Lotus combines sub-assembly and chassis manufacturing

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UK-based sports car manufacturer, Lotus Cars, has announced that its steel fabrication (currently situated at Vulcan Road, Norwich) and lightweight structures (located in Worcester) businesses will be brought together into a new, larger facility at Hurricane Way in Norwich. The move will also create up to 125 new jobs.

The 12,300 square meter Hurricane Way factory will be converted into a high-tech sub-assembly facility for manufacturing the aluminium extruded and bonded aluminium chassis for the Evora, Exige and Elise Lotus models, 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.

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

David Hewitt, executive director of operations at Lotus Cars said, “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 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, ensuring this region has the skills that are needed in its key sectors.

Lotus’ Lightweight Structures’ current facility in Worcester 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.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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