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Proton May Sell Lotus In Near Future

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On: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 4:41PM | By: Chris Weiss


Proton May Sell Lotus In Near Future

Malaysian automaker Proton may be mulling selling off Lotus, if it's listening to investors. After owning the company for 15 years and not making a profit, many business folks believe the time to sell is now.

Increased speculation on Lotus's sale comes as Proton itself may be up for sale. A number of Malaysian companies are reportedly interested in purchasing the 43 percent stake of Proton currently held by state-owned Khazanah Nasional Bhd. If Khazanah sells Proton, prevailing wisdom indicates that a sale of Lotus is a matter of when, not if.

Lotus and Proton have always been a sort of odd couple. Proton specializes in small, affordable cars in the Asian market while Lotus specializes in expensive, high-performance sports cars with a global reach.

Despite specializing in innovative technologies like its lightweight design--design that has been purchased by companies like Tesla and Hennessey--Lotus has failed to turn a profit since Proton purchased it in 1996, according to Bloomberg.

Still, it seems like an odd time to sell. Lotus CEO Dany Bahar says that with continued investment from its parent company, Lotus will turn a profit by 2014. The company is set to launch a variety of new models within the next several years that will transform the brand back into a full-fledged supercar competitor.

As for Lotus' future, it could be bleak without proper support from its parent company. Behar said in an interview last month: "The only thing we can do is show the current owners, or the new owners, that we are absolutely in line with the business plan that we have presented. Without the funding support and the guarantees given by the Proton group, we would not survive, end of story."




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Stephy21 | 9:30AM (Fri, Jan 6, 2012)

It would be a shame to see this brand be sold but it might be the best thing for them since they haven't made any profit in like 10 years.



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