The Norwich-headquartered car and sport care manufacturer Lotus is to build a dedicated and specialist advanced technology centre at the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus. It will also be home to a new headquarters for the company’s engineering consultancy.
The new facility is 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. The substantial facility consists of offices, workshops and laboratory space with ample space for expansion.
Initially, 130 engineers will move in, complementing the 500-strong engineering team at the home of Lotus Cars in Hethel, Norfolk.
Matt Windle, Executive Director, Engineering, 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.”
Margot James, Executive Chair, WMG, said: “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”.
Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, 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 MP, the UK Government’s 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.”
Lotus Engineering, which celebrates 40 years since its incorporation in 1980, works with customers all over the world. The confidentiality of its work is paramount with strict firewalls in place between project teams. Some of the more widely acknowledged Lotus Engineering programmes from the past include the Lotus Carlton, Tesla Roadster, multiple Formula 1 campaigns, and a host of products outside of the auto industry from Olympics track bikes (2020 and 1992) to boats and light aircraft. Today, Lotus Engineering’s specialisms include vehicle dynamics and advanced propulsion systems, encompassing lightweight structures, ride, handling and performance.