Lotus’s new owner, DRB-Hicom, is seeking a Chinese buyer for the troubled sports car maker
Steve Cropley Autocar
25 April 2012

Group Lotus’s new Malaysian-based owner, DRB-Hicom, is actively seeking a Chinese buyer for the troubled engineering group and sports car maker, according to the South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

Bacon, whose constituency covers Lotus’s Hethel headquarters, 10 miles south of Norwich, says he understands global business consultancy KPMG has been retained as a “corporate salesman” to find a new owner for Lotus. He says the bombshell revelation emerged in last night “just before” an hour-long parliamentary debate on Lotus’s future began at 9pm. The debate was attended by MPs from neighbouring constituencies and Mark Prisk, minister of state for business, innovation and skills responded on behalf of the government.

The debate’s purpose, says Bacon, was to highlight the value to the Norfolk region of Lotus’s special technical skills and innovation culture, and to signal concern at the danger to Lotus’s 1200 Hethel-based jobs a change of ownership could bring. Bacon claimed the employment contract of Lotus CEO Dany Bahar contains a financial incentive to find a buyer for the company.

Bacon further pointed out that a few hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent meeting with Proton boss Dato’ Sri Syed Zainal, aimed stressing the UK government’s view of the extreme importance of retaining Lotus’s skills and jobs in Norfolk, Zainal had travelled to China to seeking a new owner for Group Lotus.

Mark Prisk, the minister, said the government recognised the need to “keep talking at all levels on this important issue” and made it clear that a grant of around £10 million to assist Lotus’s much-publicised expansion plans had been placed “on hold” since the DRB-Hicom acquisition, and would remain so until the situation clarified.

Join the debate

Comments
29

25 April 2012

Well I hope Lotus are saved and can have a good future under Chinese ownership. Awaits the not Lotus any more, just unsafe cheap and nasty Chinese car comments.........

6 December 2012

Thanks for taking the time to discuss that, I feel strongly about this and so really like getting to know more on this kind of field. Do you mind updating your blog post with additional insight? It should be really useful for all of us.            luxury villa st lucia

31 December 2012

I think that thanks for the valuabe information and insights you have so provided here.
      Relationship Advice by Abberley Capital

25 April 2012

So, as widely forecast.

jer

25 April 2012

The Chinese want value and intellectual property, they'll pick over the scraps and reconstitute it in China after the financial failure and so avoid investing in the West. I'd be desperately looking for alternatives although hard to see what they are - McLaren partnership? maybe some cultural issues, Aston Martin not enough money, Koreans don't need Lotus anymore, Europe skint, Japan likewise it starts to look gruesome. Perhaps Fiat/Ferrari/Maserati could fit Lotus into their stable and add some value?

25 April 2012

Are we going to get another crazy press release denying everything and proclaiming Steve Cropley to be a plant at Autocar by Caterham, trying to destabilise Lotus?

25 April 2012

"Perhaps Fiat/Ferrari/Maserati could fit Lotus into their stable and add some value?" A new FIAT coupe based on an Exige fitted with the 1750Tbi engine? Yes please!

25 April 2012

...Or a crazy press release heralding the arrival of four, five, six or is it even seven new models under the company's new Chinese masters - a new 'full-service' Lotus building everything from an eco-pod to a Ferrari Enzo rival while revitalising the F1 team - followed by a breathless editorial declaring that Hethel is (geddit!?!) back on track?

25 April 2012

Well the anti Chinese remarks have started already, we only have ourselves to blame for buying foreign cars and the fact that our country is skint. Proton have given Lotus years of making good cars like the Exige et al, but at the end of the day they are a tiny car company in a forest clearing, they do not have the finance to support Lotus. China has lots of money to invest, so it will hopefully be great for Lotus. Crossed fingers.
Editing by Nick Hossack

25 April 2012

Moderation warning
Steven211 - watch your language please.

Senior product manager - autocar.co.uk

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again