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 Thursday, 2 January, 2003, 16:24 GMT
End of the line for Lotus Esprit
Lotus Esprit
The Esprit was made famous by James Bond
Prestige sports car maker Lotus is to cease production of its Esprit model.

The Esprit, made famous when used in the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me as the "submarine car", has been produced at Lotus' Norfolk headquarters for more than 25 years.

A company spokesman said they planned to create a new Esprit which would be unveiled in a few years' time.

Lotus, owned by Malaysian carmaker Proton, plans to concentrate on the development of the Elise sports car at its Hethel base near Norwich.

People redeployed

Around 10,000 Esprits have been built since 1976 and the company expects a further 140 to roll off the production line.

It is thought that around 30 people working on the Esprit production line will be redeployed within the Lotus group.

In February the company announced it was cutting nearly 300 jobs - about 15% of the workforce at the Hethel plant.

The company has blamed the losses on the global economic slowdown.


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06 Feb 02 | England
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