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Innovation and quality spurs recruitment at Lotus

Publication: 
Editorial Staff
chiefofficersnet

Whilst major motor manufacturers are struggling, specialist sportscar manufacturer Lotus is expanding its R&D and production facilities. And it has full order books.

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."

Lotus has introduced a number of technology advances for dual-fuel and electric cars but has yet to see any revenue stream from those developments. However, with other manufacturers struggling to achieve the same or similar products, the Lotus lead is expected mean licensing of the technology so as to improve time to market for other manufacturers.

On 1st of October 2009, Dany T. Bahar joins Group Lotus plc as its new CEO, replacing Michael J. Kimberley, who retired in July. Prior to joining Lotus, Dany held the position of Senior Vice President, Commercial & Brand for Ferrari SpA and before that was the Head of Corporate Projects Business in Red Bull GmbH. Complementing the already strong Lotus management team Dany brings skills, expertise and leadship which will enhance Lotus' image, brand and reputation as a world class sportscar and engineering company. Last week, there were rumours that Swiss-national Bahar was discussing the possible purchase of the BMW Sauber Formula One Team which was founded by Swiss Peter Sauber.

But yesterday, Lotus' parent company, Proton, announced that it was involved in a project to bring the Lotus name back into Formula One with a car built and developed at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Lotus has research and development facilities just outside the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

But it is in Lotus road cars that the real surprises lurk: more than 150 new jobs in manufacturing; R&D of almost GBP50 million over two years; the Lotus Evora sold out for the first five months of production and sales of other models increasing by 2%.

Lotus remains a tiny car company: with gross sales of just GBP111 million last year and planning to produce just 10 Evora cars per day as from November this year, Lotus is a minnow.

But it's a profitable minnow. And that's all-too-rare these days.

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