While Lotus brings a halo brand to the table, Proton’s primary business is manufacturing economy cars for the Asia-Pacific market. If Lotus were financially self-supporting, it might make sense for Proton to keep the brand.
But Lotus isn’t self-supporting, and it hasn’t made a profit for Proton since being acquired back in 1996. That makes Lotus CEO Dany Bahar (understandably) nervous, since he has ambitious plans for the growth of the brand.
How nervous is Bahar? According to Autocar, nervous enough to seek partners to buy Lotus from Proton. If you have the ability to fund the development of Lotus’ future products, to the tune of $785 million, Bahar would love to speak with you.
Bahar may be racing Genii Capital to take control of Lotus, since the firm is reportedly close to completing its due diligence of the Hethel, England automaker. Genii Capital already bought out Renault’s share of the former Lotus-Renault F1 team, now named simply Lotus F1 Team, and would love to include the automaker in its portfolio.
While it’s unclear which party will ultimately take control of the Lotus brand, it’s unlikely that Proton will remain its parent much longer.