small_lotus_logo.jpgProton Holdings Bhd is setting up a special unit to fully capitalise on it’s UK subsidiary Group Lotus, part of Group Lotus’ five-year turnaround plan. The unit, to be comprised of people from both Lotus and Proton is in it’s final planning stages.

Part of Group Lotus’ plan to turn around in 5 years include producing it’s own sports cars like the Elise and Exige, producing Lotus-branded versions of third party production cars like what they did with the Lotus Carlton as well as engineering consultancy. It needs all of these revenue streams to turn around. Lotus already has engine and chassis engineering deals with 4 Chinese car markers including Nanjing Automobile Corp which owns MG Rover. Lotus also has a deal to manufacture the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car by American company Tesla Motors.

Lotus’ deal with Nanjing will help modernise MG’s range of cars, with the first fruit of the collaboration to be a new MG TF, with a MG ZT following up later in 2008. Besides that, MG Rover’s K-series motor will be upgraded to meet the latest European Union emission standards.