MALAYSIA: Proton reiterates: no plan to sell Lotus

By Dave Leggett | 29 May 2012

Lotus parent Proton has reiterated that its holding company DRB-Hicom Berhad is not selling Lotus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Proton, despite recent media reports to the contrary that have followed the suspension of Lotus CEO Dany Bahar.

Executive Chairman of Proton Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil said: “We acknowledge that Lotus can provide value to Proton.

"Lotus is an iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce.”

Earlier this month, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil visited Lotus facilities at Hethel in Norfolk. In conjunction with the visit, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil also had constructive meetings with South Norfolk MP Mr. Richard Bacon and British Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable.

Commenting on the meetings, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil said: “They were both very supportive of our views and developments with regard to the future plans for Lotus.

"Subsequent to the meetings, the British Government has agreed to consider reactivating the GBP10m Regional Growth Fund pledge to support Lotus’s vehicle development plans in Norfolk.”

DRB-Hicom has engaged outside consultants to assist with a detailed review of Lotus and its ambitious growth plans. Bahar's suspension is seen by some as a sign that Bahar's plans for Lotus are being viewed unfavourably by the new owner.

See also: UK: Lotus chief suspended 'to facilitate investigation into conduct'