DRB-Hicom is opened to options and might sell Lotus

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 18, 2012

As you may know already, on Monday we announced that Malaysian billionaire Syed Mokhtar Al-Bulkhary's DRB-Hicom will buy Proton Holdings, the Australian manufacturer which owns Lotus. The next question was: what will happen to Lotus and its new business plan? Apparently, DRB-Hicom is "open to options,", according to managing director Mohd Khamil Jamil. Jamil also added that the company “can’t do due diligence on Lotus earlier so will need time to look into Lotus”.

DRB-Hicom agreed to buy a 42.7 percent stake in Proton owned by Khazanah Nasional, the Malaysian government's investment arm, for $414 million. An additional 7.7 percent stake was bought in the open market, taking its total holding beyond 50 percent. There are very big chances to sell Lotus, as the British manufacturer hasn't made any profit since 1996, when Proton bought it.

When the new CEO Dany Bahar came at Lotus, he unveiled a bold plan to become a rival to Porsche at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, where it showed five new sports car concepts. "We need to sit down with Lotus management and look at their plans before arriving at a definitive decision," Mohd Khamil said, according to Autonews. "It has been there for years and has done some good things."

Regarding the possible sale, here is what Lotus had to say: "As far as we are aware, the situation changes nothing for Lotus. Proton's support in our development remains very strong and our focus is on the delivery of the business plan."

The new Lotus Esprit is the true representation of the spirit of premium supercar driving. It revives and surpasses the legacy of its ancestors. It is a definite stamp of superiority. It is the incarnation of Lotus CEO Dany Bahar's special statement of intent and his vision for Lotus’ future.

According to Bahar, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus, the Lotus Esprit is “the ultimate supercar” because throughout its history, people always associated it with movies like Pretty Woman, Basic Instinct and the Bond movies. But now, the new Esprit is “the star of the show.”

Bahar continues that they had to take meticulous steps and balance all considerations and opinions to meet the challenge of reviving the iconic Lotus Esprit. He adds that it was difficult to balance saluting the car’s heritage while focusing on innovating for the future in order to do justice to both the Esprit name and Lotus brand. But the balance was ultimately achieved with the creation of a new iconic car that people should find irresistible.

Lotus Esprit is incredible in both design and performance. By staying true to core Lotus values of "performance through lightweight” through extraordinary engineering and adding cutting-edge technological features, the new Esprit is destined to be the “leader of the pack.” When seen first-hand, its appreciably low and wide stance exclaims aggression in its design. At the same time, it remains dignified, elegant and luxurious. “I'm very proud of this car," said Bahar.

New Lotus Esprit’s engine is a powerful pressure-charged 5.0 litre V8 producing a maximum of 620 PS. Superior performance is maintained thanks to its unique design and lightweight construction. This supercar will set new standards for drivability, handling, performance, comfort and luxury. It is the true essence of Lotus supercar ownership.

The external design of the Lotus Esprit mirrors its capabilities with defined lines streaking along its low, sleek body. Its mass and proportional symmetry create a compellingly intense appearance that epitomises the modern Lotus design philosophy.

Topics: lotus

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