Continuing its aggressive profile-raising efforts that began with a future product barrage at the recent Paris Auto Show, Group Lotus plc has purchased a majority stake in the Renault Formula One team from the investment holding company, Genii Capital. This new tie-up, which marks the resurrection of a partnership that proved eminently successful back in the 1980s, is expected to yield tangible results, on track and in continuing advancements in upcoming Lotus production cars.
According to Lotus chief Dany Bahar, the new Lotus/Renault/Genii link will facilitate the adoption of various forms of race-based technology including KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and other hybrid power elements as well as various aerodynamic and light-materials advances. Genii's current portfolio also includes positions in a variety of other non-F1 advanced automotive technologies outside of the F1 realm, including lightweight braking systems, variable-compression engine design and systems control software.
Gerard Lopez, founding partner of Genii Capital, said: "For Group Lotus, access to Formula 1 opens up new marketing opportunities and a major platform for business exchanges and development. Our tie-up with Group Lotus and Proton, which will enable its future road car ranges to take advantage of significant new technologies, is a natural step."
Malaysian-based automaker, Proton, who owns Lotus, is solidly behind the move, seeing the potential to use F1 to leverage both the Lotus and Proton names on an international basis is a huge opportunity. From a pure racing standpoint, Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, is equally enthusiastic about the future. "This multi-partner alliance will bring a new dynamic to the team and enable it to compete with the sport's best from next season."