In a very interesting development on the Lotus naming spat: Caterham, another British icon specialized in lightweight sports cars, has announced it has been bought over by Team Lotus.The Kent-based sports car company that is famous for making the Caterham 7 car (which is based on Lotus 7 sports car created by Lotus founder the late Colin Chapman), is currently run by former Lotus employee Ansar Ali and owned by private equity firm Corven Ventures. It has been reported that Caterham has struck a deal with a Malaysian (our own Tony Fernandes), who will bring fresh investments and ambitious product plans. Team Lotus has set to announce this deal by next Wednesday.
It is obvious that Tony is making a bold and smart move by securing a well-known British marque which has spiritual links with Lotus. This is also an alternative option to use the Caterham brand to rename Team Lotus to perhaps Caterham F1 Racing should Team Lotus loses the court case battle with Group Lotus.
That makes two British automotive icons fallen into Malaysian hands. One is Group Lotus by Proton, and now Caterham by Tony Fernandes. Although I feel it might be a good thing as while Group Lotus decides to forgo its “lightweight is king” philosophy and move upscale to become Britain’s Porsche, Caterham might stick to its roots and continues to create lightweight and affordable sports cars. Unless if Tony has other plans…
What ever it is, I ain’t complaining as competition is good!