LOTUS is setting up a specialist advanced technology centre in Wellesbourne which will also be home to a new headquarters for the company’s engineering consultancy.
It will be based at the University of Warwick’s campus in the village near Stratford and will initially see 130 engineers move in, complementing the 500-strong engineering team at the home of Lotus Cars in Norfolk.
The major new facility, which is still subject to planning permission, consists of offices, workshops and laboratory space, with ample space for expansion and the capacity for ‘many new jobs’.
It is being established in partnership with WMG at the University of Warwick. WMG is an international leader in successful collaboration between academic research, teaching, training, and industry.
Matt Windle, Executive Director of Engineering at Lotus Cars, said: “This is a big step forward for Lotus and our engineering consultancy.
“The new space, facilities and job opportunities at Wellesbourne will be in great demand as we rapidly build our portfolio of external projects. Our team and specialist skills have grown significantly in the last two years as renewed impetus has been put in to the business with new shareholders and management. The all-electric Evija hypercar is the first new Lotus Cars product for us to deliver, with significant focus on this at Wellesbourne as we complete the project and continue to advance its technologies for our future programmes.”
Lotus Cars CEO Phil Popham added: “Wellesbourne offers an excellent facility, with plenty of expansion potential, and will be the perfect home for our new advanced technology centre. Our engineering and R&D strategy around advanced propulsion systems is lock-in-step with the government’s vision and broader global ambitions for a low-carbon automotive future. We look forward to working in collaboration with Government and with our new campus neighbours on this future. Having research partners at the University and WMG will bring significant benefits, as will the Midlands location, which is both very accessible and home to a rich pool of automotive talent.”
Nadhim Zahawi, Stratford MP and Business and Industry Minister, said: “The West Midlands has long been the beating heart of the UK’s automotive and engineering industries, and this announcement is further evidence that this proud history will continue. Lotus’ new advanced technology centre will secure over 100 highly-skilled jobs in Warwickshire, support a strong economic recovery across the region and drive forward the low carbon, electric technologies of the future.”
Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said: “We are delighted to welcome this key part of such a significant and legendary technology based company to the University and our Wellesbourne campus. This is just the beginning of a partnership. I know that it will grow, thrive, and bring prosperity and new opportunities to both Warwickshire and the West Midlands, and will call on and benefit from the significant automotive and technology skills and talents of many people in our region.”
Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG, added: “This is wonderful news not only for WMG, the University of Warwick and the region, but also for the UK automotive sector. The UK needs to retain R&D capability in our manufacturing sector, and at WMG we are working with partners on many R&D programmes which are focused on innovation and future growth towards net zero. We look forward to collaborating with Lotus on projects which seek to create a greener, more connected future”.
Stratford District Council leader Tony Jefferson said: “This is really good news for the Wellesbourne campus, Stratford-on-Avon District and the region as a whole. We are totally committed to supporting the development of the Wellesbourne campus. We see it as a major asset for both Stratford-on-Avon District and the region and we welcome the addition of 130 skilled roles to the District. We look forward to the future development of the campus.”
Lotus Engineering, which celebrates 40 years since its incorporation in 1980, works with customers all over the world. Some of its more widely acknowledged past projects programmes include the Lotus Carlton, Tesla Roadster, multiple Formula 1 campaigns, and a host of products outside of the auto industry from Olympics track bikes to boats and light aircraft.
Today, Lotus Engineering’s work includes vehicle dynamics and advanced propulsion systems, encompassing lightweight structures, ride, handling and performance.