News - Lotus
Ateco courts Lotus
Broadening horizons: With cars like the Eterne four-door, Lotus is moving from niche products to a full range of luxury and sporting models over the coming years.
Lotus to dump Proton Cars Australia in favour of Ateco Automotive for Oz
18 October 2010
ATECO Automotive has confirmed it is in talks with Lotus Cars to obtain the distribution rights for the rejuvenated British sportscar brand in Australia.
As revealed exclusively by GoAuto two weeks ago, the contract to import Lotus cars in Australia expires in March and dealers and staff have been told Ateco will be the new agent.
“We’ll do something eventually, but I can’t comment further until the deal is done,” said Ateco owner and governing director Neville Crichton at the Sydney motor show on Friday.
Left: Ateco Group governing director Neville Crichton.
Lotus’ Australian operations are currently controlled by Lotus Cars Australia – a subsidiary of Proton Cars Australia, the Australian arm of the Malaysian car-maker that owns Lotus – which assumed control of Lotus distribution in late 2004 from Prestige Motor Imports, a subsidiary of the Zagame Automotive Group.
Mr Crichton currently holds the Australian distribution rights for Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Citroen, Great Wall and Chery through his Sydney-based companies Ateco Automotive and European Automotive Imports.
Lotus recently embarked on the most ambitious new model expansion plan in its history under the guidance of new CEO Dany Bahar, the ex-Ferrari commercial director who presented six all-new Lotus concept cars at the Paris motor show.
They include five luxury sportscars designed to take Lotus into Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin territory for the first time, such as the new Elite, Esprit, Eterne and Elan, along with a new Elise and a City Car concept.
Lotus has five Australian dealers and sold 45 cars to September this year – two more than during the same period in 2009 – by selling two Europas, six Evoras, nine Exiges and 28 Elises.
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