Lotus Engineering has opened an office in China to meet increasing demand for its services from manufacturers in the world’s fastest growing car market.

Lotus Engineering China is based in Shanghai and led by general manager Ben Boycott, an English automotive engineer with nine years experience in the region. His team includes staff from Lotus Engineering’s base in Hethel, UK, and experienced local engineers with knowledge of the Chinese automotive industry.

Lotus said forecasts suggest over 30% annual growth of light vehicle sales over the next few years.

“We already have positive ongoing relationships with the Chinese vehicle manufacturers who seek to exploit substantial opportunities in the rapidly expanding domestic market,” said Boycott.

“With a new team in place, Lotus is now in an excellent position to more effectively provide domestic producers with advanced innovative solutions for the development and production of modern, world-class automotive products.”

Lotus Engineering’s activity in China has been steadily increasing over the last decade, most significantly in the last two years. It is currently working with several clients on a range of powertrain and vehicle engineering programmes, and is in detailed negotiations for further high value projects totalling in excess of Rmb770 million (£50 million).

“The level of discussions with current and potential clients in China has exceeded that which can be managed from the UK,” said Lotus Engineering director Simon Wood. “It’s very encouraging that we’ve now reached a point that requires a local dedicated business development and project execution team to field that demand.”

Lotus is awaiting completion of permanent offices in Shanghai’s prestigious new ‘hi-tech’ Jin Qiao business park. In the meantime, from 8 March, it will occupy temporary offices in the Jin Mao Tower, also in Shanghai.