Dubai: Lotus is looking to bloom in the UAE. Its first showroom having just opened in Dubai and another being considered for Abu Dhabi by its retailerTrading Enterprises (an Al Futtaim Group entity), the British sportscar brand is finally getting the bearings right in the local automotive market.
Lotus’ entry also completes the options available to high-spending car enthusiasts in the UAE when it comes to performance and prestige auto labels. With Aston Martin recently making a splashy re-entry with a boutique showroom in Downtown and McLaren Automotive winning them over with its brand new P1, the market is spoilt for choice. Lamborghini is now putting the strictly limited production Veneno Roadster through its paces after the launch on board a ship off Abu Dhabi. There are also Rolls-Royce and Bentley, whose sales in the UAE are stuck on just one note — the high one.
In Lotus’ case, it is just offering the Evora and the Evora S — in both manual and automatic — with prices from Dh337,400 to Dh396,000 depending on the base trim levels. But why confine the launch to just the Evora when Lotus also have the mid-engined Elise that could, conceivably, prove just as popular with local buyers?
“The intention was that the model we launch had to be the right fit for this market and which can withstand the rigours of the local summer,” said Len Hunt, president of Al Futtaim Automotive Group. “This is what we are telling prospective Lotus buyers whose only option until now was to import the models who did not meet GCC specifications.
“With the Evora, we believe the model can just as easily fulfil the driver’s need for an everyday car as well as something he may use for weekends.”
The first unit has already been sold, to a buyer from the Al Futtaim Group itself, and the initial order book is rated as promising. And as with any prestige make, the initial confirmed order is the prelude to extensive bespoke work.
The Evora sold here comes with several European options as standard, including the power-fold door mirrors and reversing camera. They will have a three-year unlimited mileage warranty cover.
For Trading Enterprises, the Lotus association represents a major ramp up of sorts. It is the local Chrysler and Volvo dealership and there was also an association with Fisker. Al Futtaim Motors, another group entity, sells Toyota and Lexus, and there is also Al Futtaim Honda.
“It does not change much whether we are selling a volume brand or a prestige one — in fact it helps us as potential Lotus buyers here might already have associations with us for our other cars,” said Hunt.
“The dedicated showroom helps buyers relate to the brand and conforms to all the guidelines that the manufacturer has set. We know our customer and they in turn recognise us as a long-term player.”