Lotus reportedly halts production amid Proton sale image

Production and development at Lotus has been stopped while the Malaysian government sells off its shares of parent company Proton.

The temporary halt, which will last three months, has angered Lotus CEO Danny Bahar. The halt is due to Malaysian trading regulations, which require companies to enter a three-month lockdown during which only normal trading activities are permitted. This allows company insiders to perform due diligence while financial deals, acquisitions, and mergers take place. Lotus has continued production at a reduced pace, but has been forced to almost totally stop its research and development work on new vehicles.

“This difficult period for Lotus finishes at the end of March and that’s when we will know then whether DRB-Hicom will want to continue with our business plan,” Bahar told EVO magazine at the Geneva Motor Show. Bahar fears DRB-Hicom will leave Lotus high-and-dry. Lotus has been forced by the shutdown to push back the launch of the Evora GTE and Exige S, for which it has already take 400 orders. Lotus also will delay the debut of the next-generation Esprit until at least 2014.