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BCW takes over operations of former Lotus plant
BCW Manufacturing Group and Lotus Cars have announced the conclusion of a collaborative project which will see BCW take over the operation of the former Lotus lightweight structures anodising (LLSA) plant in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. LLSA is where aluminium chassis components for Lotus sports cars are anodised.
This move allows Lotus to focus efforts on core business processes at a critical time in its new sports car programme – including the Lotus Emira – and to enable greater manufacturing volumes in the future. For BCW, it means the opportunity to take on additional treatment processes which are an area of operational excellence.
As a current tier one supplier within the automotive industry, BCW was considered a natural fit to take over the operation of the Wellingborough site, which Lotus had operated since 2009.
Claire Whelan, managing director, Ansuka Group – the holding company of BCW Manufacturing Group – said: “We are pleased to secure Wellingborough and its current workforce, the site will more than double our anodising capacity. We have been busy working to ensure the transition to BCW is as smooth as possible. We have a fantastic team to help deliver this and we are looking forward to running the first programmes from the new site.
“Working collaboratively with the management at Lotus has been refreshing and we are excited to be able to support Lotus’ increased production volume plans by taking on the responsibility of anodising. Having a Midlands presence is strategically important to our long-term vision in BCW’s growth, Wellingborough now enhances and strengthens BCW capabilities. With the 20 jobs already in Wellingborough, this grows the BCW Group to in excess of 300 staff, additionally our manufacturing footprint has grown to 310,000 square feet across the UK.”
Carl Elston, executive director for quality, Lotus Cars, said: “We are pleased to pass the anodising business over to BCW, which will give us the flexibility and efficiency improvements that go hand-in-hand with the planned production of the Lotus Emira.
“When we pioneered the use of extruded, anodised and bonded aluminium in the automotive industry, starting with the Lotus Elise in 1995, it was a technology that benefited from low volumes. Now, with our advanced new sub-assembly manufacturing operation in Norwich, our new assembly facility at our sports car HQ in Hethel, Norfolk, and with BCW’s help, we can increase our vehicle production volumes substantially.”