Cars. That list was headed by the Citroen 2CV.
    More on Sexy Cars


    Group Lotus Appoints New CEO
    Hethel, UK
    30 November 2004

    Kim Ogaard-Nielsen is appointed as CEO of Group Lotus plc

    Group Lotus plc, announces the appointment of Mr. Kim Ogaard-Nielsen, as Chief Executive Officer.

    Mr. Ogaard-Nielsen (46) is a Danish national and has extensive managerial and international experience from a variety of industries. His early career was within the transport sector and included assignments in Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, and Switzerland for A.P.Moller/Maersk and later Norasia Lines. Later he co-founded an IT-based consulting and outsourcing business, IBIS Corporation, which primarily focused on business process re-engineering and improvement through the application of web-based technology solutions.

    Kim is looking forward to his new role: "We are facing tough challenges over the next few months and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to tackle these global issues and to drive the business forward. We are fortunate to have a brand that is world renowned for producing great cars and providing innovative engineering services; couple this with our passionate staff and we have the ingredients for a company that has a bright future."


    Lotus Chooses Pasha to Process, Transport New Elise Sports Cars to Dealers
    November 11, 2004

    CORTE MADERA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 11, 2004--Lotus, makers of one of the "world's finest sports car," has chosen The Pasha Group to handle national port operations and inland distribution services for the U.S. arrival of its world-acclaimed Lotus Elise sports cars. Dubbed "the racecar for the road," the Elise will be available in the United States in September.

    Pasha, which provides logistics services throughout the factory to dealer chain for numerous auto manufacturers, will process and arrange processing for incoming Lotus Elise cars at port facilities in San Diego and Brunswick, Ga. Pasha will make the vehicles showroom-ready after their arrival in the United States and then deliver the vehicles to Lotus dealers throughout the country.

    "Pasha's reputation and diligent attention to detail made them a clear choice for Lotus. With an eye to the same high standards as Lotus, Pasha will be an integral part of our team delivering the Elise cars to U.S. dealers and customers," said John English, president of Lotus Cars U.S.A.

    "Working closely with Lotus, we developed a supply chain solution to process and deliver their vehicles meeting the highest quality standards that dealers and consumers expect from a manufacturer like Lotus," said Richard Frick Jr., senior vice president business development, automotive and distribution services at The Pasha Group. "We're very pleased to establish this relationship with Lotus and hope our successful U.S. operations lead to a greater partnership between our two companies."

    In January 2003, Lotus announced it would expand its presence in the United States with the introduction of a U.S.-specific version of its new Elise. With dealers in more than 20 states, Lotus Cars U.S.A. is adding new dealers in key market areas, making the vehicle more accessible to its expanding customer base.

    The Pasha Group first began processing automobiles in 1942. Since then the company has been processing, distributing and handling logistics for numerous domestic and international auto manufacturers. The company's flagship operation at the Port of San Diego, one of the ports where the Lotus vehicles will be handled, processes over 300,000 vehicles per year, using factory-trained personnel and factory-authorized processing systems to make vehicles showroom ready. Pasha then distributes vehicles by truck and rail to dealers throughout the United States. All of Pasha's automotive port facilities are ISO 9001 certified.

    Pasha's extensive experience in automotive logistics makes its new venture, Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines, a natural progression. Pasha Hawaii Lines is currently building the MV Jean Anne, a 579-foot roll-on/roll-off, Pure Car/Truck Carrier ship at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss. The MV Jean Anne is the first vessel of its kind to be built in the United States and is expected to be in service in the first quarter of 2005 with fortnightly service from the West Coast to Hawaii. Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines is a joint venture of Corte Madera, Calif.-based The Pasha Group and Stamford, Conn.-based Strong Vessel Operators.

    About The Pasha Group
    The Pasha Group is a 60-year-old global transportation and logistics company. With headquarters in Corte Madera, the company serves the automotive, transportation, relocation, maritime, distribution and project logistics industries. More information about The Pasha Group, its services and locations can be found at www.pashagroup.com.


    GroupLotus.com gets a new look!
    Oct 16, 2004

    The Group Lotus and Lotus Cars UK web site has a fresh new look. It's easy to use and handsome designed layout make getting information a snap.

    New Lotus Site

    Subj: New Group Lotus website breaks cover

    World-leading sportscar manufacturer Lotus Cars and global automotive consultancy Lotus Engineering, today unveil a stunning new corporate website, accessible at www.lotuscars.co.uk and www.lotuseng.com.

    The brand-new website offers comprehensive information on Lotus Cars' exciting models and Lotus Engineering's extensive capabilities. The design is conceived to offer a high level of interactivity and the site incorporates a range of multimedia features designed to engage as well as inform. For example, there is an interactive history book with images from Lotus' archives that have scarcely been seen before.

    "We had in mind a new website that will take advantage of all the technology now available to developers and end-users," explains Sherine Yap, Group Lotus' Global Brand Communications Manager. "This has allowed us to offer exciting video tours, animated image galleries and a comprehensive history section, all of which we're delighted with."

    The new website realigns Lotus' online presence with the brand's refreshed corporate identity and brand values. On a practical note, Lotus is well aware that their website is frequently the "port of call" for anyone seeking information about the brand, whether from a B2C (Lotus Cars) or B2B (Lotus Engineering) perspective. Sherine continues, "We want our site to be intuitive, engaging, user-friendly and comprehensive. The web is a vital point of contact for any global brand and recently we have seen an increase in web enquiries for our cars and engineering products and services. Translating this into increased customer and client contacts hinges upon creating an online brand experience that is dynamic, appealing, informative and above all, memorable."

    There are a range of features adding depth to the content of the website. A restricted area is available only to members of the newly launched Lotus Club International, and Lotus Engineering's "ProActive" automotive industry newsletter is also available online to registered members of the site. There is also a link to the recently launched Lotus online merchandise shop.

    Developers Kinetic Interactive, a multi-award-winning online agency based in Singapore, worked closely with a core team of Lotus employees who provided the design and specification brief. Subsequently the majority of the content was submitted with input from all areas of the business around the world.

    For further information, please contact:
    Alastair Florance, Group PR Manager


    Lotus to enlarge workforce
    The Business-UK, July 28, 2004

    Car-maker Lotus has begun a recruitment drive for more than 100 manufacturing staff, because of the popularity of the Elise in the US.

    Lotus is increasing production of the Elise from 97 cars a week to 120 to keep up with demand, introducing a second shift in some areas of its Hethel factory.

    Most of the production will be the new US-specification Elise which has been fitted with a high-performance Toyota engine.

    Last month, Lotus dispatched the first cars to America, and now has more than 2000 deposits for the vehicle.

    The company has also targeted other export markets, including Mexico and Japan, to increase sales of the Elise.

    Lotus currently employs just over 700 manufacturing staff, with the recruitment drive due to swell that to well over 800.

    Clive Dopson, manufacturing director of Group Lotus, said: "There are over a hundred vacancies ranging from roles on the production line, in the bonding facility, in the paint shop, in our Norwich fabrication facility, and in the final preparation area.
    "We're offering these positions on a 12-month contract basis through Select Appointments as we recognise that production may stabilise after the peak in demand following the launch of the American-specification Elise."

    Lotus's search for new personnel comes just a few months after the new Elise 111R was awarded Best Sportscar 2004 by BBC Top Gear Magazine.

    And yesterday it was named Specialist Manufacturer of the year by Auto Express magazine.

    The recruitment drive is the biggest since the opening of Lotus's £6m manufacturing facility four years ago. Since then, it has produced more than 13,500 high-performance sportscars.

    As well as the Elise and Exige models, Lotus manufactures sportscars for General Motors, the Vauxhall VX220 and Opel Speedster, and advanced composite crash structures for the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish.

    Applicants for the positions will have some assembly or mechanical production experience, and be used to working in a factory or manufacturing environment.

    They will need their own transport, and preferably also safety footwear. Starting from early August, the contracts will run until August 2005.


    Specialist Manufacturer Award for Lotus
    Hethel, July 29, 2004

    Lotus Cars is given the Specialist Manufacturer Award by Auto Express at its New Car Honours 2004.

    Lotus Cars, one of the UK’s most admired sportscars producers, has been awarded the Specialist Manufacturer award 2004 by Auto Express Magazine in its recent new car honours.

    This coveted award was presented to Clive Dopson, Manufacturing Director of Group Lotus by Oliver Marriage, Road Test Editor for Auto Express at a ceremony recently at the Waldorf Hotel, London in front of representatives from the UK Motor Industry.

    In 2000 Lotus invested over £6 million in a new Manufacturing Facility at its Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, England. This facility produces all Lotus models and also cars and components for third party manufacturers. Over 13,500 lightweight sportscars have been produced in this facility in this time – the highest run of production in Lotus’ history.

    Over the last two years, Lotus has introduced the Elise and the Exige to new markets around the world including Japan, Mexico, Russia, Eastern Europe. First deliveries of the Elise to the USA market took place last month (June 2004) following its unprecedented acclaim from the media, dealers and customers at the launch. The USA market is expected to account for nearly 50% of the total volume of Elise models produced by Lotus. To accommodate this high demand for Lotus cars, production rates will be increasing from 97 to 120 units per week over the next few months.

    On receiving the award from Auto Express Magazine, Clive Dopson, Manufacturing Director for Group Lotus said: “We are extremely pleased to receive this recognition from Auto Express. Lotus sportscars have won a great many awards over the years and it is fantastic for the Manufacturing side of Lotus to win this accolade. Specialist Manufacturer of the year is the perfect award for Lotus, for not only do we build the Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige, the Opel Speedster and Vauxhall VX220 for General Motors, but also we manufacture the advanced composite front and rear crash structures for the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. All this is done at Lotus’ facilities in Norfolk and I would like to thank the whole of the manufacturing team for their hard work over the last year. The whole manufacturing team of nearly 700 people have done Lotus proud!”

    Auto Express Magazine explained the reasons behind the Specialist Manufacturer Award: “This award recognises Lotus’s sterling achievements over the past year. This year, Lotus produced the Elise 111R, with a 189hp engine and improved ride and handling and the Exige coupe which is arguably the most focused road car money can buy. Lotus has also used the Elise 111R as a springboard for a launch into America. The Hethel-based firm has long had a presence across the pond, but this Toyota-powered Elise should do wonders for the firm’s reputation. Mind you, getting the 111R past the tough American emissions and safety regulations was no mean feat – although it should mean sales will double to around 4,600 units per year. If that’s the case, then Lotus looks set for a rosy future with loads of exciting new models on the horizon. Everyone at the firm deserves praise for their impressive work over the last year. Long may it continue.”


    Lotus wins at Goodwood and smashes course record

    Hethel, 28th June 2004

    The Lotus Type 119c blitzes the competition to win the Gravity Racing Club’s Soapbox Challenge at the 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed with an astounding record-breaking performance Lotus’ 24-year old Paul Adams piloted the Type 119c soapbox racer to an emphatic win over the weekend in one of the Festival of Speed’s most eagerly anticipated events.

    The newest Hethel-bred racer, Lotus’ first enclosed-cockpit ‘streamliner’ soapbox, set an exceptionally high standard in Friday’s practice, as Adams steered the 119c to a time of under 64 seconds, smashing McLaren’s record from 2002 by over a second. The competition could not match Adams’ blistering pace, his nearest rival a full eight seconds adrift. Saturday saw slower times for the first competitive run due to a wet track, but Adams nevertheless secured an overnight second position behind Bentley.

    The second and final timed run on Sunday saw the competition trying one by one to match the Type 119c’s pace. Adams, however, was fastest again, sensationally breaking his own record from Friday with a scorching run of 63.810secs, and in doing so reaching speeds of over 63mph. Many of his closest rivals span into the hay bales on high-speed Molcombe corner as they tried to claw back some time in windy conditions. The marshals called an end to the day’s soapboxing after only six of the 22 entrants had run, blaming a dangerously high crosswind. Sunday’s times were therefore declared void and the fastest individual time from either Friday’s or Saturday’s runs were used to determine the results. Lotus won with Friday’s time, 63.998secs, and with a massive margin of over 3.5 seconds from Bentley’s 67.529secs, while B.A.R.’s open-topped roadster-class soapbox finished third with 69.230secs.

    The team stepped up to the top level of the podium and fittingly received the trophy from ex-Lotus designer, Peter Stevens. "We’ve exceeded what we set out to achieve because of our hard work and the support of everyone back at Hethel," says Mick Kritayakirana, 25-year old team manager. "We were so focused on clinching the overall victory that has eluded the Lotus teams in this event for the last two years. Now it’s time to enjoy the win, catch up on some sleep, and then maybe see about racing 119c again soon."

    Head of Vehicle Engineering, Steve Swift was delighted with the result. "This was a splendid result over the weekend, and it is marvellous to witness the team’s dedication to this project paying off. Winning is always special, but by such a huge margin and with a record time is fantastic and shows what an incredible job these talented young engineers have done!"

    During the nine-month concept-to-production programme, the Type 119c project team had access to the state-of-the-art facilities at Lotus’ Hethel base, and benefited from the expertise of the world-class manufacturing and engineering workforce. The Lotus Type 119c will now take its place in the Soapbox Hall of Fame at Hethel, alongside its predecessors, the 2002 Type 119 and last year’s winning roadster-class Type 119b.

    Team members

  • Paul Adams, 24 – Driver
  • Billy Carroll, 26 – Running gear (wheels/brakes/tyres)
  • Krisada "Mick" Kritayakirana, 25 – Team Manager/steering mechanism
  • Karen Jackel, 30 – Design and manufacture of tub
  • Liz Overend, 31 – Design and manufacture of tub
  • Simon Wittenberg, 24 – Commercial activities – sponsorship/PR/merchandising


    Lotus Cars USA New CEO

    April 30, 2004 - Lotus Cars USA (LCU) has made a senior management change.

    LCU has named John English the new CEO of Lotus Cars USA. English replaces Arnie Johnson to had held the post since 1997. Johnson leaves Lotus after some 33 years of being associated with Lotus and Lotus distribution in North America. English is a long time acquaintance of Duke Hale. Hale and English worked together at Volvo and Mazda.

    English brings with him a wealth of experience with years and years of auto industry knowledge.

    Press Release from Lotus Holdings


    DULUTH, GA - May 11, 2004 – Lotus Holdings, Inc. the U.S. based holding company for Lotus Cars USA and Lotus Engineering Inc., has named automotive industry veteran John A. English as President and Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Cars USA. The appointment, effective immediately, was announced by Duke T. Hale, Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Holdings Inc.“John’s expertise in leading organizations during strong growth phases and his experience in building highly motivated and effective sales organizations make him a tremendous asset to our U.S. team,” said Hale. “With the 2005 Lotus Elise on-sale date just weeks away, and enthusiasm for the car increasing with each passing day, John is the right individual to ensure that our organization is fully prepared deliver superior dealer and customer experiences on all fronts.” said Hale.

    English has worked within the automotive industry his entire career. Most recently, he was the Southeast Regional General Manager for Mazda North America, based in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to that, he served as Vice President, Sales Operations, at Mazda’s U.S. headquarters in Irvine, California. During that time, English developed business and dealer network initiatives designed to maximize sales per retail outlet. He joined Mazda in 1991 as Director, Dealer Development, followed by a promotion to Regional Vice President for the company’s top-ranked Southeast region.

    Prior to his 12-year career at Mazda, English spent 15 years at Volvo North America, where he served as Regional Manager of the Southeast Region in Atlanta, and prior to that as Regional Manager of the company’s Northern California Region. He also held marketing, market representation and District Manager positions while at Volvo. English began his automotive career at Chrysler Corporation, where he completed the company’s graduate training program, followed by a number of District Manager positions in key U.S. markets.

    “It is a rare and exceptional opportunity to lead one of the world’s great sports car brands in the world’s most dynamic sports car market,” said English. “It is even rarer to join a team that is as proud and passionate about their products as Lotus—I very much look forward to being part of that team.” English received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Haven, Connecticut in 1971, following two years of service within the United States Army Special Forces. He will relocate to Atlanta, Georgia.


    Lotus Cars USA Moves

    Lotus Cars USA (LCU) moved to a new location about 5 miles from their old facility in Lawrenceville GA.

    The new facilities are substantially larger and is set-up to handle the added volume of the Elise and new LCU staff that is being hired. Most of the new space goes to the cars and parts. The offices are larger and will get new systems. The entry to the facilities opens into a large showroom, reception and waiting area. To the left are private offices and a main conference room. To the right is the main office area.

    The new facilities features additional space for service bays and a large airy Training Room with double doors to accomodate bringing a car into the class room.
    Front of new LCU office. Lotus logo fits above the main entry. CEO's office still under construction Part of the warehouse, waiting for cars & parts!


    Last Esprit Finished and Ready for Sale

    In early February the last Esprit will roll off the production line in Hethel. It will then be loaded on a ship for the US and quietly sold to some deserving customer. After some 27-28 years in production the Esprit will be retired from the Lotus line. But, look for Lotus to announce its replacement. There are LOTS of rumors that include BMW V8 power and new technology.



    Group Lotus Names Duke T. Hale CEO - Lotus Holdings, Inc.

    Lotus continues its U.S. expansion with addition of industry veteran (January 15, 2003) – Group Lotus PLC, the UK-based parent company of Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering Inc., has named automotive industry veteran Duke T. Hale to the new position of Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Holdings, Inc. The appointment, effective immediately, was made by Tengku Mahaleel, Chairman, Group Lotus PLC. Hale, who brings over three decades of executive and senior management experience in vehicle distribution, sales, marketing, service and parts operations to Lotus Holdings Inc. will be responsible for the Lotus brand, including vehicle and engineering sales expansion in the important U.S. marketplace.

    “With the recent introduction of the award-winning Lotus Elise in the U.S. market and Lotus Engineering’s expanding role as a premier provider of engineering services to OEM and Tier 1 suppliers, we are poised to significantly grow the Lotus brand in America,” said Mahaleel. “In order to take full advantage of the many opportunities available to us, we need to expand our already strong and dedicated team—and Duke’s vast industry expertise and successful track record in creating and managing growth is the perfect complement.” Arnie Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Cars USA and Don Graunstadt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Engineering Inc. will continue to lead their respective Lotus subsidiaries, reporting directly to Hale.

    “I’m delighted to join the organization at such an exciting time,” said Hale. “Lotus has always been one of the industry’s most revered and loyalty-inspiring brands, but now we are at the threshold of introducing a new generation of sports car enthusiasts to our uniquely engineered products.”

    Hale has devoted his entire career to helping automotive manufacturers and enterprises successfully expand their U.S. market presence, including recent work in automotive consulting and marketing services. Hale has previously served as Chief Operating Officer at American Isuzu Motors, Inc., where he helped develop and implement business strategies that resulted in the achievement of 87,000 units sold in 2001. He also served as Vice President, Customer Service and Parts Operations at Mazda North America and has held the position of Vice President, Sales, at Mazda North America. During his tenure, Mazda enjoyed five consecutive years of sales records as well as dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction index (CSI) rankings. In addition, Hale was President of Starcraft Automotive and held senior management positions at Ford Motor Co. and the former Chrysler Corporation.

    Hale, an avid motorsports fan and lifelong car enthusiast received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University in 1972. In addition, he completed the EPBA program at Columbia University in 1993.



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    For order information, go to this page.



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