insert clever title here
Lotus launches major recruitment drive
28 July 2004
Chris Starkie, EDP Business Editor
Car-maker Lotus has begun a recruitment drive for more than 100 manufacturing staff, because of the popularity of the Elise in the US.
Lotus is increasing production of the Elise from 97 cars a week to 120 to keep up with demand, introducing a second shift in some areas of its Hethel factory.
Most of the production will be the new US-specification Elise which has been fitted with a high-performance Toyota engine.
Last month, Lotus dispatched the first cars to America, and now has more than 2000 deposits for the vehicle.
The company has also targeted other export markets, including Mexico and Japan, to increase sales of the Elise.
Lotus currently employs just over 700 manufacturing staff, with the recruitment drive due to swell that to well over 800.
Clive Dopson, manufacturing director of Group Lotus, said: "There are over a hundred vacancies ranging from roles on the production line, in the bonding facility, in the paint shop, in our Norwich fabrication facility, and in the final preparation area.
"We're offering these positions on a 12-month contract basis through Select Appointments as we recognise that production may stabilise after the peak in demand following the launch of the American-specification Elise."
Lotus's search for new personnel comes just a few months after the new Elise 111R was awarded Best Sportscar 2004 by BBC Top Gear Magazine.
And yesterday it was named Specialist Manufacturer of the year by Auto Express magazine.
The recruitment drive is the biggest since the opening of Lotus's £6m manufacturing facility four years ago. Since then, it has produced more than 13,500 high-performance sportscars.
As well as the Elise and Exige models, Lotus manufactures sportscars for General Motors, the Vauxhall VX220 and Opel Speedster, and advanced composite crash structures for the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish.
Applicants for the positions will have some assembly or mechanical production experience, and be used to working in a factory or manufacturing environment.
They will need their own transport, and preferably also safety footwear. Starting from early August, the contracts will run until August 2005.