Group Lotus’s Malaysian owner, Proton, might consider selling the Hethel-based sports car maker to a major international car group that could provide the long-term backing it needs, according to Lotus CEO Dany Bahar.
The sale of the company would be an obvious option, says Bahar, once Lotus has launched several of the five proposed performance models it has planned, starting with the new Esprit V8 supercar in 2013.
“There are three clear options,” he said. “Proton could keep Lotus, float it off or sell it outright. It would be quite understandable if an owner that has invested so much wanted to see a return on its investment, especially if the buyer were a major car maker that could back Lotus for the long term.”
Bahar said Lotus is continuing to sell around 2700 cars a year and has met every one of its timetable and turnover targets. As a result, a recent visit to Lotus by Proton’s top management was “routine, with no surprises”.
Bahar made his comments ahead of Asian investment firms reporting that Proton should sell Lotus over the Christmas period.
As a vote of confidence, Proton bosses have extended Bahar’s own contract until at least 2015.