Lotus and Aston Martin to enter a cooperative agreement?

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 25, 2012

So far, there’s no clear rescue plan for Lotus. It has aggregate liabilities of around $400 million and is losing about two million dollars every month. It also doesn’t seem to be working on any mid- to long-term strategy. At the latest Paris Auto Show, Lotus’ absence was felt. Just two years ago, the brand brought five different concepts to Paris.

It can’t survive on the thin profit margins on the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora. Since cash flow is coming in very slowly, Lotus is struggling to pay its suppliers. Hence, it is stuck in a vicious cycle. The obvious lack of funds has basically put a stop to the new-car projects that are left. One of which is the mid-engine hybrid Esprit coupe, which would have been equipped with a new V-8 co-developed with Germany’s HWA of DTM fame.

It’s not sure if Lotus owners want to sell but the VW Group had briefly considered the company. However, VW has decided that it won’t invest in another U.K. car maker. BMW has not expressed any interest too. Rumors continue to spread. One possibility is that Lotus and Aston Martin will enter a cooperative agreement or maybe even a merger.

It seems like the two carmakers would be a good fit for each other. Aston is already a solid fixture in the luxury segment while Lotus is known for offering lightweight, fun-to-drive, and fairly affordable sports cars. There is also no overlap between the products of these two companies. The challenges include pooling engineering, purchasing, and assembly. However, Aston and Lotus would still require a potent automotive partner to succeed. It is difficult to estimate if coming together is a good enough idea.

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