Lotus And Proton Sign Joint Venture To Produce Cars In China
Slowly but surely, it looks as though Lotus is clawing its way back to a stable position. The company posted a 55 percent increase in sales for the 2014/15 financial year, with 36 new dealerships established within that same time period. Now, it appears as though Lotus is looking to expand into new markets with a joint venture company that will build and sell Lotus models in China.
The venture sees Proton Holdings Berhad, the ultimate holding company of Lotus Group, joining with Lotus Group International Limited and Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co. Ltd. in a collaborative effort to bring Lotus cars to market in the People’s Republic of China, leveraging incentives put forth by the Fujian Provincial Government.
“The automotive market in China is the single largest in the world today, and is still growing, therefore it is only natural for an established iconic company like Lotus to embark upon the possibility of expansion, venture into the market and seek the available opportunities, in light of the keen interest shown by the many inquiries received thus far,” said Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah, Chief Executive Officer of Proton, in a recent press release. “It is very difficult to ignore the market and Lotus will fill the gap in providing a lifestyle alternative to the growing demands of the affluent and market conscious local community.”
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus And Proton joint venture.
Why it matters
It’s great to see Lotus come back from the brink after a rough couple of years that nearly put it under. What’s more, this new joint venture could indicate a change in direction for the automaker. If Lotus does well in China, we could see future models tailored to meet the demands of that particular market.
Personally, as long as the cars remain simple and with nothing added but lightness, I’ll be happy. By the way, that means no SUVs or crossovers (please). Unfortunately, one look at the popularity of these body styles suggests such wishes will probably go unfulfilled. But I guess if that means Lotus stays out of trouble and we can still buy updated examples of the classic British sports car formula, I suppose it’s all for the best.
Newly redesigned for sale in the U.S., the Lotus Evora 400 first dropped cover at Geneva this year. The car is slated to arrive on these shores as a 2016 model, and proves the automaker has what it takes to stay relevant and flexible when meeting the demands and regulations of foreign markets. The Evora 400 is Lotus’ Alfa and Porsche fighter, which means the two-door coupe comes with a Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V-6 producing 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque that enables a 0-to-60 run in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.
Read our full review here.