The car that cares

Japanese firm buys Caterham and pledges to keep the Seven alive

British boutique carmaker Caterham moved a large amount closer to Japan, one particular of its greatest marketplaces. VT Holdings, its Japanese importer given that 2009, obtained the brand name and quickly pledged to honor its heritage.

Neither party disclosed information about the sale, like how much VT Holdings paid out or why Caterham was hunting for a new operator. It appears like one particular of the last purveyors of the “gentle is suitable” philosophy is in good arms, even so. VT Holdings CEO Kazuho Takahashi has competed in top-amount racing in Japan for about two decades, and he’s knowledgeable of Caterham’s storied earlier. It isn’t going to sound like he’s going to set the company’s identify on a 5,000-pound SUV.

“We have not only obtained a globally renowned performance auto company, but grow to be custodians of a motoring legend. We will shield and develop the Seven to meet the legislative problems that lie forward,” he stated.

Though he stopped quick of giving additional specific information, the hurdles he alluded to are nearly certainly linked to the laws forcing auto brand names to go electric. As it stands, each current member of the Caterham selection will be unlawful in the United Kingdom in 2030, when the country bans the sale of new gasoline-driven automobiles. Looking through concerning the strains all but confirms that an electric evolution of the Seven is on the horizon. Though building a battery-driven limousine is fairly straightforward, electrifying a Seven is hard thanks to body weight and packaging constraints.

In the meantime, it will be attention-grabbing to see how VT Holdings expands Caterham’s footprint. It could leverage its distribution community to take the company into new marketplaces, or it could insert additional types to the portfolio.

Caterham sells about a hundred and twenty models of the Seven in Japan per year. Though this could not sound outstanding when compared to the six-digit figures posted by mainstream automobiles in the United States, it’s a important number for a company whose annual income frequently tumble in the hundreds. An attempt to develop a additional mainstream-oriented product with Renault’s Alpine division fell via, so Caterham completely sells variants of the Seven that selection from nimble to hardcore.