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Lotus business plan ‘to be cut back’
Lotus’ business plan for a new five-model line-up first announced at the 2010 Paris Motor Show under sacked CEO Dany Bahar’s tenure is to be reigned in, according to reports.
DRB-Hicom – the new owner of Lotus’ parent company, Proton – has taken over day-to-day running of the business following Bahar’s dismissal last month and is thought to have submitted a new business plan to Lotus’ six main creditors.
The proposal has been described as much more realistic than the original five-model strategy first unveiled nearly two years ago, although Lotus and DRB-Hicom are yet to confirm exact details.
The original idea was to develop five vehicles, named the Esprit, Eterne, Elise, Elan and Elite, with a sixth city car to be added alongside the lightweight sportscars, super-coupés and GTs.
The vehicles were slated to be powered by a Lotus-built 5.0-litre V8 engine mated to a gearbox of the firm’s own design and construction. However, financial difficulties in securing the backing to fund the research and development of the project meant the model line-up never really took off.
Only the new Esprit model made any significant steps forward in terms of development and testing since the announcement, pointing towards the fact that this could be the only model to survive the axe.
A new Esprit would give the marque a flagship supercar to head up the rest of the recently overhauled model line-up, and unlike the other luxury saloon, GT and hybrid vehicles, is an area of the market in which Lotus boasts significant experience.
The initial manifestation of Lotus’ contraction of its far-reaching business plan is the imposed redundancy of 50 contractors thought to be working on new projects rather than existing products.
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