Home / Auto News / News article: Lotus CEO Denies Plans To Spin Lotus From Proton - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Jun 02 2011, 5:31 PM


Lotus impresario and well-coiffed CEO Dany Bahar has denied reports that he’s planning to divorce Lotus from its Malaysian parent company Proton—right after he mentioned that, well, he might.

During a recent interview, Bahar mentioned that he wanted to bring Lotus up to Porsche-killing standards, and in order to do so, he would have to leave Proton behind and shack up with a bigger sugar daddy, one capable of treating Lotus right. That company, he suggested, was Toyota: given Lotus’s now-tradition of using their engines, it only made sense.

But according to Bahar himself, “Proton has played, and continue to play, a crucial role in our development.” His vision for Lotus’s five-year plan includes Proton every step of the way, including Proton’s help in securing funding for Bahar’s next two-door/mid-engined/aluminum-spaceframe sedan/SUV/Cayman-killer GT/track-ready city car project.

“We have an incredibly strong relationship with Proton, they support us 100 per cent and frankly this is really important for a company like ours,” said Bahar.” Part of the business plan is the joint development of a global small car platform meaning that for the first time in the Proton Lotus history, the relationship will be mutually beneficial. This alone should demonstrate how close we are.”

Let’s hope that pre-nup’s still valid.

  • John Harper

    It’s been widely reported that Mr B made it clear Toyota engines were not prestigious enough for his highly unlikely future Lotus range. An unusual way to woo a preferred parental partner…

    Danny-boys particular pipe dream to turn our rather special specialist sportscar maker into “just another” Supercar manufacturer has so far lacked any real credibility. Most reviews of his all-new Lotus range criticized it for having little to do with any of the unique selling points Lotus is known for, for being an overly ambitious and therefore highly unlikely undertaking, and even as nothing more than a feeble attempt to sell (offload) Lotus on to its next (Chinese?) parent…

    With all the money being spent in court battles with others over use of the Lotus name, you can’t help but feel there is a lot of “fiddling while Rome burns” going on. It seems a lot of money is being wasted which the previous, old-school, Lotus management could only have dreamed having to invest. The likes of Mike Kimberly are presumably now credited with keeping Lotus as a loss-making, microniche-filling loser. But perhaps they were actually being highly successful at continuing to do what Lotus does best, low volume, low profit, specialist cars that have very limited appeal to a very small but appreciative market.