- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Lotus is to build electric sports cars in the UK as part of a £2.5bn investment aimed at increasing sales tenfold.
The carmaker will hire an extra 250 staff at its base in Hethel, near Norfolk, in addition to the almost 1,500 who already work there. It expects to triple production at the site in a 10-year turnaround plan masterminded by foreign owners Geely and Etika Automotive.
Managing director Matt Windle said the firm aims to increase production to tens of thousands of cars per year worldwide, up from the 1,378 it made in 2020.
The proposal is likely to be welcomed by ministers, who are seeking to position the UK as a global leader in electric production and have banned sales of new petrol and diesel cars after 2030.
The marque is planning to reveal its final combustion sports car, the Lotus Emira, on July 6 before it switches to electric vehicle production along with an increased focus on SUVs.
Lotus was founded in the UK in 1948 and was famed for its lightweight engineering which produced cars known for their handling qualities.
The carmaker is now attempting to put years of under-investment by previous owners behind it.
Geely, run by Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, purchased a controlling stake in the company with a £100m investment in 2017. The rest of the business is owned by Malaysia-based Etika.
In November the UK confirmed plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the country from 2030, although some hybrid vehicles will still be allowed.
It comes as battery manufacturer Britishvolt plans to spend £2.6bn to build its first battery factory on the site of a former coal-fired power station in Blyth in northeastern England.