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Lotus 'tightens belt' and cuts 200 jobs

Lotus has cut 200 jobs at its Hethel plant as part of a new five year business plan.

The company said it was making cuts because of poor sales in the US market which has been hit by rises in oil prices and interest rates.

The sports manufacturer said a significant proportion of the job losses would be made through voluntary redundancy.

However, it's not all doom and gloom for the sports manufacturer. As part of its plans, it will launch two new models over the next three years. This is in addition to the new Esprit, which will top the range as the company's future flagship sports car.

The two additional models will be a new mid-range Lotus set for launch in December 2008 and a Lotus/Proton high-performance model, due in May 2008. The flagship Esprit replacement will be unveiled in December 2009.

Mike Kimberley, chief executive officer of Group Lotus, said: "While we regret any job losses it is essential we respond fast to market conditions while we drive forward this exciting plan.

"Like many other carmakers we need to tighten our belts in the short term. It is essential we respond fast to market conditions while we drive forward this exciting long-term plan."

The current Lotus model range includes the Elise and Exige with the recently-introduced Europa S. The three new models, all to be sold through the Lotus dealer network, and development work will increase significantly in future months.



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