Lotus temporarily halts new model development, future ownership uncertain

New owner DRB-Hicom could decide to sell Lotus following a government-required 60-day development lockdown.

For such a tiny automaker, Lotus has big plans for the future - no less than five new or completely revised model lines are on the British company's to-do list, not to mention short term projects like the Exige S and Evora GTE.

Unfortunately, the development of all those cars will be put on hold for a temporary "lockdown" period, EVO reports. It seems that following the Malaysian government's sale of its controlling stake in Lotus' parent company, Proton, to Malaysian industrial"¨ conglomerate DRB-Hicom, government regulations necessitate a 60-day "lockdown" in which anything outside of normal business activities must cease.

Even at the end of the development halt, there's no guarantee that DRB-Hicom will sign off on Lotus' future product plans - or even retain ownership of the automaker. Lotus CEO Danny Bahar is reportedly engaged in extensive talks with DRB-Hicom to safeguard the automaker's future.

"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 said. "I really hope they will but I cannot call it at the moment, it's still 50:50."