There have been many reports in the press since the weekend that Genii Capital are due to either invest in a stake of, or indeed take over Group Lotus from owners Proton. This appears to have hit a nerve in Malaysia and Proton have issued the following statement.
“MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE SPECULATION OF THE SALE (OF A STAKE) IN GROUP LOTUS
We refer to the news reports that have been circulating recently over the sale (of a stake) in Group Lotus.
PROTON hereby states that the alleged moves between Group Lotus and GENII Capital are untrue and that the news are highly speculative in nature. PROTON’s relationship with Group Lotus is as good as it has ever been. Through this positive synergy, our priority now is to ensure that the Lotus Business Turnaround Plan is executed according to schedule and that both parties are committed to its success. PROTON and Lotus have reached a juncture whereby the market is eagerly waiting for Lotus’ new products and all our energy and efforts have to be channelled towards achieving this critical goal.
Furthermore, the scope of Lotus’ involvement in F1 as title sponsor to Lotus-Renault GP is to create dynamic marketing and branding synergies.
PROTON does not wish to further entertain any unsubstantiated news of speculative nature and we hope this statement will put all speculation to rest.”
On our recent media briefing regarding the progress of the 5 year turnaround plan, Proton’s MD Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir explained that the parent company were pleased with progress to date and were fully behind Group Lotus. Rumours were no doubt fuelled by the request of Lotus Renault GP to change the chassis name of the F1 car which has been encouraged by Renault who sold the team 2 years ago. With Genii Capital as an investor in Group Lotus this may have eased the way with the FIA but for the sake of all fans we hope the naming confusion is cleared up sooner than later.
When asked to comment Lotus added:
“When we announced our return to F1 with Lotus Renault GP last December we made it clear that this was the start of a close working relationship with Genii and this journey continues.”
We’ll keep you updated with any more news as we have it.