Lotus Cars Resumes Production and Development, Denies Reports of Potential Chinese Buyer

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Lotus Cars can continue building cars and developing future products, after the company was forced to halt its operations temporarily due to financial regulations. Autocar reports that the company can now build about 44 cars per week, with volume composed of the Elise, Exige, and Evora.

While shares of Lotus where being passed from Malaysian company Proton to DRB-Hicom, Lotus was supposed to enter a 60-day development freeze. That meant that company couldn't build new road cars, and also couldn't work on its new V-8 engine and automated manual transmission for the future Esprit supercar. The pause was supposed to let regulators and investors perform "due diligence" on the company. Now, however, Lotus has received enough funding that the company can proceed with work as normal.

Lotus will show off special-edition models of existing cars at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June -- Lotus is the festival's "chosen" marque this year, and 2012 represents both the 60th anniversary of the company and 50th anniversary of the Lotus Elan.

Despite rumors he might be forced out, Danny Bahar remains CEO of Lotus. Countering suggestions that DRB-Hicom might try to sell Lotus to a Chinese investment group, Bahar told Autocar that, "There is no fire sale, no selling process and no bidding." Bahar says, however, that it's still unclear whether new owners DRB-Hicom will allow Lotus to continue as-is, modify the company's management plans, or perhaps sell it altogether.

Bahar also clarified reports that Lotus would go into a partnership with Chinese company Youngman. The latter had registered a business in London, and the companies had considered offering technical support for Chinese-market Youngman cars that would be "Engineered by Lotus." But that plan has fallen through, according to Lotus CEO Bahar: "Our two companies started talks with the aim of doing new products under a different logo, but it is now very unlikely that we will finalize the deal."

Source: Autocar

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