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Lotus production in Hethel

Lotus announces new sub-assembly manufacturing facility

Header image: Lotus production in Hethel

Lotus Cars has confirmed that its steel fabrication (currently situated at Vulcan Road, Norwich in the UK) and lightweight structures (located in Worcester, UK) businesses will be brought together into one new, larger facility at Hurricane Way in Norwich with the creation of up to 125 new jobs.

The investment from Lotus, which has its headquarters and sports car manufacturing in Hethel, Norfolk (UK), further demonstrates its commitment to the region and to Norwich.

“The 12,300 m2 Hurricane Way factory will be converted to a new high tech sub-assembly facility to house manufacturing of the award-winning aluminium extruded and bonded aluminium chassis for the Evora, Exige and Elise Lotus sports cars, along with manufacturing of aluminium components for other global car companies. The facility will also house the steel welding and fabrication of sub-frames, suspension components and other key parts for Lotus cars,” said the automotive manufacturer.

As Lotus Cars’ expansion continues under new ownership since 2017, the company has outgrown existing facilities in Worcester and Norwich and, by moving into one combined new location, the company will take the opportunity to further upgrade machinery and tooling in readiness for new Lotus sports cars to be launched in coming years.

David Hewitt, Executive Director of Operations, Lotus Cars added: “By bringing the aluminium chassis and steel sub-assembly manufacturing businesses together into one facility, we can further improve upon efficiencies and productivity for Lotus manufacturing. Being located close to Lotus’ HQ in Hethel, Norfolk (where all Lotus cars are assembled), will also benefit the business as we expand further into the future.”

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (which works with businesses, local authority partners and education institutions in Norfolk and Suffolk) and Norwich City Council helped to secure the move. The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership will also be supporting a training programme aimed at upskilling existing staff and providing technical apprenticeships.

Lotus Lightweight Structures’ current facility in Worcester, UK, will be re-purposed by the freeholder and Lotus will relocate from the facility in May 2021.  Worcestershire-based staff will be offered the opportunity to continue their roles in Norwich, where the company is recruiting for both the new Hurricane Way facility and Hethel HQ. Those interested in joining Lotus should visit www.lotuscars.com/jobs-and-careers-at-lotus .

Group Lotus is based in Hethel, Norfolk, UK. It is part of Geely Automotive. Geely has a 51% controlling stake, with 49% owned by Etika Automotive, a Malaysian conglomerate. Lotus Cars builds high-performance sports cars including the Evora, Elise and Exige ranges. In July 2019, it launched the Evija, the ‘world’s first all-electric British hypercar’.

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