Lotus goes into Japanese overdrive
Lotus Engineering is forecasting a massive surge in business in Japan after unveiling a new expansion strategy in the land of the rising sun.
The world-renowned Norfolk consultancy has opened an office in Tokyo and appointed automotive engineering veteran, Hiroyuki Hori, as business development manager for Japan.
Lotus Engineering anticipates a threefold increase in work from the Japanese market this year compared to 2006/7.
Group CEO Mike Kimberley said: “With Japanese companies at the forefront of the automotive industry, we foresee increasing opportunities for our world-class engineering and technologies in that market.
“The new representative office is a very positive commitment to delivering the very best service to our clients in Japan as our work there grows.”
Hiroyuki Hori is a Japanese national and has spent his career to date in automotive engineering in his home country. He began his career as a project engineer with ESTECH Corporation, an engineering services provider in Yokohama, and then with AVL Japan as a senior engineer.
He said: “I am excited about the opportunities to drive forward the Lotus Engineering business in Japan, where the company is very well respected for its core strengths in the development of efficient performance, exciting niche vehicles and driving dynamics.”
Lotus cars are imported into Japan by LCI, based in Tokyo. With 28 dealers throughout Japan, Lotus is expanding its customer base with the Elise, Europa and Exige range and in 2009 will introduce the next new Lotus, Project Eagle.
The key market of Japan accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the total worldwide sales for Lotus Cars. Project Eagle is Lotus’ code name for a new mid-engine sports car expected to slot between the Elise and whatever car arrives to replace the much missed Esprit. The car’s design will reportedly be similar to the M250 concept that Lotus debuted in Frankfurt 1999, while its power will come from a Toyota-sourced motor.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development and integration of the complete vehicle to meet all worldwide markets and customers to full production.
This includes third party ‘niche vehicle’ engineering and manufacture worldwide.