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From left: Russell Carr, Director, Lotus Design, Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars and Karl Hamer, CEO of Adamas Motors with the all-electric Evija hypercar. Image Credit: Lotus

Dubai: No dealership can get by selling luxury cars alone in the UAE … unless the brand in question was a Merc or a Beemer, of course. Such was the accepted wisdom in the automotive industry. To really cut it, a dealership would need to have the back up of a mass market brand to go with the luxury.

Now, Karl Hamer, CEO of Adamas Motors, wants to rewrite such conventional views. It was late last year that he acquired the rights for Lotus (the British supercar marque owned by China’s Geely now) from Al-Futtaim. And he will shortly be taking Lotus and Aston Martin to Bahrain.

“Our DNA will be prestige-performance cars only,” said Hamer. “Asia-Pacific, the Middle East — those are the markets we are looking, after we opened in Hong Kong with McLaren.

“There are too many people trying to cover everything … luxury and mass. We aim to specialise — a bit like Louis Vuitton or Gucci know what they stand for. We want to give a “white glove” service at our showrooms.”

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Youngest around

All of which makes Adamas the youngest dealership in the UAE, in what has always been an exceptionally competitive market. Having a Lotus in your store should help … especially as the reinvigorated manufacturer will now have the line up to match its vaunted heritage.

The Lotus has just bloomed with its latest, the all-electric Evija, which touched down in Dubai late last week for a sneak preview of what’s to come from it. Now, it is meant for anyone with Dh7.8 million to spare for a car. First deliveries are due by June next.

“We have already sold four of them — and there are only 130 being made,” said Hamer. “We would like to take 10-12 per cent of the total global market — collectors will buy this car. We have 32 private showings lined up.

“If you specialise, you become known for it — instead of just doing one prestige auto brand, we plan to do many,” said Hamer. “And we have changed the usual business model. “What you have seen is dealerships take a brand and try to make it fit their market. What Adamas is doing is take brands of choice to those markets that will suit the brand.

“We will be doing 100 McLarens in Hong Kong this year, and that will make us one of its top dealerships. We now want to go to Shanghai and still talking to a few manufacturers. The intention is to grow scale.”

Pull in more investors

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Image Credit: Lotus

For its Hong Kong, Dubai and Bahrain operations, Adamas pulled on board private investors. There will be a roadshow next year where the dealer will present itself to a wider investor base in New York and London. (The consultancy Grant Thornton is helping it out on this, said Hamer.) “We have a convincing argument to make — we have shown in Dubai and Hong Kong what can be done with the right prestige brands,” said Hamer. “We are still building up the assets … but we will get to where we want to be.”

If Lotus wanted to make a point, they have chosen the perfect vehicle in the Evija, the electric hypercar with an attitude and the price tag to match.

First deliveries are due from June next, and buyers in the UAE have already picked up four of the Dh7.8 million limited edition. The top speed is 320km/h, and the claimed 0-100 km/h is for a sub 3 seconds. All from a power base of 2,000hp.

Lotus, under Chinese automotive giant Geely, plans to bring out a new car in every nine months for the next three years or so. Geely also owns Volvo, while Li Shufu, the Geely owner, is the largest shareholder in Daimler, with a near 10 per cent stake.