18 January 2005

Caterham Cars has a new owner. After more than 30 years, the Nearn family have shocked sports car lovers by announcing its sale – back to a man from Lotus. The new managing director is former Lotus general manager Ansar Ali, who worked at Hethel until last week. He is joined by several other ex-Lotus personnel and financed by the private equity firm Corven Group. Ali told Autocar that his new team ‘did not have grand ideas and would sink more money into the new CSR model (right) ahead of its launch this spring. The deal has been 12 months in the making. The price is believed to have been around £4m – for a firm which builds around 500 cars a year. Outgoing managing director Simon Nearn will stay on as a consultant.

‘This is an emotional time,’ said former owner Graham Nearn. ‘It is both reassuring and fitting that the new owners should come from Lotus, where the Seven story began.’

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