It’s remained unclear whether Proton’s new owners DRB-HICOM will allow Lotus to continue as-is, modify the company’s management plans, or sell it altogether, and it appears it will stay unclear for some time. Autocar reports the Malaysian industrial conglomerate is not thinking about a sale, at least for now.
Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Bin Jamil, managing director of DRB-HICOM, paid a visit to Lotus headquarters last week, where he insisted to Lotus management and staff that selling wasn’t a priority. It appears he wasn't that reassuring. however, since he then turned around and said he would "never say never" to a potential sale. He revealed DRB-HICOM was currently brainstorming a plan for Lotus, and that it could take months before a decision is made considering the situation's complexity. Jamil said DRB-HICOM would continue to financially support Lotus in the meantime.
The Nofolk, England-based carmaker has been on shaky ground ever since the Malaysian government decided to divest itself of its stake in automaker Proton, selling those shares to DRB-HICOM. While shares were being transfered, Lotus entered a 60-day development freeze, which recently ended. Lotus has since gone back to building the Elise, Exige, and Evora sports cars (only the Evora is still available in the U.S.), prepping special edition models for the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, and developing a new V-8 engine and automated manual transmission for use in the future Esprit supercar.