Lotus to resume full production after securing enough investment from DRB-Hicom

Article by Andrew Christian, on April 28, 2012

Within the next few days, Lotus Cars will be able to resume full production at its assembly plant in Hethel after securing an adequate amount of investment from DRB-Hicom, its new Malaysian owner. Lotus will also now continue to prepare for the launch of the Esprit supercar (the first of its new-wave models) before 2013 ends.

Amendments had to be made to the four-model, five-year plan made by CEO Dany Bahar due to a 60-day financial “freeze”, which is routinely done when Malaysian companies sell major assets. The “freeze” had disrupted the flow of agreed development funds and led to major production delays. From the start of May, Lotus will be producing Elises, Exiges and Evoras at a combined weekly rate of 44 cars.

It will continue to invest in developing the Esprit, its own-design V8 engine and new automated manual transmission. For now, the other new models will have to be put on hold. However, Lotus expects to conduct the launch of a minimum of three improved versions of current models in time for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, in June, as the “chosen” marquee for this year.

Lotus is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the date when the first Lotus Elan was launched. Bahar rejects recent claims made by local MP Richard Bacon during a parliamentary debate that the business consultancy KPMG is looking for a buyer in China for the company.

Bahar said, “It’s just not true.” He denies the presence of a fire sale or a bidding. He also said that no selling procedure has been done. He said that he doesn’t have any authority to sell Lotus since he is only an employee and not a shareholder. [source: Autocar]

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