No manufacturer likes to see its name linked to a recall. But a minor headache for a maker like General Motors or Toyota can turn into a migraine for a cash-strapped company such as Lotus that is already struggling to keep its product development programs funded.
The numbers are modest – just 80 Evora S models sold last year could be subject to engine oil leaks or fires – but it is the latest in a series of mounting problems that face the maker’s owners and raise growing concerns that Lotus will have to abort an ambitious product development program designed to transform it into a series player in the global sports car market.
Both the much-awaited Lotus flagship, the Esprit could be in trouble, according to numerous industry sources, while other projects have been slowed as the British maker tapers back on the bold, 5-product launch plans it revealed during a show-stopping news conference at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
Lotus owner, the Malaysian-based DRB-Hicom, is now facing legal action on the part of unpaid suppliers due a reported $40 million. The owner of the British-based maker is now asking U.K. authorities to lend a hand by delaying upcoming tax payments.