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September 15, 2009

UK: Lotus recruits on Evora orders

Lotus says it is defying economic gloom with a 30% increase in its manufacturing workforce and over GBP20m earmarked for product investment in 2009/10 to fuel continued growth.

Lotus says it is defying economic gloom with a 30% increase in its manufacturing workforce and over GBP20m earmarked for product investment in 2009/10 to fuel continued growth.

This is in addition to the GBP28m already invested in 2008/09, it says.

First customer deliveries of the Lotus Evora have started and Lotus says there is already a substantial order bank of five months’ production.

To cope with this demand, Lotus has recruited 150 additional manufacturing staff (a 30% increase) over the last six months. Planned sales volumes of the Lotus Evora for FY 2009/10 are in excess of 1,200 with the production rate reaching 10 cars per day by the end of November 2009.

The current production rate of Lotus’ small platform products (Elise, Exige, 2-Eleven and those for third parties) remains stable, Lotus says.

Investment for Lotus Cars will be in future variants of all Lotus products including an automatic gearbox version the Evora for the 2011 model year.

Research earmarked by Lotus Engineering includes range extender engines for series hybrids, lightweight vehicle structures, super-efficient internal combustion engines and hybrid and electric vehicles.

Luke Bennett, director of Lotus Cars, said: “We must be one of the few car companies in the world that is increasing production and recruiting staff to support increased demand for its products. Lotus has not been immune from the effects of the global economic downturn, but fortunately we are better placed than most due to the timely launch of the new Evora.”

Last financial year Lotus increased its sales by 2% to GBP111m. A major contributor to sales growth was Lotus Engineering, the high tech engineering consultancy, which increased sales by 23% despite the curtailment of new product plans by clients in the automotive sector.

Paul Newsome, Managing Director of Lotus Engineering, said: “I am delighted with our sales growth which stems from developing new markets, growing the existing client base and focussing on green technologies, specifically those that are aimed at reducing CO2 emissions of vehicles. Lotus is unique in the automotive industry, not only as a manufacturer of vehicles both for itself and third parties, but also providing engineering consultancy services to other car companies around the world.”

See also: UK: Lotus appoints new CEO

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