SINGAPORE – Chinese-owned British sports car maker Lotus has appointed multi-brand motor group Wearnes as its Singapore dealer.

It is Lotus’s latest attempt at entering the Singapore market after its previous agent – Hong Kong-based Richburg – pulled out of the Republic last year after five years of holding the franchise.

According to Land Transport Authority figures, only two Lotus cars were registered in 2018.

Before Richburg, the Lotus agency was held by the listed Eurosports group.

Neither had much success selling Lotus products, largely because of a limited and ageing model range, as well as uncompetitive pricing.

Wearnes said it will be undertaking all sales, aftersales, marketing and branding activities for Lotus vehicles in Singapore. A new showroom and workshop will be located at 45 Leng Kee Road, as part of its newly-developed eight-storey complex.

Observers said Wearnes could have more success with Lotus on account of its strong financial position, and its stable of varied brands which puts it in a better position to weather changes in the market.

They said Lotus is also in a better financial position, now that it is owned by China’s Geely group, a major automotive player which also owns Swedish premium marque Volvo Cars. It was formerly owned by Malaysia’s Proton group.

Wearnes’ prestige division managing director Victor Kwan said: “We are confident that it is a completely changed company under Geely. The brand has been around for a long time.”

This week, Lotus unveiled plans for a 2,000-horsepower electric supercar. Called the Evija, it is powered by four electric motors and promises an acceleration of 0-100kmh in under three seconds, along with a top speed of 350kmh.

Unlike previous concept cars announced by Lotus, the Evija could actually be produced with the financial muscle of parent group Geely, and the electric vehicle know-how of the Chinese.

Besides Lotus, Wearnes represents 10 other brands here, including Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo, Bugatti and Bentley.

Lotus fan Sarjeet Singh said: “That’s wonderful news. I am passionate about the marque.”

The 53-year-old lawyer added: “The Lotus Espirt Mk 1 and Mk 2 were my dream cars when I was a boy.”