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18 September 2014, 17:08
Norfolk's luxury sports-car maker Lotus says it's to cut 325 jobs from it's global workforce.
In a statement to Heart, the Hethel based firm said:
"The proposal was made following very careful consideration and may involve the loss of up to 325 jobs. The company wants to ensure that it has the right organisational structure in place to achieve its business goals and to build a strong, sustainable future. Regrettably, it is likely that compulsory job losses will be needed to ensure that the company has the right number of people with the right skills.
Group Lotus intends to redeploy staff wherever possible and will look for ways to retain specific skills and knowledge within the business, despite the proposed cuts. It also proposes to recruit into key roles, to help achieve the best possible structure and skill base."
Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus, said: "We understand the concerns this proposal will create. We deeply regret the potential impact any reshaping of the business may have on our employees and their families.
We have worked very hard to avoid the need to make the proposal, but do believe that it is now essential. It is in no way a reflection on our employees who have shown nothing but dedication to us and have worked tirelessly to support Lotus."
Heart's been told a Lotus will now take part in a 45 day consultation period with staff and workers' representatives on the proposed changes and on ways and means of avoiding job losses, reducing the number of job losses and mitigating the impact of any changes that are necessary.
Jean-Marc Gales added, "Once the reshaping has been undertaken, and with its strong and experienced management team, Lotus should be a leaner, more competitive organisation, focusing on both producing class-leading sports cars and innovative engineering. We will also build upon the improved sales results seen over the last few months.”
European MEP Richard Howitt said: "I react with alarm and real sadness to be told by Group Lotus today of the threat to 325 jobs and the likelihood of compulsory redundancies.
Any job losses at the site in Hethel and the two Norwich facilities will be a bitter blow to local families and communities.
I will work with the company and the unions to try to ensure that job losses are minimised and that current local engineering career opportunities and the reputation for automotive excellence here in the UK, across Europe and the world will continue."