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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.
 

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Didn't I read somewhere on these forums that of the 97 cars produced weekly, about 40 came to the US? If that's the case and there are 2,400 outstanding orders, then Lotus would need 60 weeks to fulfill the demand.

Now if they increase production to 120 per week and I assume (probably incorrectly) that the increased production are all US cars, then that means Hethel is making 23 more cars per week for a total of 63 US cars weekly. That means they can fulfill the 2,400 orders in 38 weeks.

My main concern is whether the experienced workers will build my Elise or if I'll have a new team building my Elise? I'd prefer the more experienced team myself, but maybe QA checks at the end of the line will eliminate any concerns I have... (I hope!)

Bob
 

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ConeFusion said:
Not sure if I should be happy that cars might arrive faster, or worried that my Elise might be built by trainees? :confused:
Ditto. I hope they learn quickly and Lotus quality control procedures are good...what am I saying? Its Lotus.
 

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A few months back, Lotus said they were going to increase production by adding a third shift. Which suggested to me that a second shift was already in place.

*shrug*

Maybe, in a few months, they'll increase production again by adding a first shift ? :)

EDIT - I believe Lotus will maintain the excellent quality we've seen in Chris' photos. They've said a few times that quality is a major concern for them (as well it should be). For them to slack off in the quality department now would be a complete folly, and they know it.
 

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Re: Re: Lotus factory is adding a 2nd shift to cope with demand

shinoo said:
Patricko, guess we won't be seeing you for about 12 months? ;)
I will be building your car while I am out there:D
 

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Um, seems like Lotus USA needs to focus on THEIR transport HERE first! My car's still sitting in Georgia, for two weeks now, with them telling me that they're at the mercy of contract transporters who won't ship my car unless they have a full load and are coming this way!
 

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As I understand it, the transport is out of their hands too. They are running into issues with the trucking companies refusing until the load is full, and having enough trucks and drivers. One thing was the price of fuel and the fuel surcharges not being passed on to the actual drivers. Seems some drivers are not driving.
 

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rtking said:
Now if they increase production to 120 per week and I assume (probably incorrectly) that the increased production are all US cars, then that means Hethel is making 23 more cars per week for a total of 63 US cars weekly. That means they can fulfill the 2,400 orders in 38 weeks.
2 things:

From the (somewhat silly) terminology that people have been using around here -- there are 2,400 deposits not orders.

In other news, 38 weeks = 9.5 months, which would bring us to just about April 2005. Well golly, that sure does sound like "the end of the first quarter of 2005" which, by the way, is the date at which "all current orders will be filled" and we also know now is the end of the Fiscal year for Lotus.

To me, this is double confirmation that every deposit (using our terminology) will be ordered, filled and produced by the end of April 2005, just like a previous press release said. Note that by being the end of the fiscal year means that Lotus has even more incentive to get the cars produced and sold, as that means more year-end profits, and a better financial statement.

Bring it on!

Steve
 

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Geez, at this point I seriously wouldn't have a problem flying down there and driving the car back up myself! What a great way to get the 600 miles under the belt at once!
 

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m100 Sean said:
Geez, at this point I seriously wouldn't have a problem flying down there and driving the car back up myself! What a great way to get the 600 miles under the belt at once!
That's my plan. Consistently on cams inside a week!
 

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Evl said:
Bah, as soon as I'm given a delivery date, I'm making an appointment for my 1k mile service for the next moring. I'll be on the cams within 36 hours. :)
I will probably beat that. :)
 

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Randy Chase said:
I will probably beat that. :)
If you average 60 mph, it would take almost 17 hours to reach 1000 miles. Seems a tad optimistic for the first day or two of ownership.
 

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jml1952 said:
If you average 60 mph, it would take almost 17 hours to reach 1000 miles. Seems a tad optimistic for the first day or two of ownership.
Not at all. When driving cross country, I usually do 16 hour days. I figure the extra joy of driving a new lotus should make me good for a couple of exrtra hours, and besides my record is 1300 miles in a day anyway.
 
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