19 December 2003

Lotus Cars is to close its Norwich fabrication plant at the end of June, after directors rejected a proposed management buy-out. Lotus Fabrication was set up in 1999 to manufacture steel backbone chassis for the Esprit, and subframes and wishbones for the Elise.

The plant’s 35 staff were told of the decision on 8 December, and all will be given the opportunity to move to jobs at the main Hethel factory 10 miles down the road. ‘Volumes will be ramping up for the US Elise, so there will be a big demand for labour at the Hethel site,’ said a Lotus spokesman.

‘It’s not a dreadful decision, just a reallocation of resources because we do not see fabricating metal parts as one of our core strengths.’

Steel componentry will be sourced from external suppliers from next summer.

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