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Elise production line slowdown at Lotus

To: Spridgets@autox.team.net, midgetsprite@yahoogroups.com, bugeye@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Elise production line slowdown at Lotus
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 19:56:10 -0800
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 From the Norfolk (England) Eastern Daily Press
Workers at Norfolk car maker Group Lotus are being put on a short term 
week after a slowdown in demand for the Elise in the United States.

Assembly line workers at the Hethel-based firm will still be paid a full 
week's wages, but required to work fewer hours for a 12 week period.

The hours not worked by employees during the slowdown will be banked by 
the company and staff will then be required to work a longer working 
week later in the year when demand picks up.

Lotus has around 800 workers in its manufacturing division, but has yet 
to decide which staff will be affected by the new working arrangements.

The slowdown, which begins on Monday February 27, will also allow the 
assembly line to be adjusted to cater for the production of the latest 
Lotus model, the Europa, which is due to be launched at the Geneva Motor 
Show at the end of this month.

When Lotus launched the Elise in the US in 2004 the company had a large 
waiting list for the sports car, but orders have fallen over the past year.

Lotus spokesman Alistair Florance said: When we launched the Elise in 
the US there was a lot of pent up demand for the car and we have 
satisfied that. We have also been busy stocking our dealers in the US 
and we now need to scale back what we are producing for a time.

The slowdown will allow us to reconfigure the assembly line for the 
production of the Europa, which begins in about two months time.

We have been working with our employees about this flexible working 
arrangement. They will still be paid a full week's wages, but bank hours 
we do not need and then work extra hours later in the year. It is a 
sensible arrangement as our cars are to an extent seasonable products 
with production peaks.

As well as the Europa which we believe will deliver good sales later in 
the year, we have just been granted the go ahead to enter the Canadian 
market and that will mean more sales later in the year.

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