Japanese company VT Holdings has bought a controlling stake of British sports car-maker Caterham. If the name VT Holdings rings a bell that’s because it was the company that bought 51% of Peugeot Citroën South Africa back in 2017 when it ceased being a wholly owned subsidiary of the PSA Group. The aforementioned marques are now under the worldwide Stellantis umbrella, of course, merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; but it goes to show VT Holdings’ appetite for acquisitions.
As far as the Caterham deal is concerned, the boss of VT Holdings is none other than Kazuho Takahashi, a former Japanese Super GT, JGTC and 24 Hours of Le Mans racer, the perfect person to see value in the British marque’s bespoke, back-to-basics sports cars.
It’s a sentiment mirrored in Takahashi’s statement after the acquisition was made public, “We have not only purchased a globally renowned performance-car manufacturer, but I see our company as the custodian of Caterham, and we will protect and develop the Seven to meet the legislative challenges that lie ahead.” Referring to the fact that all cars are still built using the Lotus Seven chassis.
Caterham was previously under the control of a consortium led by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, who oversaw an unsuccessful venture into Formula 1 from 2012 to 2014 before it ran out of money, and wanted to bring the brand more into the mainstream with a tie up with Renault/Alpine to build a more conventional sports car and even a planned expansion into building SUV crossovers.