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Lotus plans to cut up to 325 jobs to reduce losses

Lotus plans to cut up to 325 jobs to reduce losses

UK sports car maker Group Lotus said it plans to cut as many as 325 jobs, a quarter of its workforce, as it seeks to reduce losses.

The company wants to ensure that it has the “right organizational structure in place to achieve its business goals and to build a strong, sustainable future,” Lotus said in a statement Thursday.

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

Gales, a former head of brands at PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, was appointed Lotus CEO in May. Lotus is owned by Malaysian industrial group DRB-Hicom.

Group Lotus’s cars and engineering units made a combined loss of  £159 million (€201 million) in the financial year to the end of March 2013, according to the most recently filed company report. The year before the company lost 115 million pounds.

Lotus sold 292 cars in Europe, its biggest market worldwide, to the end of June this year, up 14 percent of the year before.

The company’s three sports car models, including the long-running Elise, are well regarded by the motoring media for their dynamic handling but are often criticized for lacking the finesse of rivals from the likes of Porsche.

Lotus hit the headlines four years ago when it showed off five new sports-car concepts at the Paris auto show as part of a ambitious plan to leverage its illustrious heritage and push the brand upmarket to create a British Ferrari.

However the plan was abandoned after the Malaysian government sold Lotus-owner Proton in 2012 and former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar left the company in the same year.

Lotus said it would redeploy staff wherever it could to reduce the number of job losses.