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Is Lotus Cars Ltd for sale?

By FaezClutchless on 01 Jan 2012

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When Proton acquired Lotus in 1996, many felt that it is hard to see something or anything with regards to the collaboration between the two companies. Lotus has always been an automaker which specialises in sports and racing cars while Proton builds economical sedans and hatchbacks.

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Perhaps it was an ideal business moment for Proton to acquire Lotus at that time and over the years; we could see that Proton has used Lotus’ handling technologies on their cars. But many do not know that Lotus has not been making any profits for its owners ever since and some analysts has predicted that Proton might be selling the British marque.

Initial hints of Proton might divest itself of Lotus appeared when Khazanah Nasional Berhad (the government-owned investment arm which holds a percentage stake in Proton) confirmed that they have received offers for Lotus. This speculation of a sale that might come has raised the company’s stock prices to almost 50% recently.

This is not the first time that someone or some company is interested in Lotus. In October this year, there were reports that Genii Capital was looking to acquire the British sports car maker. Genii Capital is also the part owner of the Lotus Renault GP racing team. Another rumoured candidate who is eyeing the British marque is Chinese company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

Proton denied those reports and stated that they are committed in Lotus’ US$750 million five year development plan. This plan which is currently in its second year will see new models from the company and one of them is the new Lotus Esprit.

The company mentioned that it will only be in 2014 that they will make any profit and in order to achieve this, Lotus has to sell around 8000 of their cars. In their last annual report, the company sold around 2000 cars and it looks like they have to increase their sales by four times its current level.

Lotus’ five year turnaround plan is probably the best way for the company to move forward and one of the things needed for this is a deep pocket which the current owner might not have.

Photo credit: Net Car Show

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

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