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Lotus awarded £10.44 million from Government fund to develop new models


Lotus has been awarded £10.44 million by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to invest in new products and training.

In addition Lotus is expected to create 313 new full time jobs to support production over the coming years.

Business secretary, Vince Cable visited Lotus’ Norfolk headquarters to formally announce the grant to Lotus management.

The grant is a further boost on top of a recent £100 million investment by its owners DRB-HICOM.

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a competitive £3.2 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2017. It supports projects that are using private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.

Aslam Farikullah, chief operating officer at Lotus, said: “This grant is part of a wider strategy for Lotus created to ensure we thrive and grow.

“We are responding to increased global demand for our cars and engineering consultancy services and this grant will help to position Lotus at the forefront of global automotive innovation.

“We have very exciting plans for our sports cars and it’s a very positive move for Lotus that we’re in a position to create new jobs and to significantly contribute to Britain’s automotive industry.

“The team here at Lotus have worked very hard to secure this grant and every employee is playing their part in the stability, growth and future success of our company.”

Lotus suffered through a period of drama last year when former CEO Dany Bahar was sacked following an audit into the running of the company and an unspecified complaint against him.

Bahar has brought a £6.7 million unfair dismissal case against Lotus and a hearing at the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court in London will take place in June 2014.

Rumours of Lotus’ demise then surrounded the company following a petition submission to HM Courts & Tribunals Service for the company to be wound up. Bahar was planning to build Lotus as a rival to Ferrari with an ambitious model launch plan which would see a new Esprit, Elite, Ethos, Elise and Eterne all launched before the end of 2015.

DRB-HICOM put the model launch plans on hold while it reviewed the Lotus business. Although Farikullah has indicated the brand is now in a position to move forward with new products, it is unclear how many models from the previous plan will make it to production.

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  • Nicholas Challacombe - 27/11/2013 09:48

    Fantastic News for East Anglia and British Sports Car production. I only hope that this is not a smoke screen and somebody does not do a DeLorean.

  • Once so committed. - 28/11/2013 10:25

    Is this about company survival or expansion? Either way, What company requires 110 million pounds rather than 100 million? This simply appears to be ransom money. Why give money to a company that doesn't need it and handles its' financial affairs outside of the UK? The only figure being paid any attention to is the unemployment total. Please, somebody tell me how much money Lotus contribute to the exchequer, because on the surface the whole thing looks very cynical.