Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

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Podger
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Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by Podger » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Lotus's ambitious 'five-year plan' for a massive - and expensive - product revival to turn it into a profitable concern is looking shakier than ever. There are even whispers that the company could be put into administration in order to alleviate its �200 million debts.


Rumours really started to swirl around last week, when the Lotus F1 team ended a title sponsorship deal with Group Lotus, prompting suggestions that the F1 team's owner, Genii Capital, might be interested in buying out the Norfolk sports car maker. For its part Group Lotus says that the relationship with Lotus F1 is now as 'brand partners' and the mutual benefit derived carries no financial cost to either party.


But that's not all. According to an article by Autocar's Steve Cropley, DRB-Hicom, the new owners of Lotus parent company Proton, aren't convinced of the value of the Brit sports car maker and so could be looking to offload or dissolve the brand.
Were it to be offloaded, one of the leading suitors could well be China Youngman - a company that's already tried to bid for Saab, and that has been Lotus's importer in China for more than half a decade.

But how true is all this? As Autocar points out, Lotus has failed to deny the rumours of its problems, the 60-day period where Malaysian law demanded that Lotus's flow of cash was interrupted as Proton changed ownership is well and truly over, and Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is 'on leave' this week. The official line from Hethel would be that they are awaiting news themselves, hence the lack of any comment. ;)

Make of those facts what you will, but it does make Sniff Petrol's recent Bahar picture parody seem all the more realistic...

Tim , Have you got a receipt ??? ;)

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The83man
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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by The83man » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:27 pm

There are no surprises here really. As I see it there are four possible outcomes at the moment:

1. DRB-HiCom underwrite floppy blond hair's plans and Lotus carries on with its path upmarket and ultimate oblivion when it fails.
2. DrB-HiCom, unable to find a buyer who will take on �200m of debts simply fold it up and find a buyer for the profitable bits of Lotus Engineering.
3. Genii Capital buy Group Lotus and shelves FBH's development plans and carry on building lightweight sports cars
4. DRB-Hicom sell the name to China Youngman and we get the Lotus badge on a whole range of unsuitable devices built in China.

Having said that, with all the money flowing around China at the moment maybe China Youngman could underwrite FBH's plans or an alternative business plan to keep the company going in UK.

The Lotus name has too much kudos for any owner simply to kill it off I suspect so there will no doubt be some sort of rescue plan in there somewhere.

As regards the F1 Team, being title sponsor on the car is not the be all and end all for Group Lotus. After all, it was Colin Chapman himself who started calling his cars John Player Specials rather than Lotus. The current Team is still called Lotus F1 and they ARE 'Lotus' cars whoever the title sponsor is. If you were thinking of buying Group Lotus you would want to be able to call your cars 'Lotus' but you would want to find a BIG sponsor to livery the car for you. Satus Quo with most F1 Teams over the last forty years. Now THAT sounds like a plan to me and I wonder if Genii Capital think the same?
Mike Stripe

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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by SeanB » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:42 pm

Rockin all over the world!

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The83man
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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by The83man » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:05 pm

PMSL :grin: but you know what I mean!
Mike Stripe

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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by SeanB » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:01 pm

I do Mike and ' I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it, I liiiii-i-i-ike it' :)

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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by Mr Pesky » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:07 pm

Copied from Seloc:

Image

Take a little look at what we found online. Don�t you think it�s funny? We do. We had a good old giggle. After all, we love a bit of self irony, just as well really. Although it�s funny, this one�s not accurate but then again, why let the facts get in the way of a good story? The inconvenient truth is � surprise, surprise � we have never said that there are no problems at Lotus.

So whilst lots of people obviously feel the need to comment on Lotus� current situation in the absence of proper facts or evidence, we can�t ignore these particular mistruths any longer even if we would like to, so we have decided to turn a negative into a positive and use this hilarious piece of �art� to set the record straight regarding the status quo at Group Lotus and try to return a little stability to a fast changing situation.

False rumour #1: Dany Bahar is no longer CEO of Group Lotus.
Fact: Rubbish � Dany Bahar still is.

False rumour #2: Dato� Sri Syed is no longer Managing Director of Proton.
Fact: Again rubbish. He still is.

You can thank good old Tony Fernandes for these two. Don�t take everything he tweets too seriously � perhaps he�s still frustrated about owning Caterham instead of Lotus and the fact that he fights HRT and Marussia instead of Mercedes and Ferrari in F1.

And whilst we�re on the subject of jokes - do you know the latest F1 joke? Mike Gascoyne, Caterham Group�s Chief Technical Officer, has gone missing. Why? He�s looking for the 30 to 40 points he predicted for the last F1 season. Funny.

Speaking of F1: It seems that one special so called �independent� source is at the root of the lion�s share of damaging rumours and misleading stories. The delightful Joe Saward which leads us nicely to�.

False rumour #3: Joe Saward is JUST an independent journalist.
Fact: He is an active Director for the Caterham Group.

And unlike some, we don�t want to get too personal, so we�ll leave it to you to judge how �independent� his stories about Lotus are.

False rumour #4: Group Lotus is no longer involved in F1.
Fact: Lotus F1 Team and Group Lotus have reshaped their commercial relationship earlier this year. The new governance agreement signifies the continued commitment of Group Lotus to the team and the sport.

Group Lotus� branding and marketing rights and subsequent activities remain unaffected by the new agreement until at least 2017. Alongside continued branding and title partnership status, Group Lotus is also the exclusive master licensee for all Lotus F1 Team merchandise.

The new agreement was reached following Group Lotus owners Proton providing team owners Genii with a �30m loan which is repayable within three years. In order to secure the loan Genii used 100% of the F1 team�s assets as collateral meaning that under the conditions of the loan agreement Proton have been given full title guarantee to all plant, machinery, show cars, computers, office and the Lotus F1 Team headquarters.

In addition Proton retains the rights to purchase 10% of the F1 team. Another 10% share option will be activated if the team default on their loan obligations with Proton.

Again we leave it to your judgement how �bad� Lotus� current situation in F1 is. And speaking of bad situations�..

False rumour #5: Group Lotus is going into administration.
Fact: Rubbish. The takeover of our parent company Proton by DRB-HICOM couldn�t have come at a worse time, but up until that point Proton was (and still remains) fully committed to our five year business plan to create jobs and to expand the factory and business. With the takeover process the funding has been restricted and DRB-HICOM is taking time to understand what to do with the business. DRB-HICOM is currently in the middle of due diligence of Group Lotus and there have been and continue to be positive discussions between Group Lotus senior management and senior management at DRB-HICOM both here in Hethel and in Malaysia. At no point has DRB-HICOM indicated to Group Lotus that it intends to put the company into administration. The over-active rumour mill is seriously damaging our business reputation, image and credibility but it is what it is.

The simple fact is, and we haven�t denied this - Lotus is going through a very difficult phase at the moment but we are showing true fighting spirit every day in trying to keep this vision alive. This is also a fact � no matter what people outside of Lotus may say or tweet or blog.

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The83man
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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by The83man » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:20 pm

Rob,

Presumeably that is a Lotus statement rather than a SELOC one? Some interesting facts re-iterated. I for one hope that Lotus goes from strength to strength but it's a difficult time alright.
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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by Mr Pesky » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:42 pm

Mike

It's allegedly an official Lotus Press statement. Local BBC Anglia TV is supposed be broadcasting from Potash Lane at this very moment.

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MrBean
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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viability

Post by MrBean » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:21 pm

Yep just watched the programme ...I covers most of the Press statement from Lotus....
Must say DB and his Hype crew must be rattled as they are rubbishing the rumour mongers and doing a bit of sour grape criticism themselves which tells me they really are in trouble. oh dear..I hope I can get to the factory closure sale before Junks!
I really hope it does not come to that.

Sadly my pension (which has been raided by this out of touch government) will not allow me to make a bid but if we all put in a few bob???????
Adventure not Dementia

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Re: Pistonheads warning about Lotus ongoing viabil

Post by tim_marra » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:53 pm

Keep the faith people. No worries.





















:eek:

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