Lotus Says No Chinese Production

Lotus Says No Chinese Production

Indlægaf pboedker skrevet 15. aug 2007, 08:20

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Ne ... eId=122163

HETHEL, England — Lotus Cars, the British affiliate of Malaysia's state-owned automaker Proton, has taken the unusual step of officially denying widespread rumors in the Chinese media that a local partner will assemble Lotus vehicles in China.

The Chinese company, Jinhua Neoplan, had been widely quoted in the Chinese press, including the state-owned China Daily, as saying it had an agreement to begin assembling the Lotus Europa from knocked-down kits, by year's end.

In an e-mail to staffers, Lotus observed: "The company does not normally respond to individual articles in the media, but occasionally we feel it necessary to comment directly to set the record straight about specific rumors that could affect staff morale or performance. There has been comment in the Chinese press that two Lotus sports cars will be put into production in China by the end of the year. This is not true. Staff has been briefed by [chairman] Mike Kimberley on plans for the company for the next five years. Those plans do not feature the manufacture of Lotus cars anywhere other than at Hethel. In future please treat such press comments with the scepticism (sic) they deserve."

In an official press release last November, Lotus Cars said it had an engineering contract with Jinhua Youngman, the parent company of Jinhua Neoplan, to develop a four-door sedan for the Chinese market. That vehicle is a version of the Proton Gen 2, and is being rebadged as the Europestar in China.

The Lotus press release on China added: "It is expected that the development of further new models will lead to a range of cars benefiting from the expertise of Lotus Engineering."

What this means to you: Good thing — we couldn't come up with a good badge for a Chinese-built car called Europa.
Peter Bødker
Lotus Europa Special :D
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