1. ITV Report

Norfolk car maker Lotus halts production and furloughs 600 workers

Lotus has halted production in response to the pandemic. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Norfolk-based car manufacturer Lotus has halted production and furloughed more than 600 members of staff in response to the coronavirus crisis.

But bosses say they'll top up the Government's 80% wage contribution so workers are still paid in full.

They also say a £400,000 investment means more than 700 engineers and designers are able to work from home.

With no revenue coming in, Chief Executive Phil Popham said the firm's strategy was to "protect and preserve".

"It will be a while before we actually assess what the financial implication of this is but we are very fortunate that we have such supportive shareholders who are not putting in hundreds of millions of pounds over a 10-year plan."

– Phil Popham

Lotus halted car production immediately after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced "lockdown".

Mr Popham said the earliest the company anticipated production could resume would be May 4th - but the situation was being constantly monitored.

He also said shareholders were committed to navigating through the issues and that the crisis would not stop the "rejuvenation of a very famous brand".

"There is no concern about the long-term viability of Lotus."

– Phil Popham