Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lotus Looking to Partner with a Major Automaker Says Company CEO

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has made several changes to the storied British brand since he joined the company in 2009 and he’s not done yet. In a recent interview he made known his desire to see Lotus split off from its present Malaysian owner Proton, in search of a major global automaker – like Toyota.

According to Bahar, Lotus will need a partner in order to offset the cost of meeting strict new emissions ratings and crash tests. If a partner can’t be establish, Lotus could look at spinning off into a private company with publicly traded stock.

Rumors of a tie-up with Toyota are only too simple to generate with both automakers sharing a long-term partnership, with Toyota supplying engines in cars like the Elise since 1994.

Bahar’s plan is to build up Lotus as a serious rival to Porsche, with total sales reaching everywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 units annually by around 2015. In order to achieve this significant growth Lotus has already unveiled its New Era plan to expand several new models including a new Elise, an Esprit and even a possible city car, among others.

According to a report by Inside Line, the company is developing a latest aluminum tub to be shared across these models, which weights 220-lbs less than the 520 lb one used in the Evora.

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