A statement released by Lotus has gone some way to allay any fears that Proton's parent company were preparing to pull the plug on the group, as well as confirming the position of CEO Dany Bahar in the firm.

A spokesperson said: "The new Proton owners DRB-Hicom are currently in the middle of their due diligence of Group Lotus."There have been and continue to be positive discussions between Group Lotus senior management and senior management at DRB-Hicom both here in Hethel and in Malaysia.

"Despite various rumours in the media to the contrary, at no point has DRB-Hicom indicated to Group Lotus that they intend to put the company into administration and we welcome the opportunity to put that rumour along with incorrect speculation that production has stopped, that Dany Bahar is no longer CEO and that we are no longer involved in F1 to bed.

"It's no secret that we are going through a very difficult time at the moment due to the change in ownership, but we're doing everything we can to get through this period and come out the other side stronger than before. We're very grateful for the continued support we receive from the people of Norfolk and all over the world."

Here's what we reported earlier:

Unconfirmed reports on BBC local news this lunchtime suggest that Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has left the Norfolk-based sportscar manufacturer.

These rumours increase the doubt over the future of the company's ambitious five-year product revival plan, headed by Bahar.

Firstly, there was the news that the Lotus F1 team had ended its title sponsorship deal with Group Lotus, with rumours that the team hadn't been paid for months.

Now, it is believed that the new Malaysian-based owners of the parent company Proton, DRB-Hicom, are unconvinced by the historic British brand and could sell or break up the company.

So is there any truth in these rumours? Well, the fact there has been no offical comment from Hethel or Bahar is only fuelling speculation.