A View on Quality and Specification

roundincircles

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There is a lot of chat how Lotus have improved the quality of the Emira v past products.

It is easy to confuse specification with quality.

An example, Most would say a paper cup is inferior to the quality of a china cup! However if the paper cup is manufactured to repeated dimensions and finish it is high quality ( but the materials are low specification) and if the china cup is variable in shape and finish it is low quality but the materials are high specification.

So the Emira specification is significantly improved over the Evora and it remains to be seen if output is of consistent and high quality. Signs are it will be as Lotus acknowledge the issue and that is a good starting point.

I will get off my soapbox.
 

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valid point, what materials do you think will be sacrificed here? I assumed volume was the "sacrifice" to make it meet a price point when 1st announced, but I don't think that's the case since I THINK the prior cars sold for quite a bit under msrp. Not sure though!
 

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Interesting topic, the processing is likely to be better as specialist sub contractors, automation, measurement and quality control checks improve, so perceived quality will.

Only time will tell whether the move to higher volume in reality equates to uniformity and consistency with improvements to product. Naturally everyone has a different view on quality which reflects their own requirements, any unforseen problems are more difficult to correct in a higher volume process but hopefully Lotus has not overstretched itself.

One thing that is apparent is that higher volume equates to less flexibility and choice, as we have seen with the steering wheel options, orders with third party suppliers and stock levels have an effect on the ability to give bespoke build.

There is likely to be a larger market for post purchase modifications although numbers will probably still be too low to see the mass of after market suppliers that exist on really high volume manufacturers such as Mazda or Porsche, a smart move by Lotus will be to fill the gap with aftermarket options backed by the manufacturer.
 

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This is also related their QA process and use of metrology which is an important part of the feedback loop in automation - you know 5 sigma and all that. They mostly show the assembly plant in photos, but improving body-in-white tolerances happens before this. Haven't seen this talked about much (less glamourous) but fair to assume this part of the build has been tightened up considerably.
 
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Your comments remind me of a Mercedes interior. Looks great in photos but once you're touching things you realize it's not what you were originally thinking. On the contrary my older M car doesn't look as flashy inside but the materials are high quality.
 

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I have no inside knowledge of the Lotus/Geely relationship but I do have decades of experience in the automotive industry and corporate worlds so here’s my take on this.

If you want to get a first hand take on production build quality, materials, etc. just drop by your local Volvo or better yet, Polestar store and spend some quality time with the interior and inspect the fit and finish. Geely didn’t just write a check, they brought their global manufacturing knowledge to Hethel. It’s a 2 way street as I’m sure Lotus Engineering has contributed to the ride dynamics of the Polestar and Volvo brands.

It’s just my take but it’s why I’m buying an Emira. I always respected the Evora but when put side by side with the equivalent Porsche I was just never willing to forgo the Porsche engineering and build quality simply for the “Lotus” driving experience. I’m 64 years young and have been driving sports cars, mostly Porsche’s for the better part of 48 years but I’m actually giddy about the prospect of owning the Emira.
 

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I have no inside knowledge of the Lotus/Geely relationship but I do have decades of experience in the automotive industry and corporate worlds so here’s my take on this.

If you want to get a first hand take on production build quality, materials, etc. just drop by your local Volvo or better yet, Polestar store and spend some quality time with the interior and inspect the fit and finish. Geely didn’t just write a check, they brought their global manufacturing knowledge to Hethel. It’s a 2 way street as I’m sure Lotus Engineering has contributed to the ride dynamics of the Polestar and Volvo brands.

It’s just my take but it’s why I’m buying an Emira. I always respected the Evora but when put side by side with the equivalent Porsche I was just never willing to forgo the Porsche engineering and build quality simply for the “Lotus” driving experience. I’m 64 years young and have been driving sports cars, mostly Porsche’s for the better part of 48 years but I’m actually giddy about the prospect of owning the Emira.
Couldn't agree more, I love my 981 for the refinement and quality, I had looked at an Evora a few times but it just didn't quite have the £80k feel, Emira should do all being well, just love the looks and can't wait, Boxster will stay for top down fun.
 

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If you want to get a first hand take on production build quality, materials, etc. just drop by your local Volvo or better yet, Polestar store and spend some quality time with the interior and inspect the fit and finish. Geely didn’t just write a check, they brought their global manufacturing knowledge to Hethel. It’s a 2 way street as I’m sure Lotus Engineering has contributed to the ride dynamics of the Polestar and Volvo brands.
Not just ride and handling based on the fact that the Polestar 5 will use a bonded aluminium chassis.
 
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roundincircles

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I have no inside knowledge of the Lotus/Geely relationship but I do have decades of experience in the automotive industry and corporate worlds so here’s my take on this.

If you want to get a first hand take on production build quality, materials, etc. just drop by your local Volvo or better yet, Polestar store and spend some quality time with the interior and inspect the fit and finish. Geely didn’t just write a check, they brought their global manufacturing knowledge to Hethel. It’s a 2 way street as I’m sure Lotus Engineering has contributed to the ride dynamics of the Polestar and Volvo brands.

It’s just my take but it’s why I’m buying an Emira. I always respected the Evora but when put side by side with the equivalent Porsche I was just never willing to forgo the Porsche engineering and build quality simply for the “Lotus” driving experience. I’m 64 years young and have been driving sports cars, mostly Porsche’s for the better part of 48 years but I’m actually giddy about the prospect of owning the Emira.
I RECENTLY test drove a Polestar 2 and was truly amazed at the build integrity. Up there with the best. The car also felt robust. The issue for Geely is how quickly they can change the culture.......and often that means change of management; they have drafted both Geely and Volvo people at Lotus.
 

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I have no inside knowledge of the Lotus/Geely relationship but I do have decades of experience in the automotive industry and corporate worlds so here’s my take on this.

If you want to get a first hand take on production build quality, materials, etc. just drop by your local Volvo or better yet, Polestar store and spend some quality time with the interior and inspect the fit and finish. Geely didn’t just write a check, they brought their global manufacturing knowledge to Hethel. It’s a 2 way street as I’m sure Lotus Engineering has contributed to the ride dynamics of the Polestar and Volvo brands.

It’s just my take but it’s why I’m buying an Emira. I always respected the Evora but when put side by side with the equivalent Porsche I was just never willing to forgo the Porsche engineering and build quality simply for the “Lotus” driving experience. I’m 64 years young and have been driving sports cars, mostly Porsche’s for the better part of 48 years but I’m actually giddy about the prospect of owning the Emira.
I want desperately for this to be true, but if it were... wouldn't Lotus have had the interior (and the seats) finalized before 3 weeks ago?
 

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I want desperately for this to be true, but if it were... wouldn't Lotus have had the interior (and the seats) finalized before 3 weeks ago?
Ideally of course, yes. I'm hoping they just want everything to be as good as it possibly can be, so taking it to the wire because they can not because they have to.... 😬
 
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I RECENTLY test drove a Polestar 2 and was truly amazed at the build integrity. Up there with the best. The car also felt robust. The issue for Geely is how quickly they can change the culture.......and often that means change of management; they have drafted both Geely and Volvo people at Lotus.
I have worked in Manufacturing and Quality for over 35yrs and one thing is clear, you can't improve overall Quality overnight and increasing capacity comes with it's own foibles.
I asked a few pertinent questions during the roadshow which to be honest, didn't give me a lot of faith.
I asked about a few weaknesses that I have noticed over the years of owning a Lotus.
He agreed with me and said that the emphasis was on the suppliers to get it right. I didn't say anything but that wasn't what I was expecting/hoping to hear. For me, it starts with the design of the components/material specified and its design for manufacture.
It's going to be tough to step up to the Quality levels we are expecting compared to previous Lotus years, I am obviously hoping that they will, but its not going to be easy.
 
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Ideally of course, yes. I'm hoping they just want everything to be as good as it possibly can be, so taking it to the wire because they can not because they have to.... 😬
I would 100% believe that if they were making the seats on-site. But they are buying these things from a supplier now, who has to take any change input and then go through a process on their end to revise the production process, and then build product in volume and then ship it to Hethel for the vehicle assembly.

The idea of changes being made "down to the wire" for something related to the seating just doesn't remotely compute in that scenario. That's the entire basis for the head-scratching, incredulity, and criticism that has been shared by a number of people (including me) on this issue.

I really hope the production seats are excellent, but I have to go entirely on faith. I believe that none of us have actually seen the final FE seats yet except for (possibly) a few people that have been to Hethel recently. Right now the configurator is still showing a seat that might not ever exist, with a 3-bar debossed design element in the middle of the seat back, so the "official" communicated expectation from Lotus to their paying customers is that the FE seats should look like that. As of today, March 17, we have never seen it in reality and that design wasn't present in any of the preview/reviews so far. The only seats ever photographed with anything like that are the black alcantara seats in the original blue demo car, which I believe have a designed 3-bar perforation in the same spot.

It would be very, very good if Lotus would just go ahead and release some images of the 12-way adjustable final FE seats so that someone can see them, even if the images were informal and not professional in nature.
 
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I would 100% believe that if they were making the seats on-site. But they are buying these things from a supplier now, who has to take any change input and then go through a process on their end to revise the production process, and then build product in volume and then ship it to Hethel for the vehicle assembly.

The idea of changes being made "down to the wire" for something related to the seating just doesn't remotely compute in that scenario. That's the entire basis for the head-scratching, incredulity, and criticism that has been shared by a number of people (including me) on this issue.

I really hope the production seats are excellent, but I have to go entirely on faith. I believe that none of us have actually seen the final FE seats yet except for (possibly) a few people that have been to Hethel recently. Right now the configurator is still showing a seat that might not ever exist, with a 3-bar debossed design element in the middle of the seat back, so the "official" communicated expectation from Lotus to their paying customers is that the FE seats should look like that. As of today, March 17, we have never seen it in reality and that design wasn't present in any of the preview/reviews so far. The only seats ever photographed with anything like that are the black alcantara seats in the original blue demo car, which I believe have a designed 3-bar perforation in the same spot.

It would be very, very good if Lotus would just go ahead and release some images of the 12-way adjustable final FE seats so that someone can see them, even if the images were informal and not professional in nature.
The seat frames are bought in and upholstered on site. This will allow adjustment to bolster if needed.
 

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The seat frames are bought in and upholstered on site. This will allow adjustment to bolster if needed.
Unfortunately I think that's no longer true. Pretty sure they closed their on-site upholstery shop entirely. The employees who were able to learn new roles transitioned into other departments. All the seating and upholstery is now purchased from suppliers, complete.

There was a whole section on this topic in the Lotus: A New Dawn documentary. A great watch, if you haven't seen it yet.
 
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Unfortunately I think that's no longer true. Pretty sure they closed their on-site upholstery shop entirely. The employees who were able to learn new roles transitioned into other departments. All the seating and upholstery is now purchased from suppliers, complete.

There was a whole section on this topic in the Lotus: A New Dawn documentary. A great watch, if you haven't seen it yet.
I know for 100% the seats are brought in finished. They are supplied from the same manufacturer whom supplies the Ferrari seats. They have had 7 differing iterations but the final seat is settled upon and has only/will only be installed in final production cars. Have faith they will be brilliant….
 

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I know for 100% the seats are brought in finished. They are supplied from the same manufacturer whom supplies the Ferrari seats. They have had 7 differing iterations but the final seat is settled upon and has only/will only be installed in final production cars. Have faith they will be brilliant….
Whoa, really? That's incredible if true. I wish they had said that from the beginning. If so we wouldn't have given them such a hard time about the (very obviously not great) seat mules in the dynamic prototype.
 

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I know for 100% the seats are brought in finished. They are supplied from the same manufacturer whom supplies the Ferrari seats. They have had 7 differing iterations but the final seat is settled upon and has only/will only be installed in final production cars. Have faith they will be brilliant….

So they can customize seats in house from the same manufacturer Ferrari uses, but they can't add a color TDC stripe to steering wheels themselves? Yeah, sure.. That all sounds reasonable.
 

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Whoa, really? That's incredible if true. I wish they had said that from the beginning. If so we wouldn't have given them such a hard time about the (very obviously not great) seat mules in the dynamic prototype.
Well that would require, you know, communication with their customers. Blasphemy to Lotus.
 

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I don't know why everyone is surprised?

In Harry's video when he was talking to Russell Carr about the seats, Russell said that the frame mechanics are sourced from a well known manufacturer (I believe Sparco) and the foam/covering is designed in-house. Similarly there was a Lotus factory video (A New Dawn) where they were discussing closure of the Hethel in-house upholstery shop and re-training people for other manufacturing activities.

The seat foams and coverings are not made at Hethel, rather now outsourced to a partner just like the leather dash is made by a partner in Germany.
 
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