Lotus' new owner says it backs the niche sports car maker.

In what has transformed into an ongoing drama, Lotus' new parent company says it has no plans to sell the Hethel-based sports car maker. DRB-HICOM's backing of Lotus comes just weeks after a member of the UK Parliament reported the division was up for sale.

In a recent visit to Lotus' headquarters in Hethel, DRB-HICOM managing director Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Bin Jamil was quoted by Autocar as saying that DRB-HICOM, the new owner of Lotus parent Protron, "is not thinking about a sale." However, Dato' Jamil left himself an out by adding that he could "never say never" about a sale.

Production at Lotus has resumed after a short shutdown - Malaysian law requires a 60-day financial stringency period following a sale - but it remains unknown if DRB-HICOM's financial backing goes beyond day-to-day activities. Prior to Proton's sale Lotus was developing several new models, including an Esprit supercar that was due to launch next year.

DRB-HICOM's review of Lotus is expected to take several months, so it will be a while before the situation is fully resolved.