Tag Archives: Group Lotus

Dr Mahathir called

He wanted a quick word about Tony Fernandes. Mahathir used to be Prime Minister of Malaysia but in retirement he’s apparently become a sort of Automotive Industry Czar for the country.

“Mr Ecclestone, it has been brought to my attention that you’ve spoken harsh words about Dato Sri Fernandes and his team in the press, lately. Mr Fernandes and 1Malaysia Racing are going through some tough times at the moment. However, Dato Sri has done good work to advance the cause of Lotus and Malaysia. His results will be put to good use in the future and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be called a cripple.”

Ah, so you mean he’s rebuilt the Lotus name for you and now it seems to work out you’re going to take it away?

“The Lotus name was never his, Mr Ecclestone. It was ours all along. We just gave Mr Fernandes some play room while we were building our strategy. And do not worry, we’re not going to take anything away. He will be amply rewarded for his efforts, maybe some extra landing slots for his little airline or some real estate in Kuala Lumpur, we may even make him a Datuk or Tan Sri. I still have to decide about that. But he will be taken care of.”

Airline slots? Real estate? Dalek titles? And here’s me thinking the good Doctor isn’t Malaysia’s Prime Minister any more. Anyway, my number one rule is never to go into discussion with politicians. Except for one thing, of course.

Thank you, Dr Mahathir. I’ll await the outcome. But whatever you do, whether it’s called Renault, or Lotus, or Protus, please make sure it’s well-funded.

Cripples are people who don’t invest enough. I hate cripples.

High Noon at the KL Corral

You could see it coming. Tony’s been complaining a long time about interference from some Malaysian ex-Prime Minister and I don’t think his independent stance went down well in Kuala Lumpur.

Add to this that he’s once again shown the power of the Lotus brand, having built the only decent team among this season’s rookies in barely a year’s time, and you can just wait for the Malaysian vultures to swoop in. Poor chap was operating on a licence from Protus Group so they thought they had him on a string. Is it a failure? Drop it like a brick. Is it a success? Finders keepers, then.

But Tony’s just a little bit cleverer than that. Continue reading