Two days ago, Lotus’ first pure electric SUV was launched, positioned as Lotus’ first pure electric intelligent Hyper SUV, Eletre will directly face the global market as soon as it is launched, providing sports version (S+) and racing version in mainland China. The Road Edition (R+) models are priced at 828,000 yuan and 1,028,000 yuan respectively. The first batch of vehicles is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2023.
Eletre will be produced in the smart factory in Wuhan, before Lotus Technologies was established and settled in Wuhan.
Source: Lotus car official micro
After the release of Eletre, word of mouth went to two levels:
In the eyes of old fans, the strength of Lotus driving control cannot be underestimated. But the intelligence of the track is again sticking to the concept and coining words? Is this still the pure Lotus?
In addition, the performance of electric vehicles is a difficult concept to describe, especially when horsepower is less and less able to impress consumers today, the onlookers in this industry will regard it as a high-end version of Krypton 001, which may be similar to Geely in the future. The Polestars under him have no sense of existence.
Behind these mixed reviews is that Eletre still hasn’t brought the audience a fresher understanding. It is also because, until now, there are many precedents for China to take over foreign brands, but there is no precedent for a successful brand revival. How can Lotus do it?
Source: Lotus car official micro
The best Lotus, in history
China is a new starting point for Lotus’ transformation.
Although Lotus has a profound history, and even once shared the reputation of “the world’s three major sports car brands” with Porsche and Ferrari, today’s Lotus, in addition to the brand history of the past 70 years and the ups and downs of changing owners, has No new stories. Even after Geely’s holding, although the Vision80 brand revival plan was released, at the moment, Lotus is still facing the proposition of “Who is Lotus?”
Since the acquisition of Lotus by Geely, because the new models were weak, they could only survive by spreading historical stories. At this Eletre conference, as usual, the brand story is told, the classic models are displayed, and then Eletre is strongly associated with the classic Emira and Evija.
In terms of the signature chassis tuning, the official also implicitly expressed that Eletre has carried Lotus’s more than 70 years of chassis tuning accumulation – the standard adaptive air suspension, combined with the CDC continuous damping adjustable shock absorber, can Instantly increase enough support stiffness or comfortable driving experience, and adjust suspension height and stiffness faster. In addition, the Eletre is also equipped with the industry-leading Lotus intelligent anti-roll control system as standard, which adjusts the stiffness of the stabilizer bar by calculating the vehicle support force in real time, and improves the precise control of the support force. Reduces cornering roll at high speeds and improves handling.
“Intelligent systems” are not the same thing as Lotus in the eyes of many fans: they want a classic body structure and extruded bonded aluminum chassis technology.
And this conference should not have established any clear cognition to those Chinese audiences who are not familiar with the Lotus brand. It can be said that Eletre has created a perception of Polestar 3 in the Chinese market: why is the price so high.
Those who are familiar with the history of Lotus products will sigh at its extreme pursuit of aerodynamics and light weight, and even ignore the pursuit of interior and comfort. People who are not familiar with Lotus will find it even more difficult to determine the price of a product. Moved by millions of pure electric SUVs, this pricing is like a boundary: to say that it is expensive means that it does not understand any selling point of Eletre at all. And those who are obsessed with Lotus-style driving will not pay for such a new category, the Hyper SUV.
Even for many Chinese audiences, there is no fundamental identification of whether Lotus is a Chinese brand or a British brand. The listing of Eletre has not changed Lotus’s two-tier status in the market.
I can understand the motivation for Lotus to transform into pure electric – although I love to tell history, but I don’t want to be limited to the consumer market that used to be so niche, so the route is to launch a 20 million-level Evija first, it doesn’t need to sell much To ensure the classic elements and maintain the positioning, the following actions are more important – to enter the mainstream luxury market and become the Porsche of the pure electric era.
But for car owners who really pay attention to the track performance of million-dollar models, a car that emulates the Porsche brand is not as good as a Porsche.
a very vague positioning
At the Eletre press conference, the track and smart parts were still fully supported by the brand’s history. It is nothing new to put SUVs on the track, and electric vehicles speed up, it is even more so. Although Eletre showed extremely powerful parameters, the minimum drag coefficient is only 0.26, and the fastest acceleration from 0-100km/h is 2.95 seconds, of course, on the premise of starting the track version.
Source: Lotus car official micro
On the track, for Lotus fans, they undoubtedly prefer to have a Lotus pure electric sports car rather than an SUV. Lotus wants to achieve marketization through Eletre, but also wants to flaunt its track genes. The idea of being both necessary and necessary is already very dangerous. Because both in terms of brand and track attributes, Taycan is a more suitable choice than Eletre for the same price.
Right now, Lotus should be able to establish a strong awareness of the audience who are not familiar with the brand through Eletre. This awareness should even be emotional and touching, and it will make people strongly abandon the Taycan of the same price. Impulsive.
As the most eye-catching part of the Lotus brand history, the track has to be forcibly matched with the track level even in the main intelligent driving.
Eletre is not stingy when it comes to smart hardware. Dual Orin-X chips, 8155 chips, and 4 lidars are all mainstream configurations of smart cars. Of course, as a model with a price of one million, whether it is the number of lidars or top-level smart chips, these cannot be too far apart from the new smart cars that are positioned at 300,000-400,000. gap.
The “track-level intelligent driving” experience advertised by Eletre is even more difficult to understand.
In fact, Lotus has previously given a “performance-defining intelligent driving system” to take over the quantitative standard of mileage and covered mileage, that is, the indicator of “performance” to quantify the ability of intelligent driving. Today, when intelligent driving is focusing on scene-based breakthroughs, for performance, it is a comprehensive experience. If the performance is not broken, the performance is good, and driving performance and intelligent driving are actually a pair of contradictory concepts, which is easy for people to cause Misunderstanding, it even makes people feel that Eletre is caught in the excessive packaging of intelligence.
Source: Lotus car official micro
Lotus is not a Porsche after all. Its first model to transform into electrification is incomparable with the Model S or Model X in intelligence level, and it does not affect its ability to penetrate the Chinese market.
Whether it is a dip or an electrified transformation, the Porsche brand is a stepping stone to the market.
This is the biggest difference between Lotus and Porsche. It can’t just rely on the fans of its own brand fans, because this group is still a little small compared to Porsche. Lotus had to build a larger, newer group awareness that should be easier to understand.
Can you jump out of the “traditional Lotus”
Although Eletre’s global launch was held at the BBC Television Center in London, showing the global team and emphasizing Eletre’s inheritance of Lotus technology, there is no doubt that its next focus will be in China.
Geely should understand what Lotus means to Geely. Geely has invested a lot of money to build a smart factory in Wuhan, and even set up its global headquarters in China, which clearly shows its market demand. At least in terms of market sales and profit contribution, Lotus will be successful for Geely if it needs to match the level of Porsche.
The return of Lotus this time, coupled with a series of actions in personnel adjustment, also shows Geely’s determination to rebuild Lotus.
However, whether it is the previous new energy brand Geometry or the Polestar jointly built with Volvo, Geely has a problem: the product and brand positioning are not clear, resulting in many years of entry into the market, but not many people know it. Although Polestar has completed its independent listing, its main market is not in China, and its product positioning often jumps. It is difficult for people to grasp the key points of models ranging from millions to hundreds of thousands. The final sale has been seen by all.
Lotus had previously been in a state of “intensive adjustment”. In the second year after Geely completed the Lotus acquisition, Feng Qingfeng was appointed as CEO of Lotus Group. After this appointment, Feng Qingfeng took over the marketing work of Geely and Geometry for a short time, and then managed the road full-time. tes. This technical talent, known internally as “Zhang Sanfeng”, is a 20-year-old Geely employee who started with technology and served as the dean of Geely Automobile Research Institute.
Recently, in the news of the adjustment of Lotus’ high-level team, many “old people” in the rim have been introduced. There is no lack of news that Mao Jingbo, the former president of Lincoln China, may become the president of Lotus. At the same time, it has been confirmed that Guo Tiefu, who was in charge of the market and communication affairs of Gaohe Automobile, has joined Lotus.
But objectively speaking, Lincoln does not really complete the brand revival. Its success is more due to localization, and it has little to do with the so-called “Lincoln Way” led by leaders. The success of Gaohe is more because the product itself is distinctive enough. To say that it is both luxurious and technological is not so confident, and from Eletre, it is impossible to see such a clear product positioning of Gaohe.
Nowadays, in the rapid development of electrification and intelligence in China’s auto industry, apart from products, it is the distinction between old money and new money presented by talents in the management system. Those who dare to play, those who dare to innovate, and different management talents trapped in the inherent framework also determine the gameplay of the brand’s tonality.
Lastly, leave an open discussion: Lotus, should it leverage tradition, or jump out of “traditional Lotus”, and will you pay for today’s Hyper SUV Eletre?
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