The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was in England last week and a business trip afforded me enough time to tour the Lotus factory. I toured the facility back in '96 when Esprits were still in production and the first generation Elise was practically brand new, and a little bit had changed. Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed in the factory or near the test track. Some of the things I found interesting:

- the factory is primarily an assembly facility
- body panels are made in France
- painting is done on site by hand
- I did not see a single robot
- chassis are made in the UK (used to be in Scandinavia)
- 95% of Lotus purchasers are male
- Lotus will send 300 cars to China this year
- the Lotus factory is the major employer in their geographic area
- there is a Lotus Originals store at the factory
- Lotus Motorsports is on site
- the back side of the factory looks nicer because it is next to the flightline where Chapman used to fly in important (wealthy) people, the back of the factory was the first impression (the complex is on an old WWII B-24 base)
- the fountain that used to be by the rear entrance was demolished when an un-named F1 driver hit spray from it on the test track and spun
- a new facility is being built as I type for new Esprit production
- the vehicles do go through a soak test prior to final quality sign off
- there were approximately 20 fully assembled Elises in a back parking lot waiting for headlights, which were on back order (I guess the same supply chain management that affects dealer spares hits the factory, too!)

If you are planning a trip to England, you can call Alex Brake at 01953 608547 to inquire about tours and the driving school. Cost for the tour was 39 British Pounds. The driving school is closed for the season.

Finally, I found out that Lotus keeps build information on all their cars. My tour guide couldn't verify when records actually started but early 60's was his guess. So, if you're restoring a classic or curious what the specs were on your recent purchase before the PO put his touch on it, you can contact the Lotus Archivist: Andy Graham [email protected] or 01953 608000. Sorry, I didn't ask what the cost was to provide this type of information and I'm assuming that because the guide told me about it that the information is available to the general public.

Cheers,
Severin
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,088 Posts
Thanks for the report.

I'm sure you did not take those pictures, just found them on a site somewhere ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
My things have changed at Lotus. When I was there (June 2011) you could take all the photo's you wanted of anywhere except the design studio. I shot a bunch of video.......will have to get around to editing it one day.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,229 Posts
Finally, I found out that Lotus keeps build information on all their cars. My tour guide couldn't verify when records actually started but early 60's was his guess. So, if you're restoring a classic or curious what the specs were on your recent purchase before the PO put his touch on it, you can contact the Lotus Archivist: Andy Graham [email protected] or 01953 608000. Sorry, I didn't ask what the cost was to provide this type of information and I'm assuming that because the guide told me about it that the information is available to the general public.
It's called the "Vehicle Certificate of Povenance" and it costs £35.00...this is what it looks like.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Why didn't you take any pics of the new Exige? I can't get tired of looking at that car.. If you did pm me your email address and maybe you can email me some.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
Why didn't you take any pics of the new Exige? I can't get tired of looking at that car.. If you did pm me your email address and maybe you can email me some.
In the third picture, I think the single dark grey car against the back wall is a new Exige.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top