The future of Lotus has been secured, with the brand’s Malaysian owner committing to a three-year investment program to rejuvenate the embattled British sports car maker.
DRB-Hicom managing director Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil told Malaysian media the company was determined to return Lotus to its former glory after spending more than £100 million ($166 million) to keep it alive and subsequently seeing its sales rise.
“We have cleaned up and we are moving ahead,” Jamil said, referring to the various financial, product planning and other problems his business inherited when it took over Lotus’s parent company, Proton, in January 2012.
He confirmed the ambitious strategy announced by former CEO Dany Bahar at the 2010 Paris motor show to release five all-new models over five years had been officially axed, with the brand set to focus on additional variants of its Elise, Exige and Evora model lines.
“We are coming out with the variants based on existing products – variants with improved technology, improved performance, improved quality as well as improved costing,” Jamil said.
He confirmed Lotus sold 70 cars between January and May this year, just 10 units shy of its total sales in all of 2012. Lotus is said to be gearing up to boost production to 40 vehicles per month, with plans to export up to 85 per cent of those vehicles.