It's not been a great week for Lotus. Seven days ago, the UK-based automaker laid off a quarter of its workforce, terminating "up to 325 jobs." And then, just a few days ago, it was reported that the company would be ending US sales of its well-received Evora due to the expiration of an airbag exemption. The Evora is the only vehicle Lotus sells in the US, meaning its end effectively removes the brand from the market.

That was apparently a bridge too far, though, as the company has issued defiant statement, claiming it'll be back, in both the US and Canada, for model year 2016, with an air-bag compliant Evora.

"I know that this will be welcome news to our thousands of owners and fans in North America, but the reality is that there was never any intention to leave. The North American market is vitally important for us and we intend to expand our dealer network and grow our sales volumes in the future," Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus said in a statement. "I would like to thank our fantastic Lotus following for their support over the years and remind them that we are working on many exciting products for the future. We will continue to explore our core values on how to make a sports car better by making it faster, lighter and maintain the pure driving experience."

So, there you have it. Lotus is skipping model year 2015, but will return to production sales for 2016. In the meantime, as the press release points out, the brand's 45 dealers will continue to sell the race-spec Elise S Cup R and Evora V6 Cup R. Here's hoping that's enough to keep these dealers afloat for another year or so.

Take a look below for the full press release from Lotus.
Show full PR text
Expansion within North America for Lotus

Lotus responds to the rumours that are circulating on Social Media and online

Lotus is fully committed to the North American market and will produce a 2016 Model Year Evora that will be fully compliant for Canada and the USA. Lotus will not be producing a 2015 model year Lotus Evora but there will be limited availability of 2014 model year Lotus Evora sports cars over the next few months. In addition, the Lotus Elise S Cup R and the Lotus Exige V6 Cup R are also sold in these markets for race and competition use only.

Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc said, "I know that this will be welcome news to our thousands of owners and fans in North America, but the reality is that there was never any intention to leave. The North American market is vitally important for us and we intend to expand our dealer network and grow our sales volumes in the future. In fact in the last twelve months, we have already appointed three new dealerships in the USA and are on course to appoint additional dealers in the next few months."

Jean-Marc Gales continued, "Our customers, both current and future can rest easy, knowing that our car sales, aftersales and support services will continue and indeed improve in the future to support our growth in Canada and the USA. I would like to thank our fantastic Lotus following for their support over the years and remind them that we are working on many exciting products for the future. We will continue to explore our core vales on how to make a sports car better by making it faster, lighter and maintain the pure driving experience."

Lotus currently has 45 dealers in North America and plans to open additional dealers in key market areas in Canada and the USA in the next few months.

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