Image © Malcolm Griffiths

Big news for the specialist car industry is that Caterham Cars has been sold by Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun to the company’s Japanese importer. The owners of AirAsia and the majority shareholders in Queens Park Rangers FC bought Caterham Cars in April 2011.

VT Holdings, run by Kazuho Takahashi is a very large company in Japan and under their SCI Co Ltd brand, they are the official Japanese importer for KTM X-BOW and Caterham Cars. Indeed, since 2009 they have been selling over 100 Sevens per year. The Caterham brand will remain under VT’s SCI banner moving forward. The Japanese market has always been very fond of the Seven.

In Japan, VT has a car rental business (J-net Rentals) as well as dealerships for brands such as Honda (Honda Cars Tokai), VW (Koyo Auto) and Ford (FLC Co Ltd) although there are others. In total, they have more than 200 dealerships in Japan.

The company also has an operation called LCI who is the official Lotus importer to Japan. I think also that if you are importing a Japanese domestic car to the UK, there’s a good chance that under the Trust Auto banner you may also be buying from VT Holdings.

Mr Takahashi is as you’d expect a motorsport fan and the last twenty years has seen him compete in Japanese Touring Cars and Super GT to name but two series as well as racing a Lotus Evora in recent years.

Commenting on the acquisition of Caterham Cars, Takahashi said: “VT Holdings is proud to welcome Caterham to the group. We have not only purchased a globally renowned performance car manufacturer but have become custodians of a motoring legend. We will protect and develop the Seven to meet the legislative challenges that lay ahead.”

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