Currently reading: Group Lotus considers cutting a quarter of its workforce
Up to 325 jobs at risk at Norfolk sports car manufacturer under a restructuring proposal put forward by company chief Jean-Marc Gales

Group Lotus’s workforce could be cut by a quarter under restructuring proposals announced by new chief executive Jean-Marc Gales.

Ex-PSA Peugeot Citroën president Gales has remained so far silent on his plans for the company since he was appointed by DRB-HICOM, the Malaysian owner of Lotus’s parent firm Proton.

Gales has been assessing the Lotus business, and has today announced that up to 325 jobs could go at the firm under the restructuring. Group Lotus employs 1215 people worldwide, 1032 of which are in its home county of Norfolk.

According to a Lotus statement, the restructuring is “the result of the need both to reshape its organisation and to reduce costs”.

The statement added: “The company wants to ensure that it has the right organisational structure in place to achieve its business goals and to build a strong, sustainable future. Regrettably, it is likely that compulsory job losses will be needed to ensure that the company has the right number of people with the right skills.

“Group Lotus intends to redeploy staff wherever possible and will look for ways to retain specific skills and knowledge within the business, despite the proposed cuts. It also proposes to recruit into key roles, to help achieve the best possible structure and skill base.

“Group Lotus will now consult with staff and workers’ representatives on the  proposed changes and on ways and means of avoiding job losses, reducing the number of job losses and mitigating the impact of any changes that are necessary.”

Gales said: “We understand the concerns that this proposal will create. We deeply regret the potential impact any reshaping of the business may have on our employees and their families.

“We have worked very hard to avoid the need to make the proposal, but do believe that it is now essential. It is in no way a reflection on our employees who have shown nothing but dedication to us and have worked tirelessly to support Lotus.

“Once the reshaping has been undertaken, and with its strong and experienced management team, Lotus should be a leaner, more competitive organisation, focusing on both producing class-leading sports cars and innovative engineering. We will also build upon the improved sales results seen over the last few months.”

Last month a Malaysian news website reported that Gales was planning to develop a Lotus saloon and SUV to compliment its existing sports car, a strategy akin to Porsche, but he is yet to go public himself on any plans he has for Lotus’s future products.

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Gerhard 19 September 2014

Management Failure

Why on earth did they employ the ousted boss of a failed French car maker (bailed out by a Chinese company) to run Lotus? It is clear that the guy is not capable of running a car company profitably, which is why his only recourse is a large-scale round of redundancies.
If I were the Malaysian boss, I would replace him with someone capable of running this iconic and historic company -someone like Lewis Booth or Ulrich Bez.
ZZR1400 18 September 2014

So they want to produce an

So they want to produce an SUV or a saloon car but also want to cut a quarter of the workforce? Now that makes no sense whatsoever. Sounds too me like Lotus is dead in the water and will be closed sooner rather than later and certain parts of the company will be incorporated into Proton (engines and suspension patents amongst others)
brian245 18 September 2014

Dany Bahar had a plan

An unworkable plan is worse than no plan at all.
At least with no plan, you are not throwing money away on the unachievable
manicm 18 September 2014

brian245 wrote:An unworkable

brian245 wrote:

An unworkable plan is worse than no plan at all.
At least with no plan, you are not throwing money away on the unachievable

And they're cutting jobs, and 'restructuring' to what end? What goal? As I said, headless chickens, cart before the horse etc etc. The new management do not have a clue as to what to do with Lotus. If they are indeed producing a saloon or SUV then this simply doesn't make sense. Lotus also seem to have given up on a Proton co-developed supermini. This situation seems remarkably like the GM-Saab one. And that's no good.