One of Japan’s largest automotive retailer groups has bought the Caterham Cars brand outright.
Japanese importer VT Holdings will take the reins of the small-volume British sports car maker. The takeover was effective from March 31, according to an internal email seen by PistonHeads, but the sum required for the buyout was not shared.
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While it may seem scary that an unknown conglomerate on the other side of the world has eaten up the humble British sports car maker, VT Holdings already has intimate knowledge of Caterham’s operation. The importer has handled local Caterham, Lotus and Royal Enfield distribution for a number of years.
The brains behind VT Holdings, Kazuho Takahashi, also has a keen interest in Japanese motorsport, having raced in Japanese Super GT, JGTC and Super Taikyu categories over the past two decades.
“VT Holdings is proud to welcome Caterham to the group,” said new owner Kazuho Takahashi.
“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."
It’s no secret that the boutique British firm has had its struggles in recent history, and a confirmation that VT Holdings will invest in its continued relevancy (in an age of electric powertrain proliferation) is encouraging.
The British Government has stated in late 2020 that every new car sold after 2030 must be powered by electricity (or at least a hybrid), no doubt hampering Caterham’s plans.
Graham Macdonald, current chief executive of Caterham, said: “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."