Proton has issued a statement saying that parent company DRB-Hicom will not sell Lotus – but has added that it is continuing to evaluate the existing business plans and financial position of the company.
Proton's chief executive chairman, Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, is quoted as saying: "We acknowledge that Lotus can provide value to Proton. Lotus is an iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce."
The statement added that Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil met with local MP Richard Bacon and Business Secretary Vince Cable recently.
“They were both very supportive of our views and developments with regard to the future plans for Lotus. And subsequent to the meetings, the British Government has agreed to consider reactivating the £10 million Regional Growth Fund pledge to support Lotus’s vehicle development plans in Norfolk," said Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil.
The statement ended with another quote from Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jami suggesting DRB-Hicom is committed to the firm for at least the medium term.
He said: “Both Proton and DRB-Hicom will continue to review the existing business plans and financial position of Lotus in taking Lotus forward in the immediate to medium term. DRB-Hicom has sent in a team comprising local and international consultants to Lotus from March 2012 to conduct an operations and legal audit on Lotus group of companies.”
The statement follows the revelation that Lotus boss Dany Bahar has been suspended, pending an investigation following a complaint about his conduct.