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19 May 2009

Group Lotus Business Release - Despite the global downturn, Group Lotus business is buoyant with the introduction of the all-new car, the Evora, and increased contract engineering

Monday, 4th May 2009 saw the beginning of a two-week long press launch of the long-awaited new Lotus Evora at Loch Lomond in Scotland, a launch which has now been hailed as a huge success for the company.

Long-awaited for most companies might be a few years, but for Lotus it is the first all-new car in 14 years and all staff are extremely proud of achieving this exceptional product in just 27 months from a blank sheet of paper to start of production. That it is a car designed to meet the legislative requirements of, and be sold in 41 countries worldwide, including the USA, further underlines this achievement.

Now motoring editors and photographers have experienced the performance and specifications of the Evora for themselves in Scotland, Lotus also wanted to bring to the attention of business editors some key points which it believe to be extremely newsworthy in the current global business environment.

Increasing Production
The current global economic situation is well known to everyone and UK manufacturing is suffering especially. But partly through prudent long term strategic planning and partly through the efforts of its global team, Lotus is currently increasing production output to cope with demand for the Evora, the new 2+2 mid-engined sportscar, as well as the Elise and Exige small-platform cars. Lotus is recruiting a considerable number of new production and engineering staff to cover increased requirements both in vehicle production and its international high technology engineering consultancy business. Production in the 2009/10 financial year is planned with confidence to increase by 50% over the previous year and the number of direct production staff will increase by 30% during the same period.

Strong exports
Lotus is currently exporting very successfully, with over 80% of its revenues derived from overseas markets where its business is benefitting from the weaker Pound. The Group is supplying strongly into Europe and the Far East and already the demand at Lotus dealers for the Evora in the USA is significantly beyond initial expectations. Lotus sees this sector as the springboard of the recovery in the UK economy overall - in exciting world-class products, quality manufacturing and strong export sales.

British Technology and Manufacturing
Lotus remains focused, committed and very positive about the future of the company and British high technology and manufacturing.
Lotus is recognised as a world-leader in new automotive design and specialist manufacturing technologies and remains one of the leading engineering consultancy companies in the world, once again, flying the flag for British design, engineering, innovation and technology. In recognition of this, Lotus was recently awarded the prestigious Dewar Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club for “outstanding British technical achievement in the automotive field” which recognized the development of our Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) chassis technology and its low volume application in the Lotus Evora.

Lotus Engineering remains one of the key technology pioneers in the research and development of electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicle research and application, all of which are aimed at guilt free enjoyable transport for the future. The company is expanding globally and as a result, Lotus Engineering expects to increase staff numbers by 10% this year.

“We see the headlines and are more than aware of the difficulties being faced by many other businesses worldwide, especially in our own industry.” said Michael J. Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus PLC.
“We’re not claiming that we have the solution to all the world’s economic problems, but our plans and efforts are working well for us right now. The Lotus story is very positive; new products, new customers, strong exports and new technologies and we know that this combination is a world-beating one”.