• Apr 14, 2011
Lotus Esprit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Lotus ushered out a plethora of new concept vehicles at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, we were more than a bit surprised. Sure, many of the designs had no chance of making it to production, but even a new Elan or Esprit would cost the boutique automaker millions to build – money Lotus simply doesn't have.

Auto Express reports that the English Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has turned down the automaker's application for a £27.5 million loan ($50 million U.S.). The money was reportedly sought in order to build a new plant in Hethel, Norfolk, that would have produced some of new models while also employing another 1,200 Brits. The BIS turned down Lotus in spite of the fact that the government body had already approved £450 million in loans to automakers like Jaguar and General Motors.

The automaker is no doubt disappointed with the decision not to allow the loan, but Team Lotus isn't going down without a fight. Lotus released a statement saying that the automaker was exploring all options, adding that a next step could be "submitting an updated bid for round two of the RGF (government loan), which is set to close on July 1."

What does this latest setback mean to Lotus? We're not privy to the automaker's financial statements, but we're guessing Lotus really needs this money to build any and all of its new products. If it doesn't get the proper financing, we're thinking that there may not be any new Lotus models anytime soon.



[Source: Auto Express]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      "... but Team Lotus isn't going down without a fight."

      Some might be confused with that statement and think of Tony Fernandes' F1 team.
      • 3 Years Ago
      too many incorrections in this post...

      First things first: Team Lotus is not Lotus Cars...

      Second: the loan is from the Regional Growing Found, and if they don't secure it, they will move on to build their cars in to another location (subcontracts with Valmet, Magna Steyr, or directly build by Proton y Malasia).

      Talking about the viability and telling that "Sure, many of the designs had no chance of making it to production, but even a new Elan or Esprit would cost the boutique automaker millions to build – money Lotus simply doesn't have" is something that you can't say... sure what? you are exposing Lotus as a small company with out the money resources to build that cars?

      As insiders will tell you, Lotus Group has secured the money to build the first two cars right now, and the only question is where the Esprit will be built.

      So, please, less biased information and opinions without factual basis and more real info.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The government doesn't want to give loans to a company that produces gas guzzling, dangerous, environmentally destructive sports cars? OMG, WTF!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well Lotus Cars does own Lotus Enginering which does assist in the design of many auto technologoies including "green" cars. From chassis, battery, tech, noise making devices, to lightweight composites. Most if not all green cars have some trace back to Lotus.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe they'll just have to trim the cars down a bit?

      Please?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well no one else is saying it. What about the 50 million Lotus put up to buy half of Renault F1? You think maybe that money could have been better spent?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another one bites the dust. Sooner or later sports car manufacturers won't survive on their own. Better make luxo barges. That's what rich folks buy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any thought that the UK might still be a tad bit upset over the $17 million (1980 dollars) that Chapman and Delorean, may have stolen from the British? I mean they chastised Chapman at Bushel's trial. They still think of Delorean as a crook. Plus Lotus asks for the money in the same year some are organizing a 30th anniversary party for DMC.
      • 3 Years Ago
      But there is plenty of money around to bail out the banksters, even in the UK!

      They loan the banksters BILLIONS at zero interest so they can turn around and buy govt bonds, effectively loaning the money back to the govt at 4%.

      Free money.

      Yet the UK gov't cannot cough up a paltry $50mil for a great company that actually makes things.

      When is the revolt?
        • 3 Years Ago
        The revolt is when the Malaysian citizens whose tax money goes to government owned Proton Cars, the owner of Lotus Cars, finally figure out that they're funding the revival of a sports car company, and their various Motorsport forays.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      if instead of becoming more ignorant as they have done with the departure from low weight they could make performance electric cars instead. just look at the money tesla and fisker is getting.
      and there is no future for the primitive concept cars lotus showed. it's the wrong direction late in the game. high weight and V8. stupid.
      if they don't think they have the expertise then I can advise them because I do.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, they certainly fronted like a playa at the LA Auto Show. Got to give 'em credit for having huge balls!
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The automaker is no doubt disappointed with the decision not to allow the loan, but Team Lotus isn't going down without a fight."

      What?

      Team Lotus is the Formula One team currently involved in a legal battle with Lotus Cars, the aforementioned car manufacturer...

      I imagine they wouldn't go down without a fight, but this article has nothing to do with that trial.
    • Load More Comments