Group Lotus to Tony Fernades: Cease and Desist

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by prisonermonkeys, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Not exactly. Group Lotus claim that because Fernandes violated their licencing agreement, they no longer wish to be associated with him. And while Team and Group Lotus are two separate entities, their names are very similar. Group Lotus feel that because of that similarity, Fernandes is essentially trading on their name; it would be like there were two teams named McLaren or two teams named Ferrari. If the courts rule in favour of Group Lotus, it is likely that Fernndes will have to stop using the Team Lotus name.
     
  2. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Fernandes is crowing about something:
    I don't think this will be an annoucement that they've won the court case. I certainly hope it won't be. Although it co-incides with the dates a verdict is expected, they wouldn't go waiting a week to announce victory. Their first stop after the courthouse would be the press office. And even if they did choose to wait a week, other people involved in the court case could just as easily say "the case is over and this is the result" days before Fernandes could. So either they've been told the date a verdict is expected and have put out the date of April 27th in anticipation of the result (which is incredibly premature), or it's something else entirely.

    Although it is conceivable that they have come to a settlement with Group Lotus where they stop using the Lotus name, receive some kind of payout and keep their winnings from 2010 intact. But given their attitude, it's unlikely they'd agree to anything like that.
     
  3. Only_in_f1

    Only_in_f1

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    I don't think its anything to do with it. As you say there are too man permutations for them to even conceive they have won.
     
  4. prisonermonkeys

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    But that's the problem - based on some of their comments (ie "So damned determined to remain Team Lotus" and "The good always win eventually", etc.), I would not put it past them to assume they have won and promote plans for announcing it well before they could reasonably say they have actually won it.
     
  5. astrosdude91

    astrosdude91

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    Maybe it has something to do with the link up with Rodac. Though, I really don't see him getting THAT excited about something like that.:lol:

    Perhaps the two parties have reached a settlement. Maybe Lotus Group will sponsor the Fernandes team and in return Fernandes changes the team name. Purely speculation. Though, it seems to work out, since that would mean more money for Fernandes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  6. Prince.M5

    Prince.M5

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    I believe it could be something else than the court battle... More big sponsors to come perhaps?
     
  7. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    There's only one settlement I can see Fernandes agreeing to: they change their name from Team Lotus to something else (ie Team Asia). In exchange, Group Lotus renounce any claim to the history of Team Lotus, and any Lotus branding that appears on the Renault R31 should make it quite clear that it is Lotus Cars sponsoring the team. Group Lotus would also agree to reimburse Fernandes for the money he spent on the Team Lotus name, and will pay the amount specified in the Lotus Racing licencing agreement to terminate the contract. Meanwhile, the team would remain entitled to the $36 million from the FOM television rights payout for finishing tenth in the 2010 World Constructors' Championship. This may mean retroactively changing the 2010 season results to reflect their new constructor name.

    But I don't think Fernandes would give up the Team Lotus for anything less than that - and he'd only accept it if he could see the writing was on the wall, so that he could at least get something out of it because the alternative would be to lose the Team Lotus name and any kind of remuneration. Based on what we've seen so far from them, Fernandes will take any and every opportunity they get offered, no matter how small it might be, so they'll only ever agree to a settlement if they see no other way out.
     
  8. F1 fan

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  9. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    Wow ... didn't see that coming. Or did I? This is funny, I'll quote myself in this thread, many days ago:


    :dopey:
     
  10. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Caterham, huh? That seems a little bit odd. And yet, entirely in character - they wanted a brand with history attached to it when they entered under the Lotus banner.

    If this goes ahead and we get Team Caterham, I wonder if they'll change their livery ...
    That's how much Fernandes values it at. I have suspected he's inflating the numbers a little, though.
     
  11. Ardius

    Ardius

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    No one knows the real figures for WCC positions, its mostly based off rumour, speculation and the odd word from ex-F1 personnel. Same goes for driver salaries, etc.
    I believe Team Lotus gets a little bit more from the TV money because "Lotus" is a historic name too.

    In any case, $36 milliion sounds right to me, I seem to remember a quote saying the difference between 10th and 9th is £10 million or something like that. As I say though, its all quite vague guessing with numbers - this isn't publicly available information.
     
  12. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Like I said, I'm just going by what Fernandes valued it at. Group Lotus tried to make peace by settling before the court case began. Fernandes shot them down because he found the amount they were willing to offer "insulting" and said he wouldn't take anything less than $36 million because that's what the Team Lotus name was valued at. Because he paid considerably less than that to David Hunt for the physical name, one assumes he was factoring in the payment from FOM that he would have lost.

    But I'm very curious about this Caterham thing.
     
  13. SaberFire

    SaberFire

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    Probably a fallback if he loses the name.
     
  14. Akmuq

    Akmuq

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    I wonder if Caterham will start putting F1 technology in their road cars if the move happens.:dopey:
     
  15. Kingofweasles

    Kingofweasles

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    This was exactly the first thought that came to me when I read about the Caterham-Team Lotus link-up.
     
  16. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    It's confirmed - Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun (I'm not sure who he is, exactly) were appointed as directors a week ago.

    Unusually sharp of Saward.
     
  17. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Pardon the double-post, but I did some digging, and I think I can put my finger on what happened - and when - between Fernandes and Group Lotus:

    I think the dispute was over LR8 ("Lotus Racing 8"), an energy drink that Team Fernandes was developing. It never went to the market; the idea was that it would be the "official drink" of the team, and it would only be sold through them. It wouldn't see the conventional market the way the likes of Red Bull and Monster do. But the LR8 logos were pulled from the T127 halfway through the season, to be replaced by a tobacco-style self-censored design, a Rothmans-esque question mark. I suspect that if you look closely enough, the LR8 decals were pulled at about the same time Group Lotus started making noises about Fernandes being in breach of his licencing contract. The contract stated that Fernandes could only use the Lotus name for the team. Group Lotus' argument in court likely centres around Fernandes' plans to sell LR8, which was not an approved use of the name; Fernandes would counter that because the product was only intended to be sold through the team, he wasn't actually doing anything wrong.

    Now for the real kicker: this is the last picture I can find of a Lotus carrying the LR8 logo - it's Heikki Kovalainen at Spa, which was held on the weekend of August 29. This picture, on the other hand, is Jarno Trulli at Singapore (I can't any clear side-along shots of the car at the Italian Grand Prix), which was held on the weekend of September 26. You can clearly see that the LR8 logo has been replaced by the question mark. Something changed in the space of a month. I don't recall any explanation being given, but a quick check of the archives reveals this article about Group Lotus sponsoring ART Grand Prix in GP2, and this one about Fernandes establishing Team AirAsia, the very first signs that Dany Bahar was moving away from Tony Fernandes. And the date on both? September 21st, four days before the Singapore Grand Prix - the earliest recorded date the LR8 logo stopped appearing on the Lotus T127. Group Lotus and Tony Fernandes going their separate ways in GP2 the same week that a merchandise logo stops appearing on the Lotus Racing Formula 1 car is a massive coinkydink. I'm willing to give you good odds that LR8 is pivotal to the court case between the two parties.

    Now, Saward reckons that Fernandes intends to keep Caterham and Team Lotus entirely separate from one another and take the Seven to Asian markets – but I’m not so confident. We’re just weeks out from a final verdict in the court case, and all of a sudden Fernandes purchases a small sports car manufacturer with historical ties to the car company he’s locked in the legal dispute with? And he does it in such a way that it is a week before anyone finds out about it? Come on, that’s a massive sequence of coincidences that have to stack up on top of one another. Too many, if you ask me. Especially since Fernandes is the kind of guy who loves to make big statements to the world (and small ones, which he dresses up as big). Maybe it really is Fernandes’ intention to take the Caterham Seven global (and I applaud that – it’s a fantastic little car) … but you can’t deny that it’s also a convenient out in the event that he does lose the court case against Group Lotus.
     
  18. Prince.M5

    Prince.M5

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    You are right actually mate.

    I only noticed the loss of LR8 on the car since the Korean GP. I tried to ask the question on the Korean GP thread but got no reply on the matter. On the next morning, I asked my friend whose his dad is a friend to the Lotus Racing guys. He said the LR8 has been put to a halt for licensing matter or something. When I got home, the LR8 Facebook page and their website has been removed...

    It is a shame, because the LR8 drink has got the taste that I like - better than RB. I now only have the can just for my collection.
     
  19. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    I actually formed this theory a while ago. It's only just now that I've had time to prove it, though I do admit my evidence is circumstantial. But something I do have that is completely verifiable is this list of IPOs that Fernandes recently registered with Companies House:
    Hotels? Jets? Merchadising? Is this really what the Team Lotus name is all about?

    Right now, Colin Chapman is rolling in his grave.
     
  20. SaberFire

    SaberFire

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    His coffin had a double-chassis, so I doubt he's rolling much.

    I think Fernandes is trying to cover all the bases he possibly can with the Team Lotus name. After all, who wouldn't want to stay in a Team Lotus Hotel? :S
     
  21. Ardius

    Ardius

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    :rolleyes: Play a new record, this one is over a year old now.
    Fernandes has already plastered a Air Asia jet with Team Lotus colours, and as you raised in your previous post, he tried to start a brand of Lotus energy drink. Why is it surprising that he goes for hotels, etc? Tune Group - Hotels, Air Asia - Jets, etc etc.

    I don't really care about this silly debate over principles when its just a power struggle to take advantage of a name (it has been this way since the start). All I see is a new team having a good go at F1, I'll say its nice that the Lotus name would be related to it but in the end I don't really care that much. I don't care about any of this other stuff, though I do worry about Group Lotus' priorities.

    Shock, horror, Fernandes might cash in with the name! Of course Fernandes would like to build a brand, its his job and its something he appears to be quite good at. Whether its the "Lotus" thing to do is really beyond F1 at this point, Chapman was no saint either...perhaps it is the Lotus-way to exploit the name. Its all just a little bit rediculous (to argue what is "the right way" to use the name).
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  22. Grand Prix

    Grand Prix Premium

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    Chapman was an entrepreneur and a businessman first and foremost, an engineer/designer second. He most likely would have done the same thing. This was the man that introduced tobacco sponsorship, ladies and gentlemen. (Not that it was such a terrible thing, just saying)
     
  23. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    The point is that Fernandes' willingness to expand outwards into these markets (business people call it "horizontal integration") certainly lends credibility to the suggestion that he broke the licencing agreement by using the Lotus Cars name for an unapproved venture.
     
  24. tankuroded

    tankuroded

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    Merchandising is part of F1 IIRC; for some things they make the offical merchandise themsleves and for the others they licensed from others. :):tup:

    As for jets and hotels, I call it severe PR stunt - which is BS. :tdown::grumpy:

    On idea on LR8 energy drink, I remembered that Eddie Jordan did make a energy drink called EJ-10.

    EDIT: See Ardius post for more, I'm semi-tree'd.
     
  25. prisonermonkeys

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    Here's something interesting: a whole heap of domain names were registered on April 19th: sonangolcaterham.com, sonangolcaterhamf1.com, sonangolcaterhamf1racing.com, sonangolcaterhamf1team.com and sonangolcaterhamteamlotus.com ...
     
  26. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    No change of livery . In fact, it looks nice on the 7.


    [YOUTUBEHD]aGERIVg7ATE[/YOUTUBEHD]
     
  27. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    Ugh. That video is so over-written. As is all of Team Lotus' propaganda.

    I didn't say a livery change would happen straight away, but I expect that would come with a name change, which I predict will come soon. Fernandes has spent months insisting that he will retain the Team Lotus name come hell or high water, and then just a few weeks out from a verdict in the Lotus-Lotus court case, he goes and buys a car manufacturer, registers a whole heap of domain names that imply a name change is a possibility, and then suddenly changes his tune to say a name change "might" happen despite his ardent philosophy that he runs Team Lotus (which I think often felt like he was trying to convince himself rather than everyone else). And all of this without antecedent.

    If Fernandes has to change the name, he's not going to do it on the spot. He's going to do something - like purchase a car manufacturer - in advance and put the idea out there that a name change is a possibility. That way, when it does happen, it's not a total backflip. And people will probably believe it, because we've seen them support Fernandes over Bahar simply Fernandes was in the sport first (and despite evidence - like my LR8 theory - that suggests Fernandes is in the wrong). This is all about image, which Fernandes has proven several times over to be the only thing he cares about.
     
  28. Akmuq

    Akmuq

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    Lots of interesting news on F1Fanatic.
    Fernandes wants to make affordable Caterhams with F1 technology.

    He also claims that Lotus tried to destroy them.

    This is just the confirmation of it but there is one interesting bit.


    Also pretty unrelated but Lotus are looking for points in Spain.
    ^That's the slow Lotus, just in case you tought Eric Boullier was extremley pessimistic. :p
     
  29. Ardius

    Ardius

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    And it isn't for Proton/Group Lotus/Bahar?
     
  30. Akmuq

    Akmuq

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    Well done, you've predicted the past.:dopey:
    No, just no. If he cared about image and all that he would have bought out Brawn GP or some other title contender. Me personally, now I may be different, but I don't think being at the back of a grid and getting excited when you are nearly at the pace of the other teams is a good image.:idea: