Group Lotus, the sportscar manufacturer and automotive engineering consultancy owned by Proton of Malaysia, today announced a redundancy programme to take place over the next few months. The redundancies will be at Hethel and Coventry in England, and number up to 300 - approximately 15% of the workforce.
A delay in production of the new Elise (above) has been a factor in redundancies

According to Lotus, the programme of redundancies is necessary due to the downturn in the world's automotive industry over the last few months, and the effect this has had on revenues. Delays in the production ramp-up of the new Lotus Elise and the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220, have also been a factor.

In spite of the downturn in demand for engineering services, Lotus claims that plans for increased car production are unaffected. Lotus will continue with sales of the Exige and Esprit and will be looking to increase production of the new Elise and the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220. It plans to expand Lotus car output to nearly 7,000 units a year.

Lotus facilities in North America will continue to operate from the engine testing facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the recently acquired Southfield Engineering Centre, both near Detroit.

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