12 APRIL 2021
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
Perhaps the longest running car distinctly recognisable from it first roll-out, the Caterham (ex-Lotus) Seven line has been acquired by Japan-headquartered automotive group VT Holdings from Air Asia and QPR owner Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun, a Malaysian businessman.
Launched in 1957 the ‘Seven’ featured in the opening titles of the 1967-1968 television series The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan and sold to the late Graham Nearn’s Caterham Cars Ltd in 1972, moving to a purpose-built factory at Dartford in 1987.
VT Holdings assumes custodianship of the legendary sportscar brand having been the Japanese importer for the Seven since 2009. Current production is over 500 units per annum.
As one of Japan’s largest retailer groups with over 200 showrooms nationwide and investments in UK, Spain, Thailand and South Africa, VT Holdings is also the importer for a collection of two- and four-wheeled brands including Royal Enfield motorcycles and Lotus in its home-market.
Commenting on the acquisition, CEO Takahashi-san, said: “VT Holdings is proud to welcome Caterham to the group. We have not only purchased a globally renowned performance car manufacturer but become custodians of a motoring legend. We will protect and develop the Seven to meet the legislative challenges that lie ahead.”
Graham MacDonald, chief executive of Caterham Cars, added: “Takahashi-san and the team truly understand the DNA of the Caterham brand, our heritage, our customers and our passions. As a team, we’re all excited about starting to write the next chapter for this very special brand.”
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Peter Lucas, UK
I am hoping that the company succeed in their mission. The market is fickle when it comes to updates and changes as we saw in the 70\'s on the series 4 when we were in effect told by our customers "continue making it at a loss and don\'t change a thing!"
Simon Smart, Crawley
Great car the Seven (the Lotus one) but I’m too old to climb in and out of these days. Caterham have done well over the years but even my Elite is not now so easy when gaining access.