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Lotus reduces job losses after talks

Lotus has managed to reduce the number of job losses it had proposed for this year. The Norfolk-based group had announced last November it would be cutting 350 jobs in 2005 following the loss of a major contract to develop engines for its parent company Proton.

However, after a period of consultation, its management has decided that only 237 of its permanent staff will now be made redundant.

“Of the 237 staff selected for provisional redundancy, more than 50% have volunteered to leave the business either through voluntary redundancy or early retirement,” says a spokesman.

The jobs are being lost in every area except vehicle manufacturing, which remains strong.

Lotus Cars recently produced its 20,000th Elise, making it the most popular Lotus ever. Annual production is running at 4,500 units and the two-seater road-racer is sold in 40 markets.

Automotive engineer Ricardo, which has sites in Warwickshire, Bedfordshire and West Sussex, has made approaches to Lotus workers planning to leave.

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