Lotus Cars will hire 100 new employees at headquarters near Norwich in England following an ownership change at the British carmaker. According to Lotus, it will recruit 45 engineers, 40 production line staff and 18 graduates -- increasing its total workforce to 1,200 people. Lotus Chief Operating Officer Aslam Farikullah said in a statement that it has been “a period of substantial change” at Lotus and they are now in a strong position to expand work on future products and increase production in their manufacturing facilities.
Lotus’ move to expand its workforce comes after a GBP100-million investment by owners DRB-Hicom that will be used to strengthen its engineering, productivity, efficiency and quality. In 2012 DRB-Hicom disclosed that it was open to selling the unprofitable carmaker after taking over Proton Holding, Lotus’ parent.
Volkswagen was tagged by reports as among potential buyers. DRB-Hicom fired chief executive Dany Bahar in June 2012 and stopped his strategy to increase annual sales to 10,000 units by launching five new models.
Bahar had aimed to leverage Lotus's rich history and create a brand that will rival Ferrari and Porsche. Instead of having a five-car product lineup, Lotus will just offer three units after DRB-Hicom decided that Bahar’s plans was not viable.
DRB-Hicom executive chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil told the Malaysian New Straits Times in January 2013 that he targets to at least triple Lotus sales to 3,000-4,000 units by the end of March 2015. He remarked that Lotus will primarily target vehicle markets in the United States, Japan and China.
Jamil told Business Times in Malaysia in a separate interview that the sales jump would come from new variants of its Elise, Exige and Evora sports car ranges. Lotus’ annual sales are pegged at around 1,000 cars. According to the British sports carmaker, it posted an over 20-percent increase in vehicles sales in the first half of 2013 to 776 cars in the first six months of 2013.