Lotus Press Release Addresses Media Controversy Head-On

Throwing a curve ball right down the media’s throat, Lotus issued a press release today that aimed to disarm and diffuse the flurry of speculation and jokes.

It did so by writing in completely unacademic, and some might argue, unprofessional style. Above the text, a borrowed copy of Sniff Petrol’s satirical photo (seen above) that portrays CEO Dany Bahar as “Baghdad Bob,” Iraq’s ex-information minister notorious for insisting things were fine.

Here’s a quick recap of what lead into today’s hilarious SNAFU.

Lotus hasn’t ever been much of a money maker for its parent companies, in fact it’s been quite the opposite. That’s why questions about the company’s future promptly popped up when Lotus’ Malaysian parent company Proton was bought by DRB-HICOM.

Since then, many pokes, jabs and speculations about both the state of the company and its future fueled a flurry of media speculation and finally a press release from the company hoping to set the record straight.

Unfortunately for them, dropping the gloves and writing candidly looks a little like a hissy fit. While that was almost certainly not the intent, it’s easy to see how the release, which the company posted on its Facebook page, could be taken that way.

Sure, it’s a little hot-headed and maybe a bit of a bad move, but it’s nice to know that Lotus, a company known among auto journalists as being a group of passionate car guys above all else, dropped the filter for a bit and made fun of itself.

The release addresses five rumors which the company says are all false. Those issues range from people saying Bahar is no longer the CEO to accusations of serious journalistic bias, and finally the big one: its future as a company.

“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,” the release said. “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.”

Closing on an almost pleading note, the release acknowledges and addresses Lotus’ recent hardships, saying: “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.”