British boutique carmaker Caterham moved lots nearer to Japan, considered one of its greatest markets. VT Holdings, its Japanese importer since 2009, bought the model and instantly pledged to honor its heritage.
Neither celebration disclosed particulars in regards to the sale, like how a lot VT Holdings paid or why Caterham was searching for a brand new proprietor. It seems like one of many final purveyors of the “gentle is correct” philosophy is in good fingers, nevertheless. VT Holdings CEO Kazuho Takahashi has competed in top-level racing in Japan for about 20 years, and he is conscious of Caterham’s storied previous. It does not sound like he will put the corporate’s title on a 5,000-pound SUV.
“We’ve got not solely bought a globally famend efficiency automotive producer, however grow to be custodians of a motoring legend. We’ll defend and develop the Seven to satisfy the legislative challenges that lie forward,” he said.
Whereas he stopped in need of offering extra particular particulars, the hurdles he alluded to are virtually definitely associated to the laws forcing automotive manufacturers to go electrical. Because it stands, each present member of the Caterham vary shall be unlawful in the UK in 2030, when the nation bans the sale of recent gasoline-powered vehicles. Studying between the strains all however confirms that an electrical evolution of the Seven is on the horizon. Whereas making a battery-powered limousine is comparatively simple, electrifying a Seven is troublesome attributable to weight and packaging constraints.
Within the meantime, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see how VT Holdings expands Caterham’s footprint. It would leverage its distribution community to take the corporate into new markets, or it might add extra fashions to the portfolio.
Caterham sells over 120 models of the Seven in Japan yearly. Whereas this won’t sound spectacular in comparison with the six-digit figures posted by mainstream vehicles in america, it is a vital quantity for a corporation whose annual gross sales usually fall within the lots of. An try and develop a extra mainstream-oriented mannequin with Renault’s Alpine division fell by, so Caterham solely sells variants of the Seven that vary from nimble to hardcore.