Group Lotus, the sportscar manufacturer and automotive engineering consultancy, announced today that its engineering facility at Coventry (Lotus-Coventry), UK, is for sale.

The announcement follows a jobs cutback earlier this year at the company's Hethel (UK) and Coventry facilities, in response to weakening demand for design and engineering work from the auto industry.

Lotus has decided that its Coventry operations are "now no longer core to Lotus' future business strategy". The company stresses that its three other sites - in the UK, USA and Malaysia - have vehicle engineering and design capabilities that are now duplicated at Coventry.

With the optimisation of resources at these three sites, Lotus says that design facilities at Coventry have become excess to the company's requirements.

Other work currently carried out by Lotus-Coventry, such as the manufacture of prototype models, components and tooling for the automotive and aerospace industries, is not a part of Lotus' growth plans and future strategy for its engineering division.

In a statement, the company said that current work in progress at Coventry will take four weeks to be completed. If the facility has not been sold by Friday 9th November 2001, it will be shut down.

Lotus-Coventry currently employs 35 people and Lotus will "make every effort to re-deploy personnel throughout the group where possible."

David Taitt, Director of Lotus Engineering said: "The global motor industry is going through a period of change and many of our engineering clients have restructured their businesses and re-evaluated their future strategies. We have to change with their needs in order to continue to provide world-leading services to them.

"The operations of Lotus-Coventry are not strategically where we wish the business to be in the future. Therefore, we are going to be concentrating on what we do best, that is automotive engineering.

"We have invested heavily in new facilities around the world to serve the automotive industry with what is regarded as some of the finest engineering in the world."

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