Friday, September 22, 2006

Lotus: +3 models; -200 jobs.


The negative aspect of recent Lotus announcements doesn't seem to be getting much attention, so I thought I'd raise it here.

Yesterday, the Malaysian-owned, Norfolk-based sportscar manufacturer revealed plans for three new models in the next five years. Since this included plans for a super new range-topping Esprit, I suspect that the most sensible course is to remains skeptical - a new Esprit gets announced with yawning regularity and hasn't yet made it more than about six months before the project is cancelled. Or delayed. Or, whatever. The other two vehicles are something in the mid-range (isn't that the Europa? No...?), and something high-performance in association with parent company, Proton (*cough* haven't heard that before...).

The day before yesterday, Lotus released a statement saying it still had a bright future - in spite of plans to cut up to 200 jobs from its Hethel base. Falling sales in the US are being blamed. A report today suggest that Proton are determined to hold onto their sporty little number no matter what - so I guess things can't be too bad.

I like Lotus. Let's hope their long-term strategy people know what they're doing.


Links:

200 jobs to go at Lotus car factory @ EDP24

Lotus plans to cut up to 200 jobs @ BBC News

Lotus 5 Year Plan Heralds 3 New Models
@ WorldCarFans.com [via Jalopnik]

Malaysia'a Proton says will not sell Lotus unit even if things get tough @ Life Style Extra

Lotus Europa S gallery @ New Car Net


Picture from here. They have a bunch of other pictures, too (scroll right down to the bottom of the page).

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