Group Lotus plc and Genii Capital are joining hands and we will soon see the Renault F1 Team renamed as ‘Lotus Renault GP’ from the start of the 2011 racing season onwards.
Group Lotus plc will acquire a major equity stake in the team from Genii Capital. Genii, an investment holding company with a portfolio of automotive technologies, bring non-F1™ technologies such as lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology and on board software systems to the partnership. In addition to this, Genii is also offering Proton the ability to leverage on its existing business relationships in Russia and other parts of the world, as a means to expand Proton's global reach. Through Genii, Proton can also potentially access advanced automotive technologies by virtue of Genii’s association with Mangrove, a venture capital group.
However, I wonder where that leaves Team Lotus (also powered by Renault) led by AirAsia CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar:
"I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1™. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1™ and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position: We are Lotus, and we are back.”
Dato' Sri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, Chairman of Proton, Lotus majority shareholder:
"We know that Group Lotus has much to offer Formula 1™ and vice versa. After careful consideration, we believe this arrangement will be fruitful, both from a commercial and marketing point of view."
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Proton advisor and former Prime Minister of Malaysia:
"This is an exciting development which delivers strategic benefits to both Group Lotus and Proton. I fully support the partnership."
Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault:
“This multi-partner alliance will bring a new dynamic to the team and enable it to compete with the sport’s best from next season.”
Gerard Lopez, founding partner of Genii Capital:
“For Group Lotus, access to Formula 1™ opens up new marketing opportunities and a major platform for business exchanges and development. In this regard, Genii Capital possesses shareholdings in, and direct access to, cutting edge companies in the automotive industry. Our tie-up with Group Lotus and Proton, which will enable its future road car ranges to take advantage of significant new technologies, is a natural step.”