British speciality sports car maker Lotus has announced it will be dramatically cutting its labour force.
The company says it could let up to 325 of its current employees go over an unspecified time period; Lotus currently employs 1215 people. It’s not clear which parts of the company will be most heavily impacted by this round of retrenchments.
Lotus “will now consult with staff and workers’ representatives on the proposed changes and on ways and means of avoiding job losses, reducing the number of job losses and mitigating the impact of any changes that are necessary”.
According to CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the slimmed down company will still produce sports cars, as well as engage in “innovative engineering”.
Prior to his appointment as Lotus CEO in May this year, Gales was the CEO of PSA Peugeot Citroen between 2009 and 2012. During his time there he oversaw the introduction of the upscale Citroen DS sub-range, which is now being spun off as its own standalone marque.
Ever since Lotus removed Dany Bahar from the chief executive’s chair in 2012, the company has been without a CEO. Bahar’s ambitious five model plan, revealed with much fanfare at the 2010 Paris motor show and later scaled back to four new cars, was then abandoned. In the financial year ending 2013, Lotus lost 168 million pounds ($306 million).
Last month Gales presented a new Lotus product plan to the board of parent company DRB-Hicom, a Malaysian manufacturing conglomerate that also owns the Proton brand. Reports indicate that Gales’ proposal included an SUV and a sedan.
The company has neither confirmed nor denied these reports, and has yet to speak on the record about its next generation of vehicles. Lotus’ current range consists of the Elise, launched way back in 2001 and facelifted in 2011, the Exige from 2012 and 2008’s larger Evora.