Specialist Manufacturer Award for Lotus

2004 Lotus Exige
2004 Lotus Exige

    29th July, 2004

Lotus Cars is given the Specialist Manufacturer Award
by Auto Express at its New Car Honours 2004


Lotus Cars, one of the UK’s most admired sports cars producers, has been awarded the Specialist Manufacturer award 2004 by Auto Express Magazine in its recent new car honours.


This coveted award was presented to Clive Dopson, Manufacturing Director of Group Lotus by Oliver Marriage, Road Test Editor for Auto Express at a ceremony recently at the Waldorf Hotel, London in front of representatives from the UK Motor Industry.


In 2000 Lotus invested over £6 million in a new Manufacturing Facility at its Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk, England. This facility produces all Lotus models and also cars and components for third party manufacturers. Over 13,500 lightweight sports cars have been produced in this facility in this time – the highest run of production in Lotus’ history.


Over the last two years, Lotus has introduced the Elise and the Exige to new markets around the world including Japan, Mexico, Russia and Eastern Europe. First deliveries of the Elise to the USA market took place last month (June 2004) following its unprecedented acclaim from the media, dealers and customers at the launch. The USA market is expected to account for nearly 50% of the total volume of Elise models produced by Lotus. To accommodate this high demand for Lotus cars, production rates will be increasing from 97 to 120 units per week over the next few months.


On receiving the award from Auto Express Magazine, Clive Dopson, Manufacturing Director for Group Lotus said: “We are extremely pleased to receive this recognition from Auto Express. Lotus sports cars have won a great many awards over the years and it is fantastic for the Manufacturing side of Lotus to win this accolade. Specialist Manufacturer of the year is the perfect award for Lotus, for not only do we build the Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige, the Opel Speedster and Vauxhall VX220 for General Motors, but also we manufacture the advanced composite front and rear crash structures for the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. All this is done at Lotus’ facilities in Norfolk and I would like to thank the whole of the manufacturing team for their hard work over the last year. The whole manufacturing team of nearly 700 people have done Lotus proud!”


Auto Express Magazine explained the reasons behind the Specialist Manufacturer Award: “This award recognises Lotus’s sterling achievements over the past year. This year, Lotus produced the Elise 111R, with a 189hp engine and improved ride and handling and the Exige coupe which is arguably the most focused road car money can buy. Lotus has also used the Elise 111R as a springboard for a launch into America. The Hethel-based firm has long had a presence across the pond, but this Toyota-powered Elise should do wonders for the firm’s reputation. Mind you, getting the 111R past the tough American emissions and safety regulations was no mean feat – although it should mean sales will double to around 4,600 units per year. If that’s the case, then Lotus looks set for a rosy future with loads of exciting new models on the horizon. Everyone at the firm deserves praise for their impressive work over the last year. Long may it continue.”

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