Lotus Overlooked For Government Loan, Snags Private Funding

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
lotus overlooked for government loan snags private funding

The South Norfolk Regional Growth Fund has denied Lotus’s request for a £27.5m loan intended for expansion at its Hethel headquarters, reports Autocar. In a statement the sportscar firm, which is in the midst of a major turnaround, said

Despite the clear synergies between Lotus’s growth plans and the fund’s objectives to enable private sector organisations to invest in projects that would create jobs and secure long-term growth, the bid team decided that the money was better invested elsewhere

Now why would that be? After all, even Lotus’s own adviser, Bob Lutz, gives the firm a 60% chance of success. What investment could possibly offer better odds than that? But don’t cry for Lotus. The firm’s parent company, Indonesian automaker Proton, has secured some £270m in private loans from six banks with which to fund the brand’s turnaround. The only question now: will the funding shift from British taxpayers to Asian bankers mean a shift in production away from the UK, as Lotus had threatened might happen if the RGF loan didn’t come through? There’s no word on that yet, and based on Lotus’s desire to loft its brand into Porsche/Ferrari territory, we’d have to argue against leaving the country that birthed the brand.

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4 of 6 comments
  • Willman Willman on Apr 15, 2011

    I don't know the specifics of the particular loan they applied for, but AB outlined that both Jag and GM did get a bunch of loans from the UK one way or another. It seems a real short-sighted shame that Lotus didn't get a UK loan. -I mean if they don't qualify, who does?

  • Tallnikita Tallnikita on Apr 15, 2011

    those things looks pretty good for a Mitsubishi...ok seriously, they look hot in better photos. when will we see Lotus taxis in Monaco?

  • ExPatBrit ExPatBrit on Apr 15, 2011

    Yes Proton is definitely Malaysian.

  • Wallstreet Wallstreet on Apr 16, 2011

    Agree. Proton is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Someone drops the ball on this article