It’s been an interesting few days in the Far East for Lotus. At the weekend its Malaysian owner issued a denial that the famous British brand was for sale or about to go into receivership.
Then, at the Beijing motor show, Dany Bahar, chief executive of Lotus Group International, said the company is betting big on China.
It has signed a deal to sell its sports cars in the country with a Chinese partner and the Beijing show presented an opportunity to rejuvenate the brand here.
Bahar said Lotus is a famous name not only because of its cars but also its engineering excellence. “We are raising the brand equity back to its rightful place. Back where it was through the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
“We are not just showing our cars, we are launching a new dealer network. There is huge potential in China and I have no doubt that one day it will be our biggest market.”
To celebrate, Bahar unveiled a special edition model exclusively for the Chinese market. The V6-engined Lotus GTE will be made in limited numbers.
Meanwhile Salaiman Yahya, communications chief at DRB-Hicom, which owns Lotus, said that, contrary to reports, the British company will not be put into administration. It is currently undergoing an operations audit as part of the Malaysian business’s governance process.
He added: “DRB-Hicom has not decided to sell Lotus and we don’t know the sources of any of the speculation.”
DRB-Hicom is one of Malaysia’s biggest conglomerates with core business in automotive services, property, asset and construction sectors.