Proton Dreams of Good Old Lotus
The reason is very simple: the Evora was the first vehicle launched by Lotus since 1995. Not quite an investor's greatest moment, some may say, yet Proton would like Lotus to build more cars not because of profit alone, but for the brand to get back where it once was: alongside Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.
"We believe Lotus's potential is in the branding. If you go across the globe, the brand recognition is very strong but we have not lived up to it," Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, the group's manager was quoted as saying by just-auto.com.
"Lotus was mentioned in the same sentence as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati in the 1970s-1990s. Then, it got closed into a corner. We believe it's the right time to bring Lotus back to where it was," Dany Taner Bahar, Lotus CEO added.
Aside for the attempt to release new models, Lotus will continue to be at the center of Malaysia's national carmaker development strategy. A first result, the high-torque pressure-charged performance engine may be ready as soon as 2011.
"We have reassessed the interaction between the two companies. No doubt there are gaps and weaknesses that need to be improved upon, but we are quite determined to make the collaboration stronger," Syed Zainal concluded.
For the aforementioned engine, a 1.6l unit, Malaysian companies will produce and deliver some 50 percent of the components. According to Proton, the new unit will have the same power as a 2.0l engine, with higher torque.