Five new Lotus models could still be made in the county

PUBLISHED: 10:02 09 March 2011 | UPDATED: 10:11 09 March 2011

Norfolk engineering and car making firm Lotus has said it has not ruled out making all its five planned new cars in the county.

The firm is waiting a decision by the government at the end of this month over a bid by Lotus for £27.9m to fund additional production capacity at its Hethel headquarters.

It is also waiting for the start of a high court battle with Tony Fernandez’s Hingham based F1 team over the use of the Lotus name.

However, in an interview with the EDP, chief executive Dany Bahar said moving production of all the Lotus cars out of the country had also not been ruled out.

He said winning the bid would mean adding production capacity: “But it doesn’t exclude that we go somewhere else with everything. It doesn’t exclude that we stay here.

“It doesn’t only depend on the money. The money the government is offering would never fill the gap we need to meet.”

The firm is on the second year of a five-year turnaround plan, which saw it launch plans for five new cars at the Paris Motor Show and become a sponsor of an F1 team, Lotus Renault GP.

It recently won planning permission for the development of a pit complex with viewing galleries and a motorsport centre at its Hethel site.

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