Lotus Owner Says Company Shakeup Is Complete, New Esprit Lost in the Process

The Malaysian owners of Lotus (and primarily Proton), DRB-Hicom have announced that they have completed the overhaul that the British sports car maker and engineering firm desperately needed, and is already reporting improved sales. They can already attest to the sale of 80 cars this year through May, which represents a significantly larger number than what was recorded in 2012, which yielded a yearly sales figure of 70 units. A report published on the Business Times confirms this through the quoted words of DRB’s managing director, Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil, who “spoke on the sidelines of the launch of Proton Preve in Jakarta on Thursday.” The high-ranking official revealed that it has taken them one and a half years to sort out “the negative aspects regarding Lotus’ financial, technical, image, marketing and product,” and the adopted measures have done the company a lot of good, but they have not been without casualties… Through this latest series of statements, a three-year program has been announced, which will have Lotus launching new versions of the familiar Elise, Exige and Evora. However, they are promising much better finished product variants “with improved technology, improved performance, improved quality as well as improved costing.” This means that the stunning new Esprit people were promised through the 2010 concept is officially dead too, along with all of the models presented alongside it at the Paris motor show. A new car will be launched in one month’s time, but frankly we’re not really that excited now knowing that Lotus’ Malaysian bosses aren’t willing and/or able to inject that much more than the £100+ ($153 / €116) million Autocar says they already have, and that there will be no properly new models for at least three more years… By Andrei Nedelea