The last time we heard about Proton, our own Jack Baruth was flying nearly 23,000 miles to go drive a diminutive, Mitsubishi-based Proton hatchback in a Malaysian time-trial series. Proton may be best associated with their Mitsubishi partnership, but the two parties went their separate ways long ago.
Another inspiration for wet dreams of easily impressed juvenile car bloggers is dying, is bleeding to death and has a “do not resuscitate” note nailed to the head. Lotus has been given up for dead.
Blogs from autoevolution all the way to our sister pub Autoguide reprint the happy PR fluff that Lotus wants to “boost sales five times by 2015.” With sales crawling along at homeopathetic 1,043 units allegedly produced in 2012, making 5,000 by 2015 doesn’t sound like such a big deal. Trust me, it is if you want to sell them also. By 2015, the Lotus cars will still be sitting on technology that is ripe for the museum, and there is no relief in sight. Only poor car bloggers would be a target group ripe for a 20 year old Lotus – if sold used, preferably with a salvage title. (Read More…)
Ahead of their crucial announcement outlining the future of Proton, parent company DRB-Hicom (also of Lotus fame) has announced that they will partner with Honda, after a long courtship process that involved numerous auto makers.
A massage parlour and a car wash outlet in the Sunway Mentari suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, engaged in a flourishing joint venture until it was disrupted by police last week. After nine car washes, customers received a free detailing – but not of the car. (Read More…)
Uh-oh: Our colleagues and fellow market watchers in Malaysia were waiting and waiting for market data for the month of July, but none arrived. With August about to end, they stared to ask questions. They were told there won’t be any data. No, it wasn’t because Malaysia suddenly is like Europe. In the Old Country, July data traditionally are supplied in September,because Europe is on vacation in August.
No, it was because Proton suddenly refused to supply its data. (Read More…)
As you read this, an old friend of mine is probably packing. Who knows, he could already be in the air. He was Volkswagen’s boots on the ground in Malaysia, the many times VW wanted to get its boots on the ground in Malaysia. Last time they tried in 2007, they disrupted Dirk’s retirement and sent him to Kuala Lumpur, where dealers of fake watches greeted him as the old friend he was by that time. German media says, Volkswagen did not give up and they are trying again. (Read More…)
Lotus’ new owner, Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom, has revised their future model plans, reducing the scale of former CEO Dany Bahar’s ambitious 5-car lineup.
Lotus CEO Dany Bahar’s 14 day suspension is set to expire on Monday. We have no idea what will happen next. He may get the boot, taking his ambitious five-year product plan with him. Or he may not. Putting the pieces together since Lotus was taken over by DRB-Hicom has painted an interesting picture, while still leaving the future of Lotus up in the air.