SA's premium automotive magazine

Lotus drops ambitious plans

Not too long ago Lotus revealed ambitious plans to build five all-new sportscars and take the fight to more premium manufacturers. Now, however, those plans have been dropped for a more realistic business plan. Dany Nahar, the former CEO of Group Lotus, was the originator of the ambitious proposal, but was ousted for his efforts.

The plan was on hold in any case, and had been so since the beginning of the year when Lotus’ parent company, Proton, was sold to DRB-Hicom. After Bahar was fired, DRB-Hicom took over the day-to-day running of Lotus and Aslam Farikullah was brought in as chief operating officer.

Banking sources have said that a new business plan has been has been submitted to Lotus’ six main creditors and it is said to be “much more realistic” than the plan Bahar was responsible for. That plan was referred to as “basically unworkable”. The plan remains a secret, but it is clear that Bahar’s ambitious five-car proposal is no longer on the table.

That’s not to say that all five of the new sportscars will be axed. Chances are the Esprit supercar will survive as it was the only one of the models in development, but it’s highly unlikely that it will have a Lotus-developed engine and gearbox, which was the original plan. Moreover, Lotus has previous experience in the Esprit’s market segment – that was not the case with the luxury sedans and hybrid GTs that were planned.

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