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By annabelle dickson Business writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Norfolk-based car maker Group Lotus is to review its marketing and promotional activity in a move that will see resources from parent DRB Hicom focused on the engineering side of the business.
In a sign of the change in direction since the Malaysian conglomerate took over the company in January, Lotus has announced that it will not be at September’s Paris Motor Show.
The decision contrasts with the approach of former chief executive Dany Bahar – dismissed by DRB-Hicom last month – who had used the show to unveil his ambitious plan to launch five new models in five years.
While the extent to which Mr Bahar’s plan will be fulfilled is still uncertain, production continues and a new model – the Exige S – is believed to be about to go into production.
However, despite the change of direction it is thought the company will honour the five-year, seven-figure partnership signed with Norwich City Football Club last August.
In a statement yesterday Group Lotus said the marketing review would aim to ensure investment from parent company DRB-Hicom is used in the “most productive and cost-effective way to ensure the delivery of high quality and technically innovative products to the market place” to drive the company forward.
It added: “Group Lotus have some of the most technically gifted and talented staff anywhere in the auto-motive industry and the company is determined they will be given the opportunity to flourish. This company will only have a bright future if the innovation culture is encouraged.”
A Norwich City spokesman said the club was about to embark on the second year of an exciting and high-profile sponsorship deal with Lotus, and was “very much looking forward to continuing the excellent working relationship we have with Lotus in the months and years ahead”.
One of East Anglia’s largest crane hire companies, Quinto Crane & Plant Ltd, has been bought out in a multi-million pound deal, with the new owner promising to safeguard the jobs for its 125 employees and guaranteeing future investment.