I read that Proton and Lotus Management have met to discuss the way forward.
The plan may be to design and build an SUV and a Sedan car.
The last time Lotus designed a new car, the Evora, it competed with Porsche. Porsche did not notice any impact on its sales. I assume the R&D plus tooling costs for the Evora have not been effectively amortised in the sales.
So, is this the same thing, design an SUV which competes against Porsche?
The money for all this R&D will probably come from Malaysia. Certainly not from any profit Lotus makes.
So who is paying for this?
The Malaysian Government. Proton will ask for a grant.
Petronas (Malaysian Government owned).
These two bodies will ask... "Whats in this for us?"
Convincing them that this will give long term employment to "Malaysian" engineers and will be highly profitable raising their profile internationally, and locally will be difficult. IMO.
Both DRB Hicom and Petronas have bona fide Universities, as standalone businesses.
Petronas has a large Motorsport budget/prescence... You can see where I am going with this!
If Lotus Styles and designs and new platform or two. Use this R&D work to produce saleable educational modules.
When the business case is made and successfully implemented, produce saleable "Entreprenuer" educational modules.
Package the homologation process into saleable educational modules.
Marketing the products can be modulised and sold as educational products.
I won't go on. I'm sure you can see where I am going.
This would be a Unique selling point.
University students are normally government funded (cheap loans or free) and often spend enough per year of study to pay for a small car.
So if we said a three or four year spend per pupil would equate to a car sale we wouldn't be to far away.
In America, Phoenix University has about 1/2 million students.
If we (yes I want to be part of this) target 1 million clients globally, lets say this would be like selling 250,000 cars per year.
This global exposure would give Lotus/Proton/Petronas a positive exposure.
It is potentially, financially sustainable. It is ethical. However, it requires a little bit of "Outside the box" thinking.
I'm sure the Proton/Lotus board would be more than capable of selling it to "Potential Investors".