A study of the organizations and companies that contributed to Lotus road and race cars encompasses both the glamour and gear that made Lotus possibly.These specialists, supplies and sponsors when integrated within Chapman’s conceptual framework produced the machines which possessed an aesthetic and functionalism of the highest order.
Chapman could not have done without them.
From the glitz to the grease the subject embraces the total spectrum of componentry that assembled Lotus cars.
The subject must be studied in detail to appreciate the achievements of Chapman and his colleagues. Chapman and his team’s genius was in adding value.
They were the expert exponents of Industrial Design incorporating the utilitarian and elevating it to iconic status-on or off the track.
Lotus cars at various times have been at the zenith of International Motor Racing and we hope they will continue successfully in the future.
Their achievements comprised:-
- 1963 Both World Drivers and Constructors Championship
- 1965 Both World Drivers and Constructors Championship
- 1968 Both World Drivers and Constructors Championship
- 1970 Both World Drivers and Constructors Championship
- 1972 Both World Drivers and Constructors Championship
- 1973 Constructors Championship
- 1978 Both World Drivers and Constructors Championship
I.e. 7 Constructors Championships & 6 Drivers Championships
This success was due to an integration of many factors not least:-
- The design genius of Chapman and his colleagues at Lotus
- The dedication of mechanics
- The race driver ability
- Chapman’s race and business acumen
- The quality of the components used notably engines
- Sponsorship – both the financial support, occasionally technology cross over and the aesthetic distinction that Lotus bore on track
The sponsorship of Lotus is extremely important to success, particularly as costs [technology, R&D escalated and inflated].Sponsorship helped Chapman win.
The adoption of sponsor livery on road cars was also significant. It had particular connotations and provided a particular form of advertising for sponsors and made a greater art form and sense of expression of the company logos and identity.
His link with John Player is well known and the A&R has expressed this thoroughly.
The A&R has identified approximately 300 sponsor and specialist suppliers contributing to Lotus historically [see appendix 4 below] although it’s estimated the current generation of FI cars use between 15-16000 parts supplied by approximately 750 component suppliers.
We treat the subject with considerable interests due to its importance.
We invite subscribers to tell us of any omissions and any direct experience they’ve had with these companies.
In examining the specialist, sponsors and suppliers we will specifically:-
- Name sponsor
- Identify the Lotus model they were identified with
- Outline company- its products or services history and future where appropriate
- Draw attention to those with aviation connections
- Brief assessment of their significance/ contribution to Lotus success
- A representative illustration and company advertising material wherever possible
- Suggested learning opportunities
This study is not merely utilitarian or a parts list of components used.
Understanding Lotus’s use of sponsors provides invaluable learning opportunities not just historical but right up to the present day. These lessons are not just applicable to automotive engineers/ designers but to the wider Industrial /Product Design and Corporate Identity professions.The study also embraces economic geography, the contribution of specialists within the British auto industry; their ability to adapt and the symbiotic relationship gained by association with innovative companies like Lotus.
It touches marketing of mundane but essential equipment and contains lessons in graphic design.
The skillful, graphic and creative presentation of sponsor was a powerful factor in the Chapman methodology and contributed significantly to both competition and commercial success.
Subscribers might like to see related A&R series:
- Lotus Power Plants
- British Motor Sport and specialists locations
- Component and Rear View Mirror Series
- John Player Specials and Gold Leaf
- Arts and Crafts Movement
- Major Engines and gearbox used by Lotus
- Product Placement
- Suspension series
Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.
These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education center location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.
See Appendix below –work through exercises
In this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-
- Study British Manufacturing History in relation to the auto industry and specialist suppliers and location
- Study the economic geography of the British auto industry what factors determined locations?
- What have been the causes of change and circumstance that have impacted on British motor industry?
- What has been the role of F1 /motor sport valley based around Bicester?
- Study the advertising materials of specialist suppliers –what are the conveying?
- What is the importance of outsourcing to the motor industry?
- Study a British car specialist like Morgan, TVR, Ginetta or Lotus where do they source parts? What are the advantages?
- See also appendix 3 below
- Complete the function box in spreadsheet –identifying parts or services provided
Exhibitions, Education and Economics
In the museum context the editors believe that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.
For these reasons our suggested outline Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.
The technology and computerization offer many interactive experiences related to learning opportunities that will stretch imagination and conceptualization .Furthermore such experiences and experiments can be structured to relate to other branches of Industrial/Product Design.
They are complementary to the possibility that the museum /education center can fulfill the role of the “Exploratory -Laboratory”.
We consider a museum environment provides powerful ambience, context and interpretation for companies wishing to hold a product launch. With a range of exhibits a product or service can be projected with glamour, historical momentum and supported with complementary archive in a manner most likely to grab attention and publicity whilst being inspiring and educational.
In this instance we feel the following are appropriate:-
- Lotus Parts: Past ,Present Future
- Lotus Parts: The Winning Factor
- The Principle Part
- Act the Part
- Assign the Part
- Lotus Components
- Lotus Components :Parts and Parcel
- Lotus Sponsors, Specialist and Suppliers:Form,Function and Forte
- Lotus Components:Parts and Partiality
- Lotus Aesthetics : With little to spare
- Lotus Cars: Spare and Slender
- Product launch with title of dedicated specific relevance
Sponsorship is a worldwide phenomenon of immense commercial impotence. Both to host and sponsor organization.
With the passage of time it’s likely to become more sophisticated and focused and the internet /multimedia technology will play greater role.
Sponsors have existed in motorsport before Chapman but he vigorously exploited the concept with Gold Leaf c 1967/68 and set a pattern for others to follow.
Sponsors of Lotus were likely to benefit financially and in terms of exposure to an extent greater than their investment. The benefits were, and remain essentially similar to present day:-
- Access to mass international audience consistent with mass production distribution marketing branding etc.
- Demographics of viewing audience and interest groups
- Additional subsidiary /secondary advertising through media, news, magazines etc.
- Identification with market /brand /marque leader in both F1 and road cars
- Association with success and continuity evolving, developing technology, materials etc.
- In period the identification with the charm ,charisma and ability to articulate that Chapman possessed
- All the attendant glamour , drama ,danger ,and spectacle of F1
- Ability to provide conducive hospitality to conduct business
- Cost effectiveness of audience cost ratio
- Possible further complex corporate benefits
Chapman we note had enjoyed a powerful and beneficial relationship with Gold Leaf and John Player Specials. With the increasing costs, and when they withdrew he had to find alternatives.
The editors recommend subscribers examine Crombac whom we have found fair in his assessment of Chapman and much of the context that surrounded Lotus.
The financial envelope supporting Chapman in the 1970’s into the 80’s is worthy of detailed study. Chapman /Lotus experienced a succession of difficulties most out of his control they include:-
- C 1968 Chapman launched Lotus as a public company; but the wealth generated was perhaps lost in poor investments and advise
- The oil crisis of the 1970’s rippled through the macro economy into the 1980’s and impacted on consumer goods particularly super cars [petrol consumption etc.] fashions etc.
- Escalating costs and sophistication of F1
- The American market [ a natural focus for sports cars] did not materialize for a variety of reasons
- The “upmarket “ models Chapman committed to [anticipating changes in demand] were more susceptible to economic down turn [see above] and possibly struggled against competition for whom cross –subsidy was possible
- His boat business suffered under the same rationale
We cannot over emphasize the significance of specialists, suppliers and sponsors to Lotus; indeed Britain and international motorsport.
These companies have helped facilitate some of the greatest cars of the 20th/21 century and provided British engineering reputation whilst generating employment and exports.
These companies have contributed to the added value that is Lotus.
Mundane, utilitarian parts have been elevated to levels of performance never originally planned.
Colin Chapman has helped facilitate and elevate some of the greatest engines in motorsport history namely Coventry Climax and Ford Cosworth.
Furthermore specialists, suppliers and sponsors have:-
- Demonstrated extraordinary levels of faith, belief and commitment in Lotus; being rewarded with disproptionate successes, publicity and sales
- Lotus has created some of the most aesthetic and memorable cars and logos ever seen on road and track
- Chapman and Lotus pushed and encouraged these companies to achieve extraordinary products and services
- The evidence and lessons are legion of the benefits of symbiotic /productive relationships ;furthermore the Chapman model and formula is an inspiration to Industrial Designer, marketing professionals ;PR and those in the creative media
One definition from the net:-
“Companies use F1 championships for brand building. They shell out huge sums of money to make their brands recognizable on Formula One cars. The sponsorship is like a global media platform for the sponsors.”
Appendix 2: Article from net:-
When Formula One racing began in 1950, sponsors supported it with heart. But now, the scenario has changed. Decision-making is now done with the head. A lot of analysis and research is done before arriving at any decision. The would-be sponsors burn so much midnight oil to make their brands visible to the people. They want to ride on the success on Formula One. They know that if their names and logos appear on Formula One cars and dresses of teams, it would help in brand buildings and their business would benefit.
Riding Formula 1
In North America and Europe, Formula One is a hugely popular event. Companies operating in these areas of the world always want to ride the success of formula one. The amount they pay and their return hugely depends on the success of the team and the positioning of the sponsor’s name and logo on the cars. If a team is successful, sponsor is, and if a team fails, so does the sponsor.
Role of Sponsors
Sponsors’ role is most important in promoting Formula One teams which get 80-85% of their total income from sponsorship. Rest of 15% comes from TV revenue and prize money. This it explains the importance of sponsors in Formula One.
Sponsorship liveries are in use in Formula One since 1960s, replacing the previously used national colors. The liveries change for every season in the sport. The change depends on the marketing ideas of the sponsors. However, some teams have shown consistency over the years, like the Ferrari, whose color has been red. At some Formula One events, Tobacco Sponsorship is prohibited.
History of Sponsorship
Initially Grand Prix cars ran without any badging, using national colors. However, as the cost of the sport rose, sponsors became important. In the mid-1960s, Team Lotus began to use its name on the cars. Honda did the same in 1966. In the US, commercial sponsorship was allowed. However, Formula One governing body recognized commercial sponsorship only in 1968.
Current sponsors of Formula One are Altria (Marlboro), Benetton Group, Beta Tools, Brembo, British American Tobacco (Lucky Strike), Brooke Bond Oxo, Candy, Ceramiche Ragno, Champion, Compaq, Computer Associates, Copersucar, Credit Suisse, DHL, Eifelland, Essex Petroleum, Federal Express, First National Bank, Fondmetal SpA, Foster’s, Gallaher (Benson & Hedges), Hewlett-Packard, Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Hugo Boss, Imperial Tobacco (Embassy), Imperial Tobacco (Gold Leaf), Imperial Tobacco (JPS), Japan Tobacco (Mild Seven), Martini & Rossi, Orange, Parmalat, PlayStation (Sony), Politoys, Red Bull, Reemtsma (West), Saudia Airlines, SEITA (Gitanes & Gauloises), Siemens, Skol, Sonax, STP Corporation, TAG-Heuer, Tissot, Unipart, UOP, Valvoline, Villiger (Tabatip), Vodafone, Warsteiner Brauerei and Yardley,”
Appendix 3: Context and operation of sponsorship from the net:-
- Learn how sponsorship motives have evolved.
- Be able to differentiate between advertising and sponsorship.
- Learn the advantages of each of the key promotion tools.
- Identify the six categories of sponsorship opportunities.
- Distinguish between self-evident and strategic linkages.
- Learn the trends in spending on sponsorships.
- Gain insight as to how ambush marketing and leveraging play roles.
- Develop a basic understanding of the three special cases of sponsorship.
- Identify the five key sponsorship objectives.
- Learn the importance of each sponsorship objective.
- Understand the concept of matching.
- Learn the potential components of a sponsorship plan.
- View a comprehensive example of a sponsorship.
Gain an awareness of controversies regarding sponsorship.
Appendix 4: Lotus: Specialists, sponsors and suppliers
|Abbey Panels &Sheet Metal||Co.||Ltd;||Coventry|
|Aeroplane &Motor aluminium Casting||Co.||Ltd;||Coventry|
|ATL Lab’||Milton Keynes|
|British Gear Grinding &Manufacture||Co.||Ltd;||London|
|British Jaeger Instruments||Ltd;||London|
|British Piston Ring||Co.||Ltd;||Coventry|
|Camel Racing Service||add|
|Castrol Motor Oils||London|
|Caxton Name Plate Manufacture’||Co.||Ltd;||Kew,London|
|Chandler Evans Corp’||USA|
|Chorley Precision Engineering||Ltd;||Chorley|
|Close Tolerance Casting||Ltd;||Crawley|
|Cooper Cars||Surbiton, London|
|Copper Mechanical Joints||Slough|
|Cords Piston Rings||London|
|Dart Springs||Co.||Ltd;||West Bromwich|
|David Brown Auto Gearbox Div.||Huddersfield|
|David Charles Group||Didcot|
|Frazer Nash Technology||Ltd;||add|
|Gold Leaft,JPS /Imperial Tobacco||add|
|High Duty Alloys||Ltd;||Redditch|
|Jack Knight [Jackson Development’]||Ltd;||Woking|
|John Bull Rubber||Leicester|
|Komatsu UK||Ltd;||Chester -L-St|
|Low Moor alloy Steelworks||Ltd;||Bradford|
|Lucky Strike Racing||add|
|Mollart Engineering||Co.||Surbiton, London|
|NGK UK||Ltd;||Hemel H’|
|Palmer Aero Products||Ltd;||London|
|Pirelli UK Tyres||Ltd;||Burton|
|Portway Forging [Wednesbury]||Ltd;||Wednesbury|
|Raymond Mays & Partners||Ltd;||Bourne|
|Renix /Renault Bendix||add|
|Richard Berry&Sons||West Bromwich|
|Samuel Godge & sons||Ltd;||Rainham|
|Serk Radiators||Ltd;||Park Royal, London|
|Terry Herbert &Sons||Ltd;||Redditch|
|The Chrome Alloying||Co.||Hatfield|
|The National fire Protection||Co.||Ltd;||Feltham|
|The Power Flexible Tubing||Co.||Ltd;||London|
|The Power Plant||Co.||Ltd;||West Drayton|
|The Valli tool||Co.||Ltd;||Uxbridge|
|The Zenith Carburetter||Co.||Ltd;||Stanmore|
|Torbay Speed Shop||Torquay|
|Vandervelle Products||Ltd;||Park Royal, London|
|Varley Dry Accumulators||Ltd;||Barking|
|Viton “O” ring Seals||add|
|Ward [Putney]||Co.||Ltd;||Putney, London|
|William Jessop and Sons||Ltd;||Sheffield|
|Williams & Pritchard||London|
|Wills Pressure -Filled Joint Rings||Ltd;||Bridgewater|
|Wragg Bros.[aluminium Equipm’]||Ltd;||Wickford|
|Zytek Systems||Sutton Coldfield|
Appendix 5: Net reference
An extensive bibliography is provided in A&R article on John Players Specials/Gold Leaf
Industrial Design A-Z.C&P Fiell.Taschen.
Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. Mann, Codling.Motorbooks.2010
International Corporate Identity.Olins.Laurence King.1995
International Motor Racing 1978.Ed by B.Gill.Macdonald and Jane’s.1978
The International Motor Show. Offical Catalogue.1966
Motor Racing Directory 1955-56 [Ed by staff of “Motor Racing”] Pearl Cooper.
Motor Racing Directory.Kettlewell.
Autosport A-Z Motorsport Directory. [Annual editions] Haymarket