Lotus is understood to be planning a return to the franchised sales model after operating agency agreements for the past two years.

Several Auto Retail Agenda sources have said that while the switch has not been officially put in place, Lotus has been talking to retailers about the move.

The reasoning behind Lotus dropping agency in favour of a franchised network is unclear, with some sources saying the implementation of agency has led to disruption and increased already long delivery times.

When asked about the move back to franchised sales, a spokesman for Lotus declined to comment.

The performance brand’s expected switch back to a franchised model comes as BMW Group told its UK retailers that it would be delaying a move to the agency model by around a year. Mini was due to switch to agency in October 2024: this has now moved back to mid-2025.

BMW itself still plan to go agency in 2026.

* For a full rundown of the latest manufacturer network plans, see our brand-by-brand guide to agency here