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Lotus announces strongest sales in seven years

PUBLISHED: 17:07 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:52 10 January 2019

Brand new Lotus cars ready at the Lotus factory at Hethel. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Brand new Lotus cars ready at the Lotus factory at Hethel. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Norfolk sports car manufacturer Lotus Cars has posted its strongest sales results in seven years.

A Lotus on the track in the parade of old and new at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA Lotus on the track in the parade of old and new at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In the same year as the company’s 70th anniversary, Lotus saw a 2pc increase in sales based on figures from 2017 selling 1,630 cars.

The Hethel based company was recently taken over by Geely, a Chinese firm that also owns Volvo, making substantial investments in product development, new facilities, and staff appointments with former Land Rover director, Phil Popham, announced as CEO.

Mr Popham said: “The year’s results show success on many levels, in what is a new dawn for the brand and business. “Strong sales and an increasing presence in many international markets underline growing confidence as new shareholder backing starts to shape our future.

“The many appointments to the company in the executive team and across the business demonstrate a real confidence and ability to deliver our ambitions for Lotus globally.”

Lotus Exige Cup 430. Photo: LotusLotus Exige Cup 430. Photo: Lotus

Sales have increased across the board, most noticeably in Sweden, up 87pc, Japan, up 59pc and Australia, up 50pc.

In the UK, Lotus sold seven more cars than in 2017, increasing from 267 to 274.

Lotus currently produces three cars, the Evora, Exige and Elise.

Last year it announced a multi-million pound expansion which will include the addition of a heritage museum celebrating the 70-year history of the famous brand.

Phil Popham has been appointed senior vice president of commercial operations for Group Lotus and chief executive of Lotus Sports Cars. Picture: Group Lotus.Phil Popham has been appointed senior vice president of commercial operations for Group Lotus and chief executive of Lotus Sports Cars. Picture: Group Lotus.

The news comes as UK car giant Jaguar Land Rover announced it is to cut 4,500 jobs as part of plans to make £2.5 billion of cost savings.

Most of the cuts are expected to be in the UK, with a voluntary programme being launched.

The savings and “cashflow improvements” will be made over the next 18 months.

The new job losses are in addition to the 1,500 workers who left the company last year.

Ralf Speth, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are taking decisive action to help deliver long-term growth, in the face of multiple geopolitical and regulatory disruptions as well as technology challenges facing the automotive industry.”

But the company also announced further investment in electrification, with electric drive units to be built in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre in Birmingham.

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