Fernandes to buy Caterham & rebrand Team Lotus?

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Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:38 am

bot6 wrote:Then again, a proper sportscar for GBP13K as an entry model is pretty damn cheap. Granted, you have to build it yourself, but it's part of the fun of owning a British sports car to play with the spanner.


That is a huge hurdle. People may know how to drive like a demon, but build a car?

Basically, if they kept it simple with the right product, demand would help increase the scales of economy for them, allowing for far reduced prices.
If I was in any way affiliated with Carerham, I would be excited. As it stands the marque is more secure now than it was before and it's Market potential is now far better given this venture.

I keep saying it, but by getting the right product(bring in Ricardo engineering, Mahle or even McLaren) Caterham would grow very quickly. Fernandes is a global entrepreneur, his hand was forced by proton and he did the best thing possible by getting Caterham. If that is not a signal of intent then I don't know what is.
As for the kit car jibe, I seen these "kit cars" humble ferraris and gt3 porsches. Maybe that's the way forward then, no?
More could have been done.
David Purley
JohnsonsEvilTwin
 
Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Location: SU 419113

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:07 am

No JET, this has Spyker written all over it, something we have had quiet enough of at in Sweden the moment.
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"
xpensive
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:18 am

I go with exp on this.
The market for this product is VERY narrow.And lets face it who would accept the product as it is.If you build it yourself you are much more prepared to forgive the shortcomings but in the end the thing has fun potential but no real profile.
So you have all people loving you for having one but they would not spend a euro to be in your position..the -I want or need to have one of those- factor is not very high ..not comparable to Porsche Ferrari etc.
the same goes for lotus in my book
marcush.
 
Joined: 9 Mar 2004

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:52 am

The entire thing is obviously a diversion from Fernandez, he's giving in and changing the team's name is the only way he can ditch it, Team Lotus cannot be sold, but Caterham can. Problem is to find a buyer.
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"
xpensive
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:01 pm

If Fernandes was looking for an exit strategy, why buy a car company? The 2 actions are diametrically opposed, that for me is clear.

As for this being spyker, I disagree. Spyker are a high end maker of supercars, 150k plus. Caterham has far more cache than a made up brand who's interiors resemble that of boats.
Pedigree is the word.

And we have already seen Spykers inability at asset management with the SAAB fiasco. Shame, as it looks like a great marque is going to hit the wall :(
Caterham are small, tiny in fact. Yet their core business is sound, to make race cars. They can build on this with the right strategies and products, going into f1 will open the brand into a new arena. What matters now is that Fernandes has a plan, and it seems he has a point to prove to lotus/proton simultaneously....
More could have been done.
David Purley
JohnsonsEvilTwin
 
Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Location: SU 419113

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:21 pm

Following on from that there was one fascinating story that emerged from the Lotus-Caterham launch in Duxford. It seems that Caterham was looking for a way to move on and approached Dany Bahar of Group Lotus, asking to buy the rights to the Lotus Elise, which dates back to 1994 when the company was under the wing of Romano Artioli. Caterham reckoned that this would be the perfect follow-up to the Seven with low production costs, great performance and simple engineering. Group Lotus turned down the idea and so Caterham went to see Tony Fernandes instead

-Joe Saward
WilliamsF1
 
Joined: 6 Jan 2010

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:07 pm

Fernandes does not give the impression he has looked deeply into the Caterham business
and even if I think Exp is going a long way with his forecasts..he has a point.

with these specialist car manufacturers the question is just how many cars can be sold globally per annum..with competitors like McLaren who would buy a Spyker or a Veritas.
and on the caterham side you need to sell 10 sevens to hold the same amount of cash in your hands -thats 10 customers to handle....compared to 1 at Mclaren...you quickly reach a point when you cannot afford to spend any time on the single customer ...so the individual approach is only working at a price.

Bahar declining to sell the rights for the Elise .. :lol: :lol: he seems to be afraid Caterham would soon sell more cars then lotus.. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Then maybe they should ask Norsk Hydro ?
marcush.
 
Joined: 9 Mar 2004

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:11 pm

Hydro is now a part of the giant Statoil muscle and would not touch the likes of MrE with pliars.

This is just another sad story where Mike Gascoyne seems to be hellbent to involve himself in.
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"
xpensive
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:56 pm

xpensive wrote:This is just another sad story where Mike Gascoyne seems to be hellbent to involve himself in.


Why so? Finally Gascoyne is in a team where no one is telling him what to do. Fernandes has given Mike plenty of room to do his thing, and I guess we are starting to see the results this year.

xpensive wrote:The entire thing is obviously a diversion from Fernandez, he's giving in and changing the team's name is the only way he can ditch it, Team Lotus cannot be sold, but Caterham can. Problem is to find a buyer.


Where did this come from? If the court decides that Fernandes is allowed to have Team Lotus in F1, I can't see any reason why he would change the name. If he can't use TL's name, then he's got Caterham as a plan b. And if the changes the F1 team's name to Caterham, why on earth would he try to sell it? I think he's in F1 to stay there.
TzeiTzei
 
Joined: 9 Mar 2011

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:15 pm

Xpensive and Marcush, you guys seem to think that the core business of Caterham is to build road cars. That's not the case.

Caterham builds racing and track-day cars. That is their core business. They are not in competition with Proton or Group Lotus or McLaren. Their competition is probably more along the lines of Lola or Dallara. The 7 is a classic track day car that just happens to be road legal, it's not an every day road car. So practicality for every day life is not really the goal here. And for a track day car, having the kit option for people who enjoy playing around with spanners and grease is a pretty good way to differentiate your product.

Having, alongside the 7, other road legal racing cars (something along the line of the old Elise/Exige for example) would help bridge the gap between the SP/300.R and the 7 and would attract a new clientele to the brand, and this will be made possible by Fernandes' presence and ability to fund the development of a new product (which he has declared as part of his intentions for Caterham). And then, a road legal car built on that base might give Caterham a proper entry into the road car manufacturing business. But that would be in 4-5 years time, not right now.

I don't see why you say that Team Lotus was unsellable and Caterham is. It's pretty much the opposite. Many people would love to buy an F1 team just for the grid slot. I'm pretty sure Prodrive would jump on the occasion, for one. So would Jacques Villeneuve, who has been trying to invest in an F1 team for some time now. Caterham is a small structure building a small number of products in the very very small niche market of racing cars. As such, they are not really easy to sell for a profit.

But put Team Lotus and Caterham together, and you have technical synergy and a strong brand identity with racing pedigree that you can build on. Why on earth would Fernandes sell that?
bot6
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2011

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:38 pm

Just to build on bots post, I would say that instead of bridging the miniscule gap with the 7 to the SP300, they need a car that will be able to make average people think of. Even if that thought is only for 1 split second.
As Williams F1 posted, it appears Caterham had the same idea as me according to Mr Saward.

But designing an aluminium chassis from scratch can be done fairly cheaply. Lotus managed it under Artioli, im pretty sure Caterham could do that 18 years on.

Fast forward 3 years, you have a competitive Caterham F1, a new sub 25k Sports car that is practical enough to be considered, and the core business still churning as it always was.....whats not to like about this?
More could have been done.
David Purley
JohnsonsEvilTwin
 
Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Location: SU 419113

Post Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:06 pm

Team Lotus would make Caterham be the other Lotus car..that what's I think
Scania
 
Joined: 26 Nov 2008

Post Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:17 am

I actually based my thoughts on the fact thatr Caterham builds highly specialised cars(rather fun vehicles).
Reality is a Caterham does not compete with Dallara or lola really their core business is more professional motorsport .they don´t even compete with the likes of Norma /Ligier/radical as this is an eentirely different world as well.
It really is something like a one make series for those who cannot or are not prepared to spend the huge money you need to go racing a Porsche or Ferrari.
I clearly don´t think that those give you more value -apart from the status -and this is unquestionable.

to turn the corner : Porsche sells around 300 Racecars per year if I´m correct ...and I think they have a well oiled system (invested in their facility 20mill € recently plus 3€inventory ) plus pedigree and they have the facilities to build the cars very efficiently in Zuffenhausen plus they build a horde of streetlegal ones on top of this..
Last edited by marcush. on Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
marcush.
 
Joined: 9 Mar 2004

Post Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:47 am

Soon the entire Malaysian interest will fade, why all of this rubbish will be long gone.

Come back Ken Anderson, all is forgiven!
"I spent most of my money on wine and women...I wasted the rest"
xpensive
 
Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in Scandinavia

Post Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:34 am

Macush,

You cannot compare Caterham to Porsche, that is a grossly unfair comparison. What you need to see is that Caterham is in essence a spiritual Lotus, and has it's core business at it's heart unlike any marque you can buy today. That gives it credibilty amongst enthusiasts.
Apart from this we have the issue of brand awareness by competing in F1, which won't affect people like Mercedes or Ferrari who have mass global presence, but will certainly boost Caterham.

Taken in isolation, this project has many good things going for it. And with Fernandes in charge you can expect an aggressive strategy. Don't be surprised to see these guys building proper road cars that you can track day, in the next couple of years.
More could have been done.
David Purley
JohnsonsEvilTwin
 
Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Location: SU 419113

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