Lotus‘ Malaysian owner DRB-Hicom is seking a Chinese buyer for the brand as recently as last night, flying in the face of information included in the automaker’s much-publicized “rant” press release from April 12.
According to British Member of Parliament Richard Bacon, the news emerged just before a parliamentary debate meant to discuss Group Lotus’ future and the 1,200 British jobs consequently concerned.
In the April 12 release, Lotus said that it had no indication from DRB-Hicom that it would be put into administration, but that the new owner was performing its due diligence. While administration and being put up for sale are two completely different things (administration refers to a company being run by an external, independent source), it would seem like a logical assumption that selling the company would be even further form the horizon.
Then again, maybe not. The release said due diligence was being performed — not that it had been completed. It’s conceivable that during said review, a sufficient list of issues emerged to make Lotus seem like a poor choice to keep on board.
Bacon also said the debate aimed to counteract exactly what seems to have happened in the hope of saving the jobs Lotus provides. It’s difficult to know exactly what this means for the marque, but it hasn’t sold yet. Should that happen, it could signal an era of new Lotus vehicles, or just its absorption into a Chinese automaker’s automotive technology vaults.
Finally, it’s important to remember that DRM-Hicom hasn’t made an official statement about the sale yet. Nothing has actually happened and there won’t be a sale without a buyer.