Sale of Lotus not being considered now by DRB-HICOM

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 16, 2012

The fate of Lotus is unclear as it’s not known yet what Proton’s new owners DRB-HICOM are planning. The possibilities include selling Lotus, modifying its management plans, or simply not changing anything about Lotus. According to an Autocar report, a sale isn’t being considered now. At Lotus headquarters last week, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Bin Jamil, managing director of DRB-HICOM, paid a visit.

He told Lotus management and staff that its priority wasn’t to sell the company but then, he said that he won’t say “never” to a sale. He divulged that DRB-HICOM was presently creating a plan for Lotus, and that it may take months before a decision could be made.

This is due to the complexity of the situation. Jamil said that for now, DRB-HICOM will continue to give financial support to Lotus. Ever since the Malaysian government chose to divest itself of its stake in Proton and sold those shares to DRB-HICOM, the British company has been on shaky ground. While the shares were being moved, Lotus implemented a development freeze for 60 days. This had ended just recently.

Since then, Lotus has returned to producing the Elise, Exige, and Evora sports cars (the Evora is the only one still available in the U.S.). Lotus has also been working on special edition models for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this June, and is now developing a new V-8 engine and automated manual transmission that will be fitted on the future Esprit supercar. [source: Automobile]

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