Starting in May, you will be able to buy a Lotus again. That’s important for the employees and supporters of one of the world’s great enthusiast brands, since the recent 60-day financial freeze halted production of Lotus’ Elise, Exige, and Evora models, as well as development of the next Esprit.
The financial freeze is apparently a routine occurrence when Malaysian firms sell major assets; Lotus is now owned by Malaysia’s DRB-Hicom, allowing Lotus to resume its four-model, five-year plan for motoring domination, or at the very least relevancy, after securing a handsome investment from the new bosses.
“The past four months have been really tough for us,” said Dany Bahar, CEO of Lotus Cars. “We were working at a pace nobody had seen at Lotus for many years, so the shut-down, as I call it, was very hard for us. It is still not good, but it is where we are. My job is to convince our shareholders—and critics—that we can build a successful business here. But I’m feeling a lot happier now than I was a month ago.”
Bahar told Autocar that three model refreshes will be on-hand at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in June to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Colin Chapman’s awesomeness, as well as the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first Lotus Elan. And while that’s a positive start for the again-new Lotus, Bahar admits that DRB-Hicom has yet to decide how Lotus will move forward; will it modify its management plans, sell it?
We’ll be listening for colorful Bahar commentary in the weeks and months to come.