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MartinW
20-11-2006, 06:08 PM
Link here for full story (http://business.edp24.co.uk/story.aspx?brand=BIZOnline&category=Business&tBrand=BIZOnline&tCategory=homepage&itemid=NOED20%20Nov%202006%2008%3A27%3A39%3A330)



20 November 2006

CHRIS STARKIE, EDP BUSINESS EDITOR
The engineering divison of sports car company Lotus is to play a key role in the development of a new car brand in China.

Lotus Engineering will become the lead engineering and development consultant for Jinhua Young-man Automobile Manufacturing Company (Youngman), which is launching a new range of cars under a new brand name over the next five years.

Albert Lam, managing director of Lotus Engineering, said: “For the last two and a half years, Lotus Engineering has been working with Youngman on a number of projects. We have built an excellent working relationship based on trust and the shared values of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“It is on these foundations that we will be working with Youngman's engineers on the design and development of new vehicles to help them establish their new brand in the Chinese automotive industry.”

Youngman is a leading domestic commercial vehicle manufacturer and recently secured a licence from the Chinese authorities to produce passenger vehicles.

Its senior managers have aggressive plans for their new brand in the domestic and export market and plan to have a full four-strong range of models in place within five years of the first launch.

Pang Qingnian, chairman of Jinhua Youngman Automobile Manufacturing Company, said: “Lotus Engineering is a globally- recognised leader in automotive technology and vehicle engineering and in our recent work together we recognised its formidable professional capabilities.

“As a result, Youngman identified Lotus Engineering as the ideal consultants to support the development of our new range of cars over the next five years.

“With our British friends we will produce passenger cars designed, engineered and built to exceptional standards. I have no doubt this prestigious collaboration will be a momentous step towards a glittering future for Youngman.”

Development work on the first model, a four-door saloon, is due to start early next year at Lotus Engineering's Hethel headquarters and at its other engineering centres around the world.

It is expected that the development of further new models will lead to a range of cars benefiting from the expertise of Lotus Engineering.

Lotus Engineering is working with a number of clients in the fast-expanding Chinese and Indian markets, including helping the Nanjing Automobile Corporation relaunch the MG sports car.

Nanjing bought the rights to MG cars for £53m together with MG Rover's production equipment when the British carmaker collapsed in April last year.

Lotus opened a dedicated Chinese office three years ago and plans to open a similar office to serve clients in India in the next six months.