UK declines Lotus’ loan request

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 15, 2011

The UK government declined a £27,5 million (EUR31,000,000 or $45,000,000) loan that Lotus requested so that it can construct a new factory for its new concept cars.

Because of Lotus’ failure to get a portion of the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), it will have to produce vehicles, including the new Esprit, outside the UK. Lotus applied for the loan last January.

It actually comes as a surprise that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) rejected Lotus’ application since the BIS had no trouble approving funds worth £450 million (EUR 508,000,000 or $735,000,000) for Jaguar, Land Rover, Bentley, GM, and other carmakers.

Included in Lotus' new model range are the new Elan and Esprit models, which were shown off as concepts at the Paris Motor Show last September.

Lotus said that it is considering other available options. Group Lotus may submit an updated bid for round two of the RGF, which is scheduled to close on July 1.

Because of the lack of funds, Lotus could transfer some production to Austria, in Magna Steyr, which is where Aston Martin's Rapide model and Porsche's Boxster are produced.

The new Lotus Esprit, which features an all-new supercharged V8 powerplant, will arrive in the market around 2013. Lotus’ next move is to start production of the new Elan model. Meanwhile, Lotus has put on hold three projects: the new Elise, Eterne and Elite.

Topics: uk, lotus

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