Lotus hit back at Sniff Petrol, Joe Saward, Caterham…

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    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine

    Sniff Petrol took a swipe at Lotus recently:


    Amazingly, (Group) Lotus has just put out a press release in response.

    They also take a pop at Joe Saward and Caterham. Here it is:

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story….

    Take a little look at what we found online. Don’t you think it’s funny? We do. We had a good old giggle. After all, we love a bit of self irony, just as well really. Although it’s funny, this one’s not accurate but then again, why let the facts get in the way of a good story? The inconvenient truth is – surprise, surprise – we have never said that there are no problems at Lotus.

    So whilst lots of people obviously feel the need to comment on Lotus’ current situation in the absence of proper facts or evidence, we can’t ignore these particular mistruths any longer even if we would like to, so we have decided to turn a negative into a positive and use this hilarious piece of ‘art’ to set the record straight regarding the status quo at Group Lotus and try to return a little stability to a fast changing situation.

    False rumour #1: Dany Bahar is no longer CEO of Group Lotus.

    Fact: Rubbish – Dany Bahar still is.

    False rumour #2: Dato’ Sri Syed is no longer Managing Director of Proton.

    Fact: Again rubbish. He still is.

    You can thank good old Tony Fernandes for these two. Don’t take everything he tweets too seriously – perhaps he’s still frustrated about owning Caterham instead of Lotus and the fact that he fights HRT and Marussia instead of Mercedes and Ferrari in F1.

    And whilst we’re on the subject of jokes – do you know the latest F1 joke? Mike Gascoyne, Caterham Group’s Chief Technical Officer, has gone missing. Why? He’s looking for the 30 to 40 points he predicted for the last F1 season. Funny.

    Speaking of F1: It seems that one special so called ‘independent’ source is at the root of the lion’s share of damaging rumours and misleading stories. The delightful Joe Saward which leads us nicely to….

    False rumour #3: Joe Saward is JUST an independent journalist.

    Fact: He is an active Director for the Caterham Group.

    And unlike some, we don’t want to get too personal, so we’ll leave it to you to judge how ‘independent’ his stories about Lotus are.

    False rumour #4: Group Lotus is no longer involved in F1.

    Fact: Lotus F1 Team and Group Lotus have reshaped their commercial relationship earlier this year. The new governance agreement signifies the continued commitment of Group Lotus to the team and the sport.

    Group Lotus’ branding and marketing rights and subsequent activities remain unaffected by the new agreement until at least 2017. Alongside continued branding and title partnership status, Group Lotus is also the exclusive master licensee for all Lotus F1 Team merchandise.

    The new agreement was reached following Group Lotus owners Proton providing team owners Genii with a £30m loan which is repayable within three years. In order to secure the loan Genii used 100% of the F1 team’s assets as collateral meaning that under the conditions of the loan agreement Proton have been given full title guarantee to all plant, machinery, show cars, computers, office and the Lotus F1 Team headquarters.

    In addition Proton retains the rights to purchase 10% of the F1 team. Another 10% share option will be activated if the team default on their loan obligations with Proton.

    Again we leave it to your judgement how ‘bad’ Lotus’ current situation in F1 is. And speaking of bad situations…..

    False rumour #5: Group Lotus is going into administration.

    Fact: Rubbish. The takeover of our parent company Proton by DRB-HICOM couldn’t have come at a worse time, but up until that point Proton was (and still remains) fully committed to our five year business plan to create jobs and to expand the factory and business. With the takeover process the funding has been restricted and DRB-HICOM is taking time to understand what to do with the business. DRB-HICOM is currently in the middle of due diligence of Group Lotus and there have been and continue to be positive discussions between Group Lotus senior management and senior management at DRB-HICOM both here in Hethel and in Malaysia. At no point has DRB-HICOM indicated to Group Lotus that it intends to put the company into administration. The over-active rumour mill is seriously damaging our business reputation, image and credibility but it is what it is.

    The simple fact is, and we haven’t denied this – Lotus is going through a very difficult phase at the moment but we are showing true fighting spirit every day in trying to keep this vision alive. This is also a fact – no matter what people outside of Lotus may say or tweet or blog.

    I think we can file this one under ‘sense of humour failure’.

    Profile photo of mattshaw85

    This is hilarious. Words fail me!

    Profile photo of Pamphlet

    I actually like Lotus more for doing this. They’re certainly not endearing themselves to anyone, but then why should they?

    I’m probably mostly saying this because Sniff Petrol sucks though.


    Methinks the Lotus doth protest too much.

    Profile photo of Tin Canman
    Tin Canman

    Gosh, I wish my business was this healthy *sarcasm*

    Profile photo of MemorableC

    they are normally such good sports about jokes but methinks this might have either been the straw that broke the camels back or a case of poe’s law.

    Profile photo of ScuderiaVincero

    Lol, epic response :P

    Profile photo of PJ

    You can thank good old Tony Fernandes for these two. Don’t take everything he tweets too seriously – perhaps he’s still frustrated about owning Caterham instead of Lotus and the fact that he fights HRT and Marussia instead of Mercedes and Ferrari in F1.

    Had to be done :)

    Profile photo of F1George

    Lotus have gone up in my estimations…that response was hilarious.

    Profile photo of Dan Thorn
    Dan Thorn

    Nerve: touched

    Profile photo of Tom Haxley
    Tom Haxley

    “I think we can file this one under ‘sense of humour failure’.”

    No i think we can file it under brilliant!
    Lotus are saying exactly what they think of the media circus whipped up around them. Good on them I say.

    Profile photo of Alianora La Canta
    Alianora La Canta

    That was very illuminating from Lotus. It is good that it’s standing up for itself, though I dare say some of those targeted may be feeling a bit upset…

    Profile photo of Santino

    This is more like it! No corporate flannel, Fantastic! Best F1 reading for a long time! :D :)

    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine

    @welshtom Of course they can say what they like but I don’t think much of a major car manufacturer throwing a tantrum fit for a three-year-old at a satirical website.

    Sniff Petrol poke fun at pretty much everyone in the automotive industry but you don’t see Ralf Schumacher or Crazy Dave Coulthard throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Profile photo of Journeyer

    It’s one thing to respond to your critics, but this is… something else. While I do understand that they may have grudges to bear against Mike, Tony, and Joe, I’d really suggest they take a look at their own problems first before pointing out the problems of others. And if they put that energy into making cars instead of writing angry press releases, then I think they’d be in better shape.

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