Collector Car Insurance: History of Lotus Part 2
In the first of our posts recounting the history of Lotus we discussed the auto brand’s founding and early victories in both the consumer market and racing circuits. However, the brand struggled to retain financial security, and over the years founder Colin Chapman have to come up with some creative solutions to keep his operations running.
Despite their early success throughout the 1960s and 1970s, by the 1980s the Lotus Group faced serious financial complications as production and sales dipped to less than 400 vehicles a year. In 1982 Chapman who was still running the Lotus Group came to a collaborative agreement with Toyota. Lotus Engineering helped Toyota develop the Toyota Celica XX, which gave Lotus the funding to launch the Excel. The Excel was built using Toyota components which allowed the vehicle to be produced and sold for much less than their previous models. During this time Chapman launched a new American branch, Lotus Performance Cars Inc., which was incredibly well received in the American market. Revenue from Lotus Performance Cars Inc. was able to provide fresh capital to the Lotus Group back in the United Kingdom.
Rocked by scandal involving a botched deal with the DeLorean Motor Company and the death of Chapman in late 1982, the Lotus Group was once again near bankruptcy by 1983. After the demise of Chapman, the brand would change hands and focus a number of times. The Group was purchased by new investors and an entrepreneur named David Wickins who would later facilitate the sale of Lotus to US based General Motors. In 19930 Gm decided to sell off their shares in the Lotus Group to to A.C.B.N. Holdings, who also owned Bugatti Automobili SpA. Three years later A.C.B.N. Holdings sold their share in Lotus to the Malaysian automaker Pronto.
In 2009 Dany Bahar of Farrari took over as CEO of what is now known as The Lotus Group International Limited which had been established in 2006. Bahar was let go in 2012 and a new CEO was appointed to guide the brand forward.
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