It is decided – DRB-Hicom will not be selling Lotus

It is decided – DRB-Hicom will not be selling Lotus

Remember that gag photo of Dany Bahar from sniffpetrol.com and the subsequent press release from Group Lotus? We covered it. Well, it seems that it could have carried some grain of truth because everything is fine and dandy in Lotus Cars… at least for now.

Autocar UK has recently reported that DRB-Hicom have opened up the cash pipeline and channelled it to Lotus Cars. This allows the Hethel-based company to produce cars at maximum capacity.

It is decided – DRB-Hicom will not be selling Lotus

The plan is to get the new Esprit, which is the first of the five new-wave models, to roll into showrooms by the end of 2013. It confirms our earlier post, except that the launch might not be in time for spring. The fates of the other proposed models are still in limbo.

The secured cash flow also means that Lotus will continue with the development of its own V8 engine and automated manual transmission. Production of the current Elises, Exiges and Evoras can also resume thanks to the lifeline.

It is decided – DRB-Hicom will not be selling Lotus

In regards to the recent report by Bloomberg that KPMG was appointed to “reevaluate Lotus with a view to sell” Dany Bahar said that there was “no fire sale, no selling process and no bidding.”

Dany Bahar’s stance has strong backing from DRB-Hicom, as stated in a Bernama report. The same report said that Group Managing Director Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil hired KPMG even before the acquisition of Proton.

It is decided – DRB-Hicom will not be selling Lotus

Autocar’s report also carried a comment, by Dany Bahar, that a top-ranking Proton employee, the CFO of Proton Group, has joined Lotus’ top management. It is move that the Lotus Cars’ CEO welcomes.

Read the full report by Autocar UK here.

Read Bloomberg’s report here.

Read Bernama’s report here.

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Chris Ng

Chris Ng believes that all cars are made equal, and each one has its own unique story to tell. As such, the ex-advertising man is here doing what he truly loves, which is authoring the allegories and anecdotes of automobiles. Having served time in a motoring mag, he believes there's nothing more sublime than keeping the pedal floored and things burbling in top gear.

 

Comments

  • RedBeanBun on May 01, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I am not surprise they are selling Lotus for $1 and said lots of debts with it…

    sounds familiar with the motorbike situation?

    No more Lotus handling claim in the future for Protong car…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Absolute Rider on May 01, 2012 at 10:33 am

      DRB-HICOM is not selling the Lotus. Read the news properly.

      By the way, Proton has their own PROTON RIDE AND HANDLING already. In Proton Preve, they (Protonians) developed their own already.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Wisdom on May 02, 2012 at 3:35 pm

        “Commenting on reports that DRB-Hicom had appointed a highly-placed Proton employee to Lotus’s top management, Bahar said the move was extremely welcome.”

        So Proton, what is the outcome? What is the details? Other than better handling, at least we should have a range of engine, not a repeatedly rejuvenated 1.6. They have their own designed V8 and we stuck with inline 4 with familiar displacement since 27 years ago? What has happened with that ‘technology transfer’?

        We are too lazy and incompetent until somebody from China sniffing their opportunity? Youngman can come up with commendable SUV design from Gen2 platform yet we keep on making sedan after sedan and even rebadge a mitsu sedan?

        You keep bragging your Preve having better NVH, better power, better features, yet the actual thing still somewhere behind foreign make, still have those whining sound, still unrefined, comes with lag (no matter what your excuse, there is lag below 2K rpm). Shoddy spot-welding. Questionable lower-arm/ drivetrain robust-ability.

        I seldom criticize Proton. But patient is subjected to wear & tear. Proton, you need to focus on REFINEMENT. Lets start with narrower tolerance, tighter specs for your part & production line. Focus on quality, not costing. Then we shall improve FIFO and tackle that 7 deadly waste in your warehousing.

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    • FedUpWithIgnorantPeople on May 01, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Utterly ignorant and idiotic comment. Lacking common comprehension of the English Language. “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • MoFaz on May 01, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Agusta at that time have €107 million debt. Technically, Gevi bought Agusta from Proton for €107 million. would it make it ‘sounds’ better if Proton pay the €107mil debt and sell it to Gevi for €107mil + €1? i doubt it could reach that price even if Proton has fully settled the debt. Because, a year later, Gevi sold Agusta for €93mil, €14mil lower than the amount of debt they assumed from Proton. Agusta has been ‘sold’ to new owner almost every year.
      Proton shouldn’t have bought Agusta in the first place. They haven’t heal Lotus which is still bleeding money, so Proton shouldn’t put itself to a risk of another injury. However, I would say that Proton has acted quickly to cut their further losses in this case.
      On another note, they have been using “Proton Ride & Handling” for Saga, Inspira and Preve.

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    • rosdi on May 01, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Mamat ni faham bahasa inggeris ke tak ni? Konfius aku.

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  • letstorque on May 01, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Way to go, Lotus.

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  • Ekspresi Ruang on May 01, 2012 at 9:35 am

    DRB-Hicom has made the right move as the Lotus brand is becoming more convincing among the motorsports lovers as they get an amazing results in F1 Bahrain. They should proceed with the Esprit assembly as soon as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Everyone one knows that “Lotus” in F1 isn’t really Lotus but Genii Capital running an F1 team. Their amazing results have nothing to do with Lotus or Dany Bahar and everything to do with Eric Boullier’s management and their continued partnership with Renault Sport.

      The reason DRB-Hicom should keep Lotus is that it’s a great engineering firm. Proton failed to make money off Lotus because they never used the company to make actual good cars with Lotus’s engineering expertise and have never been able to attract clients from outside the company (which is something Lotus always did). And I can see why:

      Proton: Dear major manufacturer, would you like to buy a dedicated platform or engineering solution from our business Lotus?
      Major manufacturer: Which great road-going cars have you guys been building for other companies?
      Proton: None. We have used Lotus exclusively to tune the suspensions and cylinder heads of our Proton brand cars, which we do not sell in the European Union or the United States, because they are outdated Mitsubishi Lancers.
      Major manufacturer: …!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • jolly_idiot on May 01, 2012 at 9:56 am

    So dr.M decided not to sell but to keep lotus.

    How bout DSZ resignation then? Still on?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • MoFaz on May 01, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Tun Dr. M can only advise, and he has no ‘final’ word whether to sell or not. He doesn’t agree to sell Agusta, but he can’t stop Proton from selling it to Gevi.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Unforgiven on May 01, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        I’m guessing you do not know who is Tun Dr. M and what is ‘final’.

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    • Unforgiven on May 01, 2012 at 11:00 am

      I wonder what Tun M is thinking, still want to continue silently, indirectly, unfairly taking advantages of the most? Where is the money from? It’s definitely legal but is it the clean way? If the car industry is Bersih without the above, do you know how many good cars we’ll buy?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • The “Tun” in front of Mahathir’s name means that if you hit him on the head with a baton, you can hear the sound “Thoooongg” ……meaning there is nothing left in his skull.
        So far he is among the very few malaysians who can survive and thrive without a brain.

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  • kusochon on May 01, 2012 at 11:35 am

    awesome news

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  • I understand the need to develop brand recognition and build their presence in the auto industry, but I thought Lotus is already doing well providing engineering consultancy and technology to other car manufacturers i.e. Tesla Motors and recently Infinity emerg-E concept. I think this is the area where Lotus channel their money to. The thought of new technology currently under development by Lotus i.e range extender is really exciting to me.

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  • Henry on May 01, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Lotus is a bottomless pit into which Proton will continue pouring money. They pourEd in 240 million Pounds not too long ago. How much does Lotus need this time?

    Don’t people find it strange that a third world country like Malaysia should be propping up a sick company in a first world nation like the UK?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • same old story isn’t it?
    As it was and will be, Malaysians are subsidizing Lotus’ losses yet can only dream of one day, maybe one day, drive a Lotus. Else, A certain reality, Malaysians will continue to pay higher prices for junk (relatively speaking) from Proton. Is that the identity we Malaysians can be proud of?
    Does anybody knows how much Mahathir’s family (the father of Proton) and the other politicians are making from milking us Malaysians?
    What’s new?

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    • Unforgiven on May 01, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      If you visit Sunway area, you’ll know who are the majority using 20″ on their ride, including SUV and MPV.

      If not mistaken, a piece of tyre cost approx RM20k on Tun M son’s car. RM20kk x 4 = RM80,000 to change a set of car tyres.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • MoFaz on May 01, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        Tun M son = majority??
        stop the lies, will you?.. i know 20″ tyres is hard to get in Malaysia but it can’t be that freaking expensive. i won’t just believe from hearsays like you. use your brain and think rationally. don’t assume others are as stupid as you.
        a set of 20″ tyres is around SG$3k. so 4 pieces is around SG$6k, or RM14k. it’s a lot cheaper in Malaysia, a piece only RM1500-RM3000.. so changing all 4 tyres would cost RM6k to RM12k only.

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        • Unforgiven on May 01, 2012 at 3:18 pm

          Sorry for the misunderstanding.

          20″ is approx RM1.8k a piece in Sunway area (on the road tyres)
          The majority is bumi in that area (the higher class, not rempit).

          The 20k a piece is for one of the Tun M son’s toy, just guess the size/type.

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        • Unforgiven on May 01, 2012 at 3:24 pm

          Tun M son is not stupid to use a 20k a piece tyre, the one that stupid is the one that do not know of such good tyre. Where did he get the money? Is it the stupid one that give him? Or are they force to do so in the unfair/indirectly taking advantages/policy business World?

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          • MoFaz on May 01, 2012 at 10:01 pm

            first you talk about tyres in Sunway and suddenly move to Bugatti’s tyre price… you won’t get that tyre in Sunway la..
            Mokhzani is Sepang International Circuit Chairman, also Exec Chairman of Kencana which deal in oil & gas sector. go ask him how much his monthly income la. he is 15th richest person in Malaysia with an estimated net worth of about US$560 million. can he afford Bugatti? of course he can.
            and you think all rich guy buy luxury cars under their name? most would buy with corporate registration, the car instalment, repair, petrol and everything else can be put under company expenditures and thus reducing the tax that they need to pay every year. you won’t get the same benefit under private ownership.

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          • Unforgiven on May 03, 2012 at 7:47 am

            So do you believe God made him one of the richest man? Or who/what?

            What is clean? Probably means free of corruption?

            What is unfair/indirectly taking advantages? Is it a form of corruption?

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          • MoFaz on May 03, 2012 at 3:53 pm

            what’s your problem? who do you think you are to judge people based on your ‘feeling’?
            go read about Lim Goh Tong history.. at the age of 19 he migrated to Malaysia with just few ringgit but later, he once was the richest man in Malaysia. and you, i don’t know how old are you but you just sit infront of your computer doing nothing besides talking bad about other people who work hard.

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          • Unforgiven you are definitely a keyboard warrior.. congrats for only believe what people say without find out it is true or not.. good job warrior!!!

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          • Unforgiven on May 02, 2012 at 8:22 am

            Not sure what’s your believe, but do you believe the money is completely clean? Legal probably yes.

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          • Definitely la not clean its oil n gas…for sure very dirty

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          • Do ur money u get is clean? Legal probably yes but i not so sure la

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          • Sapura kencana petroleum what it call now is 5th largest engineering, procurement, construction, installation & commissioning company by assets in the world…

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        • Hafiz on Jul 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

          Agree, while changing my tyres at Bridgestone Alor Setar…while waiting, walk around and i saw a porche changing sets of 20″ Potenza for RM3k each = RM12k..

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      • kivatt0024 on May 01, 2012 at 2:32 pm

        r u kidding with me….?? rm20k per tyre…??? including the rims ka…?? dafuq…

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        • Unforgiven on May 01, 2012 at 3:31 pm

          I’m guessing it’s more than RM80k.

          http://www.tyrepress.com/News/business_area/27/18526.html

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        • Rempit on May 01, 2012 at 5:19 pm

          Tayar kete Bugatti Veyron mmg le mahal,setanding le dengan rege kete dia..tak salah aku tayar Michelin Pilot Sport Pax System 245-690 R520 A (depan)&
          365-710 R 540 A (belakang)…Harga 20k GBP satu set….

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      • Paint on May 02, 2012 at 12:20 am

        You work hard, one day you can buy one tyre 20k. You want side mirror 100k also can. Don’t be jealous of other’s achievement.

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    • MoFaz on May 01, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      so what? Proton is not built in UK, but Lotus is. you think everyone in UK could afford a Lotus? you think without Proton, you’d be able to own a Lotus? hahaha…
      and what’s up with Malaysian “subsidising” Lotus? Proton took loan from banks to finance Lotus. taking a loan means that they have to pay it back. and i never know, or perhaps you think that banks in Malaysia is property of the rakyat…?

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  • wish them all the best. lotus should repay the trust given to them by producing cars that can sell in decent volumes to bring the needed returns.

    its been a while and people the world over are waiting…n waiting..

    lots of cynics out there, the brits themselves being the loudest. like that guy with the weird hairdo

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  • sean zx10 on May 01, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I have always known that lotus would not be sold even proton is pumping hundreds of millions to lotus without any benefits what so ever. It belongs to mohzani.. but still malaysians are bloody idiot!!! I want BERSIH again next month!!

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    • proton is not own by gov anymore…no more rakyat money..no more your tax money..suka hati dia la dia nak buat apa..lu sibuk apa?WTF!

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  • drMpower on May 01, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Danny is not DRB man.so what we may see in the future -given the fact DRB always has its own head appointee preference for each group- is the change at Lotus helm.

    Now let me offer something juicy. Push syed zainal to lotus. If he is that good -of course, he is- lotus will be protons n drbs cashcow. And he will be the living legend of someone from jungle clearance -as Clarkson used to call Malaysia- to make it big internationally if he can pull lotus through. A great win win.

    As for proton, appoint a new head.

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  • mystvearn on May 01, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This is very good news. DRB knows the value of Lotus. Hopefully Lotus can turn around soon like Landrover and Jaguar

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  • bmpower on May 01, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    This is a good news for car enthusiast .
    Bad for rakyat? wtf.. it’s not YOUR national car anymore.

    However DRB has to make it fast. Fast developing, fast refining, fast make all the model to be sell.

    I still do believe Lotus brand is good… and getting better.

    Some of us may hate Dany Bahar, but business wise, I think he got a good sense. Lotus can’t survive with only previous niche.

    Just like Lamborghini.. they now even make SUV. X-X

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  • LOTUS – Lots Of Thumb Up Soon !!
    Believe it !!

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  • Protonlotusiast on May 01, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    i do love this news..
    perhaps can take me as one of their board director..haha..i’m joking..

    we will give full support 2 u all at Lotus and also Proton..InsyaAllah

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  • driver on May 01, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    V8 and auto transmission?
    I wonder whether it’s better to channel it towards green supercar instead? hybrid?

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    • taboogen on May 02, 2012 at 8:22 am

      there is no such thing as green supercar when it burn more fuel then the average car on the road… for example, let say the bugatti veyron i green supercar… burn less fuel and less carbon emission, but still the fuel consumption is much higher then our normal daily driving car….

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  • albag on May 02, 2012 at 8:27 am

    so we have new Perkasa lightweight trucks engineered by Lotus soon… delivering goods will never the same again!

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  • Lotus already got over RM1 Billion loans from our local banks (read:rakyat money) and with additional internal funds from DRB then no reason to ask even more money!

    The trick question, why Protongkat should get annual RM400 million R&D grants from govt (read:rakyat money, again!) when Lotus already got huge fundings from both banks and DRB?

    Don’t tell us that not a single cent from Lotus loans can’t even be used to improve Protongkat global design!
    _____________________________

    Lotus Cars Limited Signs a Syndicated Financing Facility With Six Financial Institutions

    SUBANG JAYA, 15th APRIL 2011 – Signing ceremony held at the Proton Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam

    Lotus Cars Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PROTON Holdings Berhad, today signed an agreement for facilities amounting to £270 million extended by a syndicate of six financial institutions.

    The six financial institutions acting as lenders are CIMB Bank, Malayan Banking Berhad, Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad, Affin Bank Berhad and EON Bank Berhad.

    The agreement was signed by Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar on behalf of Lotus Cars Limited at a signing ceremony held at the Proton Centre of Excellence Complex in Shah Alam.

    Dato’ Sri Nazir Tun Razak, Group Chief Executive of CIMB Group, Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maybank, Tuan Syed Abdull Aziz Jailani Syed Kechik, Chief Executive Officer and Director of OCBC; Encik Adissadikin Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EXIM Bank, Dato’ Zulkiflee Abbas Abdul Hamid, Chief Executive Officer of Affin Bank and Mr Peter TC Chow, Head of Group Business & Investment Banking and Principal Officer of EON Bank – signed on behalf of their respective banks. The loan syndication forms part of the funding required to execute the five year business plan. With the closing of the syndication exercise, the external portion of the funding is now in place and, together with other financial resources, this step means that Lotus has successfully raised the required funding to realise the future plans.

    Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar said: “On behalf of Group Lotus, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to CIMB Group, Malayan Banking Berhad, Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad, Affin Bank Berhad and EON Bank Berhad for their support and, above all, confidence in our future plans.”

    “With the help of this external financing, we look forward to introducing our exciting new models to the world which will complement our current product range. I am confident that the execution of our business plan will mark the return of the iconic Lotus brand into the elite ranks of the world’s premium sportscar manufacturers and generate greater profitability and long-term financial sustainability for the company and its stakeholders”

    “I would like to thank our shareholders PROTON for the unwavering support and confidence in Lotus. I believe Lotus has a lot to offer to PROTON moving forward. As the future plans bear fruit, I am confident that PROTON will benefit in terms of branding, product development, and sales and marketing.”

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    • autojohndoe on May 02, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Because other national car makers also get the grant…

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    • Simple answer…the grant is use for r&d proton car…this one the easiest..loan is for lotus not proton…do u know how to secure business loan from bank..u need paper work for what money is use for…for sure there is no proton in the paper work except in owner info in business info part…rubbish la u talk

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  • PakAbu on May 02, 2012 at 9:21 am

    It seems that every “sports” car company has a “sugar daddy” or two…

    Ferrari —> Fiat
    Maserati –> Fiat
    Lamborghini —> Audi/Volkswagen
    Lotus —> Proton/DRB-Hicom
    Aston Martin —> Ford

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  • silver on May 02, 2012 at 9:53 am

    best of luck to lotus .. hope it will become a sucess story in a few years time..and is able to compete with the likes of ferrari and porsce..

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  • autojohndoe on May 02, 2012 at 10:32 am

    maybe… DRB will let VW to take care of Lotus…

    rejuvenating them like the Mini….

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  • Great News….Love It…i hope DRB will follow TATA steps in expanding JLR..which now contributes bulk of their profits to the parent company…

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  • kjryth on May 04, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    yes malaysia boleh ni

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