New owner of Lotus, Malaysian manufacturing group DRB-Hicom, has committed to adding 100 employees to the British brand’s operations including 45 engineers, 40 manufacturing operatives and 18 graduates.
The expansion comes one month after DRB-Hicom – which bought both Proton and Lotus last year – announced it would invest more than £100 million ($166 million) within three years to secure the future of the sports car manufacturer.
DRB-Hicom also, however, announced it will dump the ambitious plan set out by former CEO Danny Bahar to launch five new Lotus models in five years, instead concentrating on creating derivatives of the existing Elise, Exige and Evora lines.
The recruitment drive will see the new employees working at Lotus Engineering to work on new models.
Lotus says the increased engineering workforce is necessary to meet both the increased global demand for its products and also the forecast greater use of its engineering consultancy services.
Lotus says it will continue to embark on a diversification strategy to find new markets for its cars, with 90 per cent of production already exported to markets outside of the UK.
“Lotus’ successes have always been built on our talented and dedicated workforce,” announced Lotus group head of human resources Mark Pym.
“As we embark on a period of strengthening, it’s crucial that we grow our workforce to support this.
“It’s a positive sign for both the UK car industry and Lotus that we are able to recruit such a high number of both experienced specialists and graduates, who will take their first steps on an exciting and rewarding career path.”
Implicitly acknowledging the difficult period for Lotus under its previous management, chief operating officer Aslam Farikullah added that “it’s been a period of substantial change at Lotus and we are now in a strong position to expand our work on future products and to increase production in our manufacturing facilities.
“We want Lotus to be at the forefront of the global automotive industry and for us to remain competitive, we will introduce more exciting products – there has never been a better time to be part of the future of Lotus”.