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21 august 2005

LOTUS CELEBRATES RECORD YEAR IN U.S.

Strong demand, dealer expansion confirm North American resurgence

Lotus Cars USA, North American distributor of Lotus sports cars, has set a new one-year sales record with the new Elise roadster, exceeding expectations by nearly 20-percent and firmly re-establishing the British car maker in the U.S. market.

The first U.S. Elise was delivered in July of last year and through July of this year 2385 cars have been delivered. After being introduced at the 2004 Los Angeles Auto Show, orders for the lightweight, 190-horsepower sports car quickly exceeded projections and remained strong throughout the first year of sales, further reinforcing the Elise as the most successful model in Lotus' 57-year history.

To meet demand, and to prepare for future models, the company has been expanding its dealer network in new markets around the country. There are currently 45 U.S. Lotus dealers with new locations recently added in Cleveland, Ohio; Richmond, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina. Locations are also planned for Las Vegas and Sacramento, California.

"Lotus is back, without question" said John English, president and CEO of Lotus Cars USA. "But we couldn't have done it without the support of our dealers and the enthusiasm of our customers. We owe them great thanks."
English added, "The Elise is true to the Lotus philosophy of 'performance through light weight' and the sales show that American enthusiasts appreciate a pure, undiluted sports car. We look forward to expanding our model line-up in the coming years to continue the momentum Elise has established."

About Group Lotus plc: The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd. which has two operating divisions - Lotus Cars and Lotus
Engineering:

Lotus Cars builds and commercialises Lotus sports cars, Elise and Exige; builds sportscars for General Motors and manufactures the advanced composite front and rear crash structures for Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world's OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development to full production prototype build.

Lotus Cars USA is the North American distributor of Lotus Sports Cars based in Duluth, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.