Lotus Owes Suppliers Nearly $37 Million

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
lotus owes suppliers nearly 37 million

A report in The Independent revealed that Lotus owes supplies nearly $37 million and has even asked for tax payment deferments to help manage its cash flow.

The Independent paints a picture of parent company DRB-Hicom having to clean up the mess left by the former management team employed by Lotus.

“DRB-Hicom, the owner of the Norfolk sports car maker, was not available for comment, but sources close to the company said many of the outstanding issues – including payments to suppliers – relate to the previous management. They added that in some cases DRB-Hicom is challenging some of the arrangements with suppliers over previous contracts where there are concerns over quality control. But they also repeated that DRB remains fully committed to the plant at Hethel, its workforce and turning Lotus around into a self-reliant and global brand.”

The Independent does cite internal financial statements view by the paper as confirming that Lotus does owe the $37 million. The report also listed revenues of $72 million, and overhead costs totaling nearly $56 million.

Irrespective of the direction that Lotus is headed in product-wise, their financial situation is precarious at best. While everyone is out arguing over the heritage and authenticity of the brand, the flimsiness of their balance sheet appears to be something that everyone can agree on.

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  • Why does Lotus even exist? I guess at this rate they won't for very long.

    • See 2 previous
    • @rwb Nope - didn't try either. Maybe BANKRUPTCY will convince them to build something more practical? Or simply go extinct.

  • Herb Herb on Oct 09, 2012

    To live on the brink of bankruptcy - isn't that a company tradition?

  • Buckshot Buckshot on Oct 10, 2012

    "Maybe BANKRUPTCY will convince them to build something more practical? " You can´t say "Lotus" and "practical" in the same sentence. They have always been like that, impractical like a sportsbike. They make niche cars and i hope that they can continue like that.

  • Boxerman Boxerman on Oct 10, 2012

    Not sure what is meant by "practical" I have an elise it has a toyota engine, so its reliable. Everything else about the car is as one poster said specialised more like a sportsbike. Other than a porche GT3 this is the one car you can track with just a pad change and tires. It also drives like no other even on the street. So yes if "Practical: means another car like an aston, maserati or porche 991, in otherwords another expensive to run, numb steering too heavy Gt car in sportscar masquerade trading on past racing glory, then all Lotus would become is another me too "brand" for poseurs in a crowded market. What lotus has always been about is light cars with modest power great feel and giant performance. It seems to me that in these more austere and eco freindly times that Lotus ocupies a great niche. What they might need to do is get better build quality, modernise the concept(the elise is 15 years old) and more distribution with a bit of BS marketing/heritage thrown in. I dont see where a front engined Gt is going to work for them compared to porche ferrari aston maserati. As proof of this niche look at all the hubba over the alfa 4c a car that appears to be in the Lotus mold and will likely sell in some numbers. Lotus needs to develop the elise concept furter. CF tub more evocative motor (like say a honda or subaru turbo) better build. They dont necessarily need their own bespoke motor, there is so much good off the rack stuff these days, and buying a motor saves development costs and keeps price down. the elsie formula worked great. The Evora also drives great, but tries to compete pricewise with a porche, which it cant, because of build, motor and distribution. But its development is paid for already, they can do lighter versions, the back seat concept was a joke anyway, and a bit more dramatic styling as per some of the special versions they have displayed. The car is fiberglass so make it look cool for the same $$$, why charge more. Lastly there were some cosworth headed versions with close to 450BHP. Put all this together lighter weight, say 2800 lbs, better more evolved exotic styling and 100bhp bump and you have a car that for 100K would appeal over a 120K porche to enough people that sales might get interesting. Maybe also a modern version of the Elan, using same build concept as elise, and a few trackday specials like the 211. That is their market and I would guess they can do 5000 cars per year. From the numbers posted above they already make some profit.