There’s good news for those that drooled over the five new models that Lotus showed off at the Paris Motor Show last year.
Malaysia's national carmaker Proton has secured £270 million (R3-billion) from six banks to fund a five-year turnaround for Lotus, which it owns.
Proton’s MD said the money will primarily be used for product development, and that part of the loan will be used to upgrade the Lotus facilities in Norfolk in England.
Under the five-year plan, Lotus aims to almost boost production to 8000 cars a year after 2013 by launching the aforementioned five gorgeous new models (Esprit, Elan, Elite, Elise and Eterne).
Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar said with the new financing, the sports car maker will be able to introduce these much needed new models to bolster sales.
Bahar said the new Esprit was expected to be rolled out in March 2013 and hopes it will help Lotus break even in 2014. He added that Lotus currently sells at least 3000 units a year with two models.
Proton bought a controlling stake in the British sports and racing car maker in October 1996, but it has remained debt-ridden since then, although the Malaysian firm last year said it was committed to turning it around by 2015. -AFP & IOL