In Australia, 2007 was the year when total vehicle sales exceeded one million units for the first time ever. While much of that figure is made up of basic family cars and fleet vehicles, we shouldn?t forget the little fella who sells completely impractical but highly capable sports cars. Lotus Cars Australia also managed to achieve its highest ever sales in Australia, and its biggest yearly increase in sales, with a massive 91.5 percent growth for the 2007 year.
In the highly competitive sports and luxury sector, no other manufacturer could get close to Lotus with an increase more than double the next best; and of the 46 car brands in Australia, Lotus placed number two amongst all segments between 2006 and 2007, with a massive 91.5 percent increase in sales.
Mind you, Lotus didn?t need to sell very many cars to gain this enormous improvement with sales in 2006 totalling just 47 units, the 2007 tally of 90 sales marks a busy year at the few Lotus dealers in Australia. Lotus Australia puts the increase in sales down to their recent dealer network restructuring and support, more focused marketing and PR activity and the introduction and success of the $69,990 Lotus Elise S. The 100kW Corolla-engined Elise S and the 141kW Celica-powered Elise R accounted for 53 percent of the three-model road car range of Elise, Exige and Europa S and track-focussed 2-Eleven.
"Australia is a difficult and sensitive market and with almost 50 marques, we're extremely pleased with our 2007 results. We've seen fluctuating results in Australia over the past five years, but last year has really shown to us that Lotus has found its place in the Australian market as both an aspirational and achievable brand. In our entry-level Elise S we offer an excellent value proposition with a standard specification that compares to its roadster rivals, but with superior performance and handling, a Lotus hallmark," said Lotus Australia Sales & Marketing Manager Jonathan Stretton.
The sports car segment of the market in Australia experienced an 18 percent growth rate in 2007, that saw Ferrari sell 145 new cars, Lamborghini 46 and even the British niche manufacturer Caterham sell 2 of their cars. Despite this, the closest any other sports cars maker managed to get to Lotus's impressive 91.5 percent growth was Aston Martin with 44.1 percent.
"As successful as 2007 was, 2008 is an important year for Lotus in Australia. Later this year we will be introducing the supercharged Elise model, the Elise SC, the first time ever the Elise has been supercharged which provides even more performance from a soft top Lotus. This model should suit the Australian market well,? added Streeton.
Lotus are also planning to debut their new mid-range sportscar, codenamed ?Project Eagle? at the 2008 Sydney Motor Show. Based on an all new platform, Project Eagle has the folks at Lotus Australia rather excited and will be another addition to the range to aid their planned growth over the coming years. The long awaited Esprit replacement is also due in the next year or three.