I hope you enjoyed part one of the the Q and A with Mark Edwards, here is part two.
So you have a roster of three cars at the moment which is impressive considering you have only been in production since early 2015, are there plans to expand the range?
Mark Edwards: The range starts with the E10 at 200 bhp, then there’s the turbocharged E10S and the crazy E10R taking the car up to 500bhp/tonne. However we do understand, that the market for a car with no doors, or a full roof is somewhat limited. We always knew that would be the case but our strategy was to develop the platform and prove that the chassis performs and then turn are attention to things like doors and windows – which are actually quite a challenge to engineer. You don’t get any prizes for a door that seals, but boy do you get slated if it lets water in.
We’ve started at quite a niche end of the market, where the requirements from our customers are pure driving thrills but as we want to expand our volume, we know we have to address wider market requirements.
Now I’m not saying we’re going to go out and try to compete with Porsche because Porsche do what they do very well and are very well known for doing it. But we know that there are customers who still want that very engaging driving experience but just need a little bit more practicality. So there is where were going with E11 and E12.
Not only are you supplying the UK market, but also to places as far out as to China, Japan and USA, just to name a few. Impressive stuff to say the least, what was the key to breaking into those markets?
ME: Partners, the right partners, simple as that. So we have importer relationships with partners in the USA, Japan, China and across Europe. A lot of those people were known to us previously and by building on those relationships we have managed to achieve 50% of our production being exported overseas.
AAW: Through working at Lotus and Caterham
ME: Through Lotus and Caterham absolutely. The market demand is there, but if the market is not served consistently with how we serve the market in our home market, by maintaining that close proximity to the customer, the brand collapses.
So it’s really important to select the right partners and we believe that we do have the right partners.
What has been the response from those markets?
ME: I think the feedback has been great, they’re still putting orders in so that’s a good sign.
AAW: Well I suppose that is all the feedback you need.
ME: We do get feedback about the car and we have a philosophy here about continuous improvement, we never rest on our laurels and we are continuing to improve the car. We created the car based on what we thought was the right thing and fortunately we have got that right we think. But the feedback now is the most important thing, so from people using the car, some of them daily, they’re experiencing the car, they’re using it in the circumstances they want to drive it in and the feedback we are getting from them is super valuable and we do act on it.
We touched upon it earlier but what are your aims for the next 5 years or so?
ME: E11 and E12 are absolutely our plans for the next 5 years, we will be delivering those products. Beyond that as I said it’s hard to say.
A big thank you for Mark to taking time out his of day to have a chat with me to provide a deeper insight in to the company.