Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

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Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby clemo » Mon 16.04.2018, 19:32

When i read about the S2 being made out of parts from the workshop floor by Bugatti i wonder what did they actually get out of the sale as not long after the Elise was born from a load of drawings that were hidden away. Lotus made the Elise not Bugatti . So what did they actually buy and why did they bother ?

Any ideas ?

Ta
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Re: Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby Giniw » Mon 16.04.2018, 19:43

Well, I can only suspect they wanted to own a famous serious automotive brand to gain respectability as car makers!
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Re: Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 16.04.2018, 19:50

Giniw wrote:Well, I can only suspect they wanted to own a famous serious automotive brand to gain respectability as car makers!

:-D
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Re: Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 16.04.2018, 19:52

Calypso Red S2 #417

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Re: Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby lotusflasherman » Wed 18.04.2018, 23:52

clemo wrote:When i read about the S2 being made out of parts from the workshop floor by Bugatti i wonder what did they actually get out of the sale as not long after the Elise was born from a load of drawings that were hidden away. Lotus made the Elise not Bugatti . So what did they actually buy and why did they bother ?

Any ideas ?

Ta

No idea what you've been reading ! They didn't ! Bugatti never bought Lotus, whatever the bullshit owners of S2's may say.. (There's a man appears at Brands with a poster he puts in the windscreen of a Norfolk Mustard S2 saying it's a Bugatti Elan .. :lol: ) Group Lotus was bought by Romano Artioli, who also owned Bugatti, but that's as far as it goes. I got invited by Mr Artioli to take my Eclat Riviera to Hethel for the 'grand gathering of Lotus and Bugatti owners, though conversations I overheard from some Bugatti owners suggested they didn't want to be associated with those 'cheap plastic cars'.

GM had virtually closed the factory and laid off most of the workforce. Artioli gave a grand speech about the pioneering engineering of Bugatti (another add lightness engineer) and how Chapman had taken it further 50 years later and how there was synergy before the 2 companies ... though from press reports Bugatti was making more profit from selling leather bags at ludicrous prices than the £300,000 EB110. Artioli announced that Lotus would return to lightweight sports cars and "build a 7 for the 21st Century at under £20k". He announced he had also found 800 Isuzu engines in several containers so would reemploy the workforce (before they found other jobs) to restart M100 production while the designers set about the 'new 7' (eventually called the Elise after his granddaughter Elisa) ... and then we all had a good blast round the Hethel test track with the Bugatti cars generally getting in the way of the plastic Lotus cars.

Few months later I got a letter to say a special Limited Edition S2 Elan was reserved just for me at a special price, amazing marketing spin on using up old engines .. :lol: - but it was a lot more than £20k so decided to wait for the new lightweight Elise.

There were no Elise drawings hidden away as far as I know as Lotus were making much heavier cars prior to that and the MGF rear engine power unit the Elise used was only just coming into production... I'll check with John Mountain who I believe is still in touch with Julian Thomson.

Artioli, being a sensible business man, kept the two companies completely separate so the collapse of one didn't take down the other. Good thinking as,if I remember correctly, he got involved with some shady Indian financiers over Bugatti that caused the insolvency of Bugatti so he sold a major share of Lotus to Proton to recover some of his personal wealth.

I ordered an Elise with Nelmes of Romford on my way home from seeing the handbuilt models at the London motor show launch. Put £1,000 deposit down for the 108th to be built and then got a letter to say it might be 2 years or more before they'd got production organised and round to building mine. Bought a Calypso Red SE while I waited for the Elise which was almost £25k on the road when built. Test drive of some demo models revealed vicious lift off oversteer and Nelmes had 2 written off during test drives. New orders were being told 3 to 4 years wait so sold 'my Elise' unused for £3.5k above list and kept the M100 which I was using for work - very essential to have a big boot and the Elise hadn't got one. Still using my 3rd M100 for work having totalled 200k miles in them...
Phil

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Re: Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby Giniw » Thu 19.04.2018, 00:19

Interesting, thanks for sharing! :-)
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Re: Why did Bugatti buy Lotus ?

Postby Rambo » Sun 22.04.2018, 16:44

lotusflasherman wrote:Bought a Calypso Red SE while I waited for the Elise which was almost £25k on the road when built. Test drive of some demo models revealed vicious lift off oversteer and Nelmes had 2 written off during test drives. New orders were being told 3 to 4 years wait so sold 'my Elise' unused for £3.5k above list and kept the M100 ...


That's a good profit Phil. On a car you didn't even own :shock:
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