By World Manufacturing Journal-
Lotus has announced it is going to convert its 12,300 square meter Hurricane Way factory to a new high tech sub-assembly facility. This new facility will join together the steel fabrication (currently situated at Vulcan Road, Norwich) and lightweight structures (located in Worcester) under a new factory.
The development will lead to the creation of 125 jobs, with 50 new roles created initially and a further 75 planned.
The move was secured by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Norwich City Council. The decision to open the new factory has been praised by Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, who said: “We’re delighted the company has shown its continued and deepening commitment to Norwich by choosing the Hurricane Way site as a new base for the high-tech manufacturing element of the business.
The new facilities will manufacture the award-winning aluminium extruded and bonded aluminium chassis for the Evora, Exige and Elise Lotus sportscars, along with manufacturing of aluminium components for other global car companies. The facility will also house the steel welding and fabrication of sub-frames, suspension components and other key parts for Lotus cars.
As Lotus Cars’ expansion continues under new ownership since 2017, the company has outgrown existing facilities in Worcester and Norwich and by moving into a combined new location, the company will take the opportunity to further upgrade machinery and tooling in readiness for new Lotus vehicles to be launched in the coming years.
David Hewitt, Executive Director of Operations at Lotus Cars explained the decisions process: “By bringing the aluminium chassis and steel sub-assembly manufacturing businesses together into one facility, we can further improve upon efficiencies and productivity for Lotus manufacturing. ”
Lotus Lightweight Structures’ current facility in Worcester will be re-purposed by the freeholder and Lotus will relocate from the facility in May 2021. Staff at the Worcestershire site will be offered the opportunity to continue their roles in Norwich, where the company is recruiting for both the new Hurricane Way facility and Hethel HQ.