New paint shop for Lotus

Lotus has recently reached another milestone in its Lotus’ Vision80 journey as Emira pre-production gets underway. With the investment in UK facilities, now amounting to more than 110 Million Euro, new production halls with a high-tech paint shop were installed among other things. The all-new automated paint shop is located in Hethel, the Lotus Advanced Performance Centre.

Lotus Paint Shop
The installation of the new high-tech paint hop at Hethel is nearly complete. Image: Lotus

The state-of-the art facility supports a robotized paint application, a first for Lotus in more than seven decades of car manufacture that will improve quality and through-put of vehicles. It also features other innovative technologies, such as a combined primer and clearcoat line. The system is highly efficient. The dry filtration uses 60% less energy than a wet system, while an electrostatic primer on body panels will reduce paint usage by 30-40%. The installation is almost complete, and the facility has been locked down during May while deep cleaning took place. ‘Dry’ commissioning will commence shortly so the physical systems – eg, conveyors, transfers, lifts, ovens – can be tested. ‘Wet’ commissioning will follow later in summer 2021.

Through the investment, the workforce at Lotus’ Norfolk sites at Hethel and Norwich has almost doubled since October 2017 when Geely became the majority shareholder. With the launch of Emira, Lotus is creating more than 200 new operations roles and recruitment is now under way. Additional investment has been made at Lotus’ other UK sites, including all-new facilities in nearby Norwich, and in the Midlands in partnership with the University of Warwick.

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