Lotus has announced that the Esprit, its new mid-engined car, will be manufactured at the Group Lotus headquarters at Hethel in Norfolk. Lotus expects the car to start production in spring 2008, and positions it at the higher end of the range. It'll occupy the sector vacated by the Lotus Esprit that finished production in 2004, said the company.
The decision to assemble the new car at Hethel follows an extensive evaluation of a number of manufacturing locations around the world both by Lotus and its owner Proton.
Lotus said it has worked at improving the efficiencies and flexibilities within the manufacturing facility over the last 18 months to maintain its position as a leading niche manufacturer within the UK and Europe. Over the next few months, Lotus will be undergoing a small re-organisation process within the manufacturing facility to further improve the efficiencies and flexibility at Hethel. This will lead to further improvements and gains leading up to the start of production.
Group Lotus' new boss Mike Kimberley said: "We are very pleased that Hethel has been confirmed by the board of directors as the manufacturing location for this vital new car.
However the decision to choose Hethel has not been taken lightly and was influenced not only by our past achievements, but also by firm future commitments to improve the efficiencies and flexibilities within our manufacturing facility. We have a lot of work to do between now and the start of production and this will demand much commitment and hard work from us all at Lotus."