Lotus Engineering has had a change of heart over plans to build a Proton-dedicated design facility at its Norfolk base.
It now plans a body design centre elsewhere on the factory grounds. This will house twice as many engineers than intended for the Proton centre and work for a range of clients, not just Proton.
The original Proton-only centre was to overcome other clients’ concerns over confidentiality of their projects. Lotus says security will be stepped up in the new shared facility.
The new design centre will extend Lotus’s engineering consultancy into the field of body design.
But it left the company with an embarrassing logistical problem. With the change of plans, the finely polished foundation stone for the Proton facility, laid at a ceremony last November by the Malaysian prime minister, was in the wrong place. Lotus has now moved it a few hundred metres to the new site.