7/18/2019

Lotus Outlines Production Plans

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Group Lotus plc ponders major increases in production, including mass-market vehicles built in China.

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Group Lotus plc ponders major increases in production, including mass-market vehicles built in China.

Iconic British carmaker hopes its 10-year, £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) plan to replace models and broaden its product lineup will enable it to triple annual output of its high-end sports cars in England to about 5,000 units.

CEO Phil Popham tells Bloomberg News that the company’s plant in Hethel could achieve 10,000 units of volume by employing a second shift. If additional demand develops, it would require a second factory somewhere in the U.K., Popham says.

Meanwhile, Geely Auto Group, which took control of Lotus in 2017, confirmed in January that it will make a Lotus-branded SUV/crossover vehicle in Wuhan, China. Most of the new facility’s 150,000-unit annual capacity will be devoted to vehicles for Geely and its Lynk and Volvo brands.

Geely Chief Technical Officer Feng Qingfeng says Lotus’ longterm strategy is to produce its hand-made sports cars in England and rely on China as a more cost-effective production base for the company’s upcoming higher-volume models.