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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Three new Lotus models in next three years

KUALA LUMPUR: Group Lotus, a subsidiary of Proton Holdings Bhd, yesterday announced plans to launch three new models in the next three years.

The new models are the new Esprit, a new mid-range Lotus model and a Lotus/Proton high-performance vehicle.

“This is part of the company’s five-year strategic business plan that focuses on the underlying strength of the company, as recommended through a comprehensive study on Lotus' businesses,’’ Proton said in a statement.

Group Lotus CEO Michael J. Kimberley said the Lotus/Proton high-performance vehicle was targeted for launch in May 2008, followed by the new mid-range Lotus in December 2008.

The flagship new Esprit has been extended to incorporate more Lotus “DNA” and other enhancements to meet the changing needs of the global marketplace. The car will be unveiled in December 2009.

“The business plan also provides opportunities for global growth in the high technology engineering consultancy business, including expansion into new markets, joint ventures and strategic alliances.

“This plan will definitely set a brighter future for Lotus. We have some great opportunities ahead of us and some already underway. It’s a very bright future but we have to work hard to bring all opportunities to fruition,” Kimberley added.

Meanwhile, Kimberley also stressed that the company had to pursue cost reduction initiatives as a short-term measure to strengthen the company’s efficiency and finances to ensure that Lotus contributes effectively to the Proton Group.

“This exercise is to match capacity with the global demand. It is essential that we respond fast to market conditions while we drive forward this exciting long-term plan,” he added.

One of the cost reduction initiatives will be to streamline the organisation. The company plans to “right-size” its workforce through a voluntary exercise and that is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“This will mean that a leaner, more cost effective and efficient Lotus will be far more globally competitive and realigned for business growth, as a member of Proton.”

Meanwhile, Proton managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said the decisions made by the management in Britain were critical to achieve the objectives of Lotus given the fast-changing market conditions.

He said Proton, together with the management of Group Lotus, was determined to see that the strategic plans, company realignment and expansion of model range would positively redefine how the business was carried out in markets where Lotus had a presence.

“These initiatives shall further enhance its future operational and financial viability, as Lotus remains an important component of the Proton Group.

“We strongly believe that Lotus has an important role to play in the group to enable us to become a successful automotive engineering and manufacturing entity, and a prominent brand globally,” Syed Zainal said.


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What is the main factor for you to buy a Proton Car?
Low price and no other choice due to budget
Good resale value
Low maintenance cost
Ride & Handling is good
Reliable parts, chasis and engine
Good Styling exterior & Interior
Patriotism (I support Made in Malaysia Products)
Follow others (Follow Majorities should be the best choice)