Report: Lotus Unable To Secure Local Government Money
April 14, 2011
by Chris Shunk
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.