"We are delighted to open our doors to customers so that they can collect their new car from us direct." – Jean-Marc Gales
Buying a Lotus
sports car now comes with an added perk – you get a peek behind the curtain at the famous factory in Hethel, England.
It's the centerpiece of a new delivery program Lotus is launching, where customers can come to the iconic factory – where every Lotus has been built since 1967 – and pick up their new Elise
. Customers receive a tour and are presented with their new car by Lotus officials. They also get a personalized owner's booklet and can visit the Lotus classic
collection. Additionally, the program includes a photo shoot of the event, a signed print by Clive Chapman (Colin's son) and a car cover.
It starts at 832.50 pounds, or about $1,330. To add track time with a Lotus instructor, it's 999 pounds, or about $1,600.
The packages can be ordered through Lotus dealers.
"Hethel is the heart of Lotus, where we have been designing, developing and building the most exciting and uncompromising handmade British sports cars for nearly 50 years, and we are delighted to open our doors to customers so that they can collect their new car from us direct," Lotus chief executive officer Jean-Marc Gales
said in a statement.
Factory delivery programs have become popular in recent years for high-end cars, as they allow brands to connect with their enthusiast buyers directly and are a source of additional revenue. BMW has long had a program that allows customers to pick up their new vehicles at its base in Munich, Germany, and tour the plant and museum. Similarly, Chevy offers a program in Bowling Green, KY, where customers can watch their Stingrays being built and spec-out their sports car down to the smallest detail.
The program is a bright spot for Lotus, which has endured controversy in recent weeks
for plans to skip the 2015 model year due to air bag compliance issues in the United States and news of its plans to lay off a quarter of its workforce. Currently, Lotus is selling down its inventory of 2014 Evoras in the US market, and will sell race-spec cars during its off year. Other models are still offered in other markets.
For the official press release, click below.