Lotus Begins ‘New Era’

Since most people can’t afford a Lotus automobile, the company is launching an aggressive campaign they hope will expand their brand into other, more affordable markets. The fabled UK automaker is kicking off the campaign with surprisingly sleek 2011 models (we like the Elan), but also Lotus-branded clothing, a fashion magazine and, just to prove they’re for and by the people, their first ever permanent retail store in London. There you’ll be able to buy Lotus-branded things that do not cost $100,000.

But believe it or not, in these shoddy economic times, luxury car sales are actually up. Perhaps sensing an opening, Lotus is throwing a launch event at a private estate in Los Angeles this Friday to celebrate their “Lotus New Era” and “Lotus Lifestyle” branding initiatives. Billy Baldwin is scheduled to be there. So is Ione Skye. So, you know, don’t miss this one.

Lotus is also rolling out products aimed at what they term “aspirational consumers,” similar to what other luxury car brands have done in past years (see Porsche’s licensed products). Lotus will be selling a “fresh, young, colorful collection of sportswear” for men dubbed “Lotus Originals,” both online and at the London store. A pricier line called “Lotus Heritage” will also debut, which means jackets “inspired by the glorious racing days and victories of the 60s and 70s.” And don’t forget to subscribe to the Lotus magazine, which, judging by its first cover, is pretty legit.

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