HETHEL, England — Taking a page from the Victoria Beckham and Land Rover playbook, Lotus announced on Monday that it has hired Grammy-winning rapper and producer Swizz Beatz to serve as a high-profile consultant.
“The key is to infiltrate the market in a cool way,” said Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Daoud Dean, in a Lotus video showing the rapper’s first day at work.
The video follows Beatz as he arrives at Lotus in a helicopter, is driven in a Lotus on a racetrack and later advises teams of Lotus employees, including CEO Dany Bahar. Read full story and watch video after the jumpThe best is for “things to happen organically,” Beatz expounds.
“They want flash,” Beatz says in describing prospective Lotus buyers.
“Like Group Lotus, he means business: He’s a risk taker with considerable credentials, including music producer, rapper, designer and painter,” said Lotus in a statement announcing the appointment. “(He’s) the perfect man to add to the Lotus lineup.”
Lotus is in need of a little excitement, especially since it seems to be entering somewhat of a fallow period.
The Lotus Exige Matte Black Final Edition is the last of the small Lotus cars “as we know them,” said Kevin Smith, a Lotus spokesman, in a phone conversation with Inside Line on Monday. Smith said the successors to the Lotus Elise and Exige will not appear until the 2015 model year. The Exige Matte Black Final Edition will make an appearance this week at the Pebble Beach festivities.
More automakers seem to be intent on hiring iconic pop-culture figures to help boost the appeal of their brands. The most striking example thus far has been the naming of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham to serve as a creative director for Land Rover. She has put her mark on a special edition of the Range Rover Evoque and continues to gain street cred as a fashion designer, especially during an appearance at April’s royal wedding of William and Kate.
Swizz Beatz, a product of the south Bronx who is married to music superstar Alicia Keys, is a mainstay of the red carpet and shared his first Grammy Award in 2011 with rapper Jay-Z. The two won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song “On To the Next One.”
Inside Line says: Probably won’t be too long before we see a Swizz Beatz-edition Lotus.
Story courtesy of Edmunds Inside Line