Lotus has relaunched in South Korea and signed an exciting new partnership with highly respected luxury and premium automotive retailer Kolon Mobility Group (KMG).
Following an official ceremony in Seoul attended by the senior leadership teams of both organisations, KMG has become the official importer and sole distributor of Lotus in South Korea.
The first visible expression of the collaboration is a stunning new Lotus Brand Centre in Seoul. With construction scheduled to start shortly, it will open in Q4 2023 in the world-renowned high-fashion district of Gangnam, home to many modern luxury stores and boutique hotels. The stunning building will showcase Lotus’ expanding performance car range in a premium state-of-the-art setting over three lower floors.
KMG is launching its business with two thrilling Lotus models – the Emira and Eletre. The Emira is the last mainstream ICE sports car from Lotus and the best of breed. It challenges conventional performance car attributes and thinking by blending exotic supercar looks, everyday usability, enhanced comfort and class-leading Lotus performance and driving dynamics.
The all-new and all-electric Lotus Eletre is a progressive and striking hyper-SUV. It takes the core principles of the brand’s DNA from 75 years of sports car design and engineering, evolving them into a desirable all-new lifestyle car for the next generation of Lotus customers.
The Brand Centre in Seoul will be complemented by an official ‘one-stop shop’ Lotus Service Centre, to be established in Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si. It will also open to customers in Q4 2023.
Architects’ images of both locations reveal how the focus will be around providing a world-class customer experience for current and future Lotus owners from the moment they walk in.
Mike Johnstone, Group Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer, Lotus, was in Seoul for the official partnership signing. He commented: “We’re delighted to be relaunching in South Korea, and doing so with such a renowned and respected partner as Kolon Mobility Group. With premium Lotus performance cars such as the Eletre, Emira and others on the horizon, we are looking forward to engaging with a new audience and new customers in South Korea.”
Lotus has previously been present in the market with a different retail partner. New partner KMG is well-known as an official retailer for other luxury and premium automotive brands, a portfolio which is further enhanced with the addition of Lotus.
Lee Kyu-ho, CEO, KMG, said: “We are delighted to be the new partner for Lotus in South Korea. It is an iconic brand which is undergoing an amazing global transformation, and we are looking forward to welcoming customers and fans into our wonderful new Brand Centre. In collaborating with Lotus, we continue to dedicate every effort to present a wide range of mobility experiences to our customers.”
The first Lotus cars will arrive in Q1 2024 and Q3 2024 for Emira and Eletre customers respectively. However, brand / product digital marketing starts immediately as the local market website goes live. An e-Commerce capability is planned for launch at a later date.
South Korea is a key conquest market for Lotus in the region. Mike Johnstone commented: “Lotus has a long-established and loyal group of customers and fans in Asia-Pacific markets. We are relaunching the brand in South Korea with a new product line-up and strategy, and are confident it will become one of the largest markets in Asia for Lotus, outside of China, as the business continues its global expansion.”
Lotus already has strong relationships with long-term partners in many other local markets. In those where it does not, particularly Vietnam and Indonesia, development work is progressing rapidly.
Dan Balmer, Regional Director for APAC, Middle East and Africa, Lotus, said: “We are developing both current and new partners, and exciting opportunities in other new markets, to scale up for the arrival of the Eletre and the new models beyond.”
He added: “Since the launch of Eletre, we have received strong interest from all markets in the region, and we’re already working with those local partners in finalising the launch plans for them. We will confirm those plans in due course.”