Lotus has been very busy lately, creating five fantastic-looking concept cars that were unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Concepts like the Lotus Esprit, Elan, Elite, Eterne and Elise, all of which received great feedback. Unfortunately, the chance of all of these models actually going into production is looking grim.
Lotus applied for a £27.5 million ($42.7 million) government loan in January to go towards funding production facilities to build the new models. The proposed plant was earmarked for Hethel, Norfolk. The new plant would also have created 1200 new local jobs. Sadly, the government has rejected the loan application.
The funding would have come from the Government’s £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which has since seen various manufacturers, including GM, Land Rover and Jaguar, receive £450 million ($700 million).
It’s not over yet though. Lotus said in a recent statement that it plans to apply for a second round loan application that has to be in by July this year. The company said,
“Following this decision Group Lotus is currently exploring all available options including the possibility of submitting an updated bid for round two of the RGF, which is set to close on July 1.”
We certainly hope the company receives backing as the five models are some of the best-looking sports cars we’ve seen in a long while – they deserve to be on the market. Even if no government grant is given, Lotus has talked about moving production to facilities in Austria (Magna Steyr) or Finland (Valmet) to build some of the new models.