Team Lotus Enterprises has confirmed the purchase of British sports car maker Caterham Cars (see video, BELOW). The deal will enable the lightweight sports car manufacturer to "expand its brand profile and product family," according to Team Lotus.
"Caterham has a unique place at the heart of the motoring world," said Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes. "As well as being proudly and staunchly British, it has an enviable and uniquely unblemished reputation within the industry for performance, handling and engineering excellence.
"Caterham Cars has remained wholly faithful to Colin Chapman's philosophy of 'less is more', and the DNA of the original Seven can still be traced to the newest additions to Caterham's product offering. It is already a successful business with sales across Europe, Japan, Australia and the Middle East, and under the guidance of the existing management team, we now have all the ingredients and the launch pad to further evolve that spirit and take Caterham to new exciting horizons with innovative products and greater global brand exposure."
The announcement comes before a decision from the British courts about the ongoing Lotus naming dispute, although there was no mention of a rumored name change in the statement. The team said that the purchase will signal the continued development of Caterham's famous Seven brand, using F1 technology.
"This is yet another exciting chapter in the Caterham story," Caterham Cars' managing director Ansar Ali said. "Until now, the resources Caterham has had at its disposal have, naturally, limited the exposure of the Caterham driving experience and the legendary Seven has had to rely almost entirely on its remarkable reputation and legacy.
"We will remain entirely true to the philosophy that we, as custodians of one man's motoring concept, have protected for nearly 40 years. However, the acquisition of the company by Team Lotus Enterprises will allow our existing management team to take Caterham's core spirit of pure driving enjoyment to a hitherto un-served audience.
"While the Seven will now have the global springboard it deserves and will continue to be evolved yet further, we also have the opportunity to expand the Caterham family beyond the Seven and SP/300.R and breathe new life into our uniquely respected brand and mature it into a truly global business."