1. ITV Report

New sale fear for Lotus Cars

South Norfolk MP, Richard Bacon raised his concerns in Parliament Photo: ITV Anglia

South Norfolk MP, Richard Bacon has told Parliament about his fears for the future of Lotus Cars.

He led a debate last night in which he claimed that Lotus has appointed professional services network, KPMG with a mandate sell the group, possibly to a Chinese business.

The firm was recently taken over by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom but is currently making losses of over £200 million.

Lotus headquarters at Hethel in Norfolk Credit: ITV Anglia

At least two Chinese firms are reported to be in the running. Hawtai Motor Group and Youngman. Youngman are the official importer of Lotus cars to China and also sell some of their own models which have been engineered by Lotus.

But any successful Chinese takeover would most likely see production move to China, putting 1,200 jobs at risk in Norfolk.

The fear is of Lotus repeating the fate of MG Rover. MG is now owned by Shanghai Automotive who have kept designers in Britain but moved the bulk of maunfacturing abroad.

"The fact that KPMG has been appointed with a mandate sell Group Lotus to the Chinese is not an encouraging sign.

"Nor is the fact that the Malaysian banks want their money back from Proton.

"I fear that Proton will say it has decided to keep Lotus - while negotiating with the banks for as long as possible to write-off or reduce debt - and then hand what is left of Group Lotus to the Chinese or liquidate it."

– Richard Bacon MP, speaking in the House of Commons