Group Lotus Plc today announced a global restructuring program that could result in the loss of as many as 325 jobs around the world. Group Lotus includes the automotive division, Lotus Cars, as well as the Lotus Engineering and Lotus Motorsport divisions.

A total of 1,215 people are employed by Group Lotus, of which 1,032 work in the Norfolk area near the Hethel headquarters. The 325 jobs soon to be lost therefore represent about 27 percent of the company’s global workforce—a significant reduction in force.

“We understand the concerns that this proposal will create,” said Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales in a statement. “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.”

It’s not clear if the current situation is a reflection on the company’s lack of new product and alleged mismanagement during Dany Bahar’s tenure--though Bahar himself denied any such mismanagement. The hope, according to Lotus itself, is that the cuts announced today will enable the company to return to its strengths in a competitive manner.

“Once the reshaping has been undertaken, and with its strong and experienced management team, Lotus should be a leaner, more competitive organization,” said Gales, “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.”


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