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Lotus to help build Chinese saloon

Lotus will be providing its engineering expertise over the next five years to a new Chinese manufacturer.

The Proton owned Lotus will become an engineering and development consultant for Jinhau Youngman Automobile Manufacturing (Youngman).

Youngman is a domestic commercial vehicle manufacturer and recently secured a licence from the Chinese authorities to produce passenger vehicles. Youngman's senior management has aggressive plans for their new brand in the domestic and export market and plans to have a full four-strong range of models in place within five years of the first launch.

Pang Qingnian, the chairman Youngman, said: "Lotus Engineering is a globally recognised leader in automotive technology and vehicle engineering and in our recent work together we recognised its formidable professional capabilities. As a result Youngman identified Lotus Engineering as the ideal consultants to support the development of our new range of cars over the next five years.”

Development work on the first model for the new car producer, a four-door saloon, is due to start early in 2007 and will be carried out at Lotus Engineering's headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk.

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