Lotus bucks industry struggles to see best sales year in a decade

The British sports car firm is overhauling its range for a new generation of vehicles.

Lotus models going out of production
Lotus models going out of production

Lotus Cars saw its best sales year for a decade in 2021 as enthusiasts grabbed the final editions of the firm’s most iconic models.

The Norfolk-based sports car maker is in a major transition period, phasing out its iconic Elise, Exige and Evora models and ushering in a new generation led by the Emira.

Over the past 12 months, its retailers sold 1,710 new cars, which was an increase of 24 per cent compared with 2020.

Lotus retail space
Lotus introduced a new retail space design. (Lotus)

The Elise, one of the most famous names in the sports car segment, was the firm’s global best-seller. Lotus says this was down to the introduction of farewell models called Sport 240 Final Edition and Cup 250 Final Edition, which had impressive specifications and appealed to enthusiasts.

The USA was Lotus’s biggest market, which combined with Canada saw a 111 per cent jump in sales, also marking their best performance in 10 years.

Japan was second with its best year since 2015, amid the firm’s record-breaking year for the Asia-Pacific region. Australia had its best year since 2018, Hong Kong since 2014, and Qatar had its best year since sales began in 2016.

The UK was the third-best-selling region, with sales up 29 per cent, but Belgium saw the biggest increase in Europe, up 37 per cent.

Geoff Dowding, executive director of sales and aftersales at Lotus, said: “Our global retailers have risen to the challenge of giving the Elise, Exige and Evora the send-off they deserved. It means we’re in great shape for 2022 to focus on the all-new Lotus Emira, our last petrol-powered sports car and the best of breed.”

Matt Windle, managing director at Lotus Cars, added: “In difficult circumstances our retailers have delivered what was asked of them and more. It’s testament to their hard work, and that of our manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution teams around the world. A huge thank you to everyone involved – what a way to move into the era of Emira.”

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