Yahaya Ahmad, chairman of Proton (pictured left) also said it intended to start building about 2,500 Lotus cars a year in Malaysia, increasing annual production of the Elise to 5,000.
Proton, Malaysia's biggest car maker, is buying an 80 per cent stake in Lotus for pounds 51m and providing a further pounds 13m of working capital. Romano Artioli, the Italian entrepreneur who bought Lotus three years ago from General Motors, will retain a 20 per cent stake.
Mr Ahmad, one of Malaysia's richest businessmen, will take a personal stake of 16.25 per cent while Proton will own 63.75 per cent
Photograph: Simon Hadley/ Assignment