Lotus creates 250 new jobs - but will ditch some models

Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus. Pic: VICTORIA PERTUSA

Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus. The car firm has revealed it is taking on 250 new employees but also phasing out three of its famous sportscar models. - Credit: Archant

Supercar giant Lotus is to begin production of its new model this year in Norfolk resulting in a huge expansion of its workforce.

In total 250 new jobs will be created as part of Lotus' revamp of its offering.

But the firm based in Hethel also revealed it is discontinuing its production of the Elise, Exige and Evora.

Since 1995, when the Elise was first produced, Lotus has sold 55,000 of these three models.

Recently Lotus announced its sales were up by 6pc in the UK and that the Elise was still its best seller globally.

Lotus sportscar

A photo released by Lotus Cars hinting at the new generation of sportscars being produced. The firm revealed the Elise, Exige and Evora are being phased out this year. - Credit: Lotus

But it is now focusing on the new all-electric Evija and also a prototype production of the Lotus Type 131 from its manufacturing facility in Hethel, which has seen more than £100m recently invested to improve facilities.

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The new manufacturing investment is part of Lotus’ Vision80 strategy.

The creation of the new roles is in addition to the 670 employees who have joined Lotus since September 2017, when Geely and Etika took ownership of the company.

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Lotus chief executive Phil Popham said: “This year will be hugely significant for Lotus with new facilities coming on stream, a new sports car entering production and new levels of efficiency and quality that only a new car design and factory can deliver. 

Lotus CEO Phil Popham. Pic: VICTORIA PERTUSA

Lotus in Hethel. Pic: VICTORIA PERTUSA - Credit: Archant

“As our Vision80 strategy illustrates, Lotus is all about looking forward, and our future is full of continuous innovation. In 2021 however, we will be reflecting on the legacy of our current range, starting with the Elise, a sports car that genuinely revolutionised the automotive industry."

Lotus' sporting trio

The Lotus production line at its Hethel factory. Picture: Jarowan Power.

The Lotus Elise Cup 250 on the production line at the Hethel factory. - Credit: Jarowan Power

The Lotus Elise was unveiled in 1995, revolutionising the low volume sports car industry with its use of extruded and bonded aluminium and high-tech composites.

The Lotus Exige Sport

The Lotus Exige Sport - Credit: Archant

Using the technology pioneered in the Elise, the Exige, launched in 2000, and according to Lotus "quickly became the epitome of the race car for the road". 

Lotus chose the dramatic backdrop of the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to

Lotus chose the dramatic backdrop of the Sainsbury Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to showcase its unique Evora Sport 410. - Credit: Archant

The Evora, unveiled in 2008, returned Lotus to the lucrative super-sports car sector as an award-winning and versatile road car that was more driver-focused than its peers.

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