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11 May 2006

CHANGES IN TOP MANAGEMENT OF GROUP LOTUS PLC

 

Group Lotus Plc announced today a change in the senior management of the company. With immediate effect, Mr. Michael J Kimberley (Mike) will take over as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus Plc. Mike currently chairs the Executive Committee of Lotus Group International Limited (LGIL). Given his vast experience and expertise in the automotive industry, Mike is a natural choice to manage the company and he will be supported by the existing management team at the Company and will continue to draw upon the support of the shareholder, Proton Holdings Berhad (PROTON), the ultimate holding company. His priorities will include improving the overall performance of Lotus as well as preparing and strengthening the specialist car company and high-technology engineering and consulting company to compete in a wider market and on a broader business base globally.

PROTON strongly believes that LOTUS has a critical role to play in the Proton Group to enable it to become a successful automotive engineering and manufacturing group and a prominent brand globally. Hence, PROTON will continue to provide strong support to LOTUS and its group of companies. In view of the above, PROTON has set up a special team to provide close and specialist support to Mike and the management at Group Lotus Plc, to address the key opportunities for LOTUS for the future.

Kim Ogaard-Nielsen, former CEO of Group Lotus Plc, has stepped down to pursue his other entrepreneurial interests. Kim joined Group Lotus Plc in November 2004 and has presided over a number of projects during the past eighteen months. Lotus would like to record its thanks to him for his service to the company during this period.

Speaking from LOTUS headquarters at Hethel today, Mike Kimberely said, 'All specialist sports car companies operate in volatile and highly competitive markets. However, sales of the Elise are moving ahead in the USA and are being further enhanced by the new introduction of the Exige model. I can assure our customers, business partners and all who watch this iconic marque with interest, that LOTUS is a highly valued and integral part of the PROTON Group.'