Lotus CEO Expresses Alliance with Toyota for Global Expansion, Growth
The autoblogsphere is more than a bit perplexed with reports coming in that Lotus wants automaker giant Toyota to purchase it. Say what? Here’s the scoop. According to Autocar, Lotus boss Dany Bahar revealed that Lotus is helping Malaysian parent Proton develop a range of cars. Lotus’s British-based headquarters in Hethel is helping with several new models. One of those models is the global city car which debuted at the Paris Motor Show last fall. Much like Aston Martin’s need for the Cygnet to meet fuel consumption regulation, Lotus will need a version of the Proton city car too.According to Bahar, Proton “is getting the benefit [of owning Lotus] for the first time,” and the new hatchback will look like the concept, if it’s going to happen at all. Lotus needs its five-year plan to succeed if it wants to survive long into the future. Although owned by Proton, Bahar feels Lotus’s cars are too distant from Proton’s to be able to develop future cars that meet stricter emission and crash regulations. Even though it’s not up to him, Bahar would like Proton to sell Lotus to a larger manufacturer such as Toyota. This would give Proton and other investors a way out. Toyota may be the smart way to go because of Lotus’s extensive use of Toyota engines in its current cars. Lotus may have the upcoming Elite and Eterne built by Magna in Austria if its application for a UK regional development loan it needs to build a new factory at Hethel is rejected again. via Autocar courtesy of Motor Trend Staff
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