Lotus has cancelled next year's launch of a new sports car, codenamed the M250.
Terry Playle, who from March has been chief executive of the company, has ordered a redesign of the car to make it more appealing to the North American market. It had been aimed at the UK buyer. It could be 2005 before a new version of the car is ready.
He is understood to want Lotus production output to rise to 15,000 units per year from its current total of around 2,900. Lotus has said that the 1,500 deposits, of at least £3,000, would be returned.