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22 May, 2008 - 03:56 By Tony Quested

Lotus creates lightweight structures enterprise

Norfolk based Group Lotus plc, the world famous sportscar manufacturer and globally renowned automotive engineering consultancy, has created a lightweight structures division.

Lotus Lightweight Structures has been formed following the acquisition of Holden Lightweight Structures Limited. The new division, which employs 120 skilled engineers, technicians and sales staff, will be based at the former Holden site in Worcester. It will continue to manufacture lightweight aluminium and composite structures and components for an extensive client base as well as growing its business globally through the company's association with Group Lotus plc. Lotus Lightweight Structures will continue to assemble the award winning Lotus Elise, Exige and Europa aluminium chassis as well as the all new chassis for the yet to be launched Lotus Project Eagle. Group Lotus said the strategic move would allow the company to: • Create, adapt and change its range of products quickly and effectively, catering for changing global customer demands • Provide an additional in house manufacturing facility • Add an additional manufacturing solution for Lotus Engineering's global client base, providing lightweight aluminium and composite vehicle components and structures. Group chief executive Mike Kimberley, said: "With this facility, we will continue to expand and lead the world in lightweight vehicle research, development and production to help our global client base find ways to reduce the weight and cost from their vehicles. "Weight reduction is one of the most attainable ways to lowering CO2 emissions in vehicles today, as well as improving fuel economy and performance, and we have a duty to share our technology with the world's carmakers for everyone's long term benefit. "Lotus Lightweight Structures provides additional facilities, capabilities and expertise to the Lotus manufacturing portfolio. "The Worcester facility, and dedicated team, complements our Hethel headquarters and does not substitute any of the operations in Norfolk, but instead enables our strategic global expansion programme to proceed to plan. "We are now just 10 weeks from the unveiling of the next all new Lotus, code named Project Eagle at the British Motorshow, and we are working hard to bring this fabulous 2+2 to the market in the spring of 2009. "The Project Eagle chassis structure will be the first product from our new Lotus Lightweight Structures facility. "We are looking forward to increasing our support to customers, clients and new ecologically-driven projects worldwide."

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