There have been a whole lot of rumours flying around this past week regarding one of the greatest names in the British car industry, Lotus. There’s been talk of a feud between Dany Bahar and Tony Fernandes along with rumours speculating that Bahar had left the company with immediate effect.
There have been further rumours about a financial crisis that has seen Lotus plunge into administration along with stories regarding the notion that Group Lotus has been dropped by the F1 team.
When any sort of high profile rumours begin to fly around, often the case is that more and more people offer, what can be, very negative opinions that only work in a detrimental way. Rumours then seem to become believed. With social media being such a powerful tool these days, giving anyone the ability to voice their opinion, more and more people are then able to influence a story. This inevitably leads to a reaction by whoever is at the centre of such rumours.
Group Lotus has therefore moved to dampen any more rumours that may fly around the blogosphere and social networks.
They released a statement: “The new Proton owners DRB-HICOM are currently in the middle of their due diligence of Group Lotus. There have been and continue to be positive discussions between Group Lotus senior management and senior management at DRB-HICOM both here in Hethel and in Malaysia…At no point has DRB-HICOM indicated to Group Lotus that they intend to put the company into administration and we welcome the opportunity to put that rumour along with incorrect speculation that production has stopped, that Dany Bahar is no longer CEO and that we are no longer involved in F1 to bed.”
They added: “Lotus is going through a very difficult phase at the moment but we are showing true fighting spirit every day in trying to keep this vision alive. This is also a fact – no matter what people outside of Lotus may say or tweet or blog.”
Now, as always, everyone will have an opinion – however, what saddens me as a lifelong car fan is the speed at which people seem to enjoy shooting down one of the greatest names in the British automotive industry. If, and that’s a BIG if, Lotus do go bust, it would be an immense injustice and incredibly sad. Let’s not forget that Lotus, back in the Colin Chapman days, almost singlehandedly transformed F1. Their innovation was clear for all to see and their cars were by far the quickest throughout much of the 60s and 70s as they dominated the sport winning seven Constructors’ titles and six Drivers’ titles during the two decades.
They’ve also, historically, built some of the best handling cars that me and you would be able to get motor insurance for, at reasonable prices too, such as the Elise, Esprit, Exige and Evora amongst many others. Their cars also have a certain appeal that’s difficult to explain – they’re just…cool. They were even used in James Bond films because they were so desirable. A white Esprit S1 was used in The Spy Who Loved Me as the iconic submarine car, whilst a red Turbo Esprit featured in For Your Eyes Only. The latter is still, today, one of the most stylish cars ever produced!
Lotus seem to be remaining upbeat and positive during what is certainly a tough time. Who’s with me in wishing such a legendary name and company well for the future?