The Malaysian owners of Lotus, DRB-Hicom, have announced that the company has appointed a new senior manager to the Norfolk carmaker “in an effort to strengthen its management.”
DRB Hicom say that they are still supporting Lotus, “both financially and management wise” and added that it has “not decided to sell” the carmaker.
The British Prime minister had raised concerns about Lotus with DRB Hicom during his visit to Malaysia last week, following widespread uncertainty about the Norfolk carmaker’s future.
DRB Hicom bought Lotus in January and made it clear that it was considering selling Lotus on. One potential buyer, Genii Capital, previously said that if their bid to take on Lotus was successful, the company would retain production in Norfolk. But the local MP Richard Bacon expressed concerns that not all buyers would be committed to keeping production in Britain.
This month Lotus described its continuing uncertainty as “a very difficult phase.”
The prospect of a new owner has raised fears for the jobs of more than 1,200 employees who work at Lotus’s headquarters in Hethel. On Wednesday David Cameron discussed Lotus’s future in Parliament and said that he was in contact with the company’s owner DRB Hicom. He said: "I did raise this issue with the Malaysian prime minister and also with the new Malaysian owners of the parent company of Lotus.
"Lotus makes a key contribution to the UK automotive sector, the sector is doing well, I want to see Lotus succeed.
"I want to see it have a secure future and we are in contact with the company, monitoring the situation very closely."