Lotus considering production outside of Norfolk for the first time in 50 years

The Lotus production line at the company's factory at Hethel, Norfolk. Picture: Lotus.

The Lotus production line at the company's factory at Hethel, Norfolk. Picture: Lotus. - Credit: Archant

Lotus has revealed it is considering starting production in China.

Geely, which purchased the super-car business in 2017, has opened a new 9bn yuan (£1.01bn) factory in Wuhan city, company job advertisements have shown.

The factory will produce 'Geely's Lotus project', according to a statement by the Wuhan Development Zone in which the unit is based.

However, a spokesman for Lotus made it clear that no jobs would be lost in Norfolk, and that production as it is will remain at the Hethel base.

Geely and Lotus said in a joint statement: 'Lotus Cars is undergoing an exciting resurgence with the backing of Geely, and expanding the brands manufacturing footprint globally is a key part of the company's strategy.

MORE: WATCH: Is this Norfolk's fastest Christmas tree? Lotus has some high-speed festive fun in new video'The home of Lotus sportscar manufacturing and engineering is the company's Hethel headquarters in Norfolk, UK. Details on additional locations and models will be confirmed in due course.'

A spokesman for the brand added that Lotus were fully committed to production in Norfolk, citing recent investments including the new museum, Heritage Centre and Customer Experience Centre.

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The expansion plan will not come as a shock to the company's other major shareholder Etika, which owns a 49% stake in the brand.

Geely has previously outlined plans to build more up-market cars in greater volume, as well as adding new models such as SUVs.

MORE: It's go, go, go for Lotus expansion plans as first phases receive council approvalApproval documents for the plant also show the facility is approved to manufacture all-electric battery cars, electric hybrids, as well as combustion engine cars such as those Lotus currently produces.