Lotus Cars is a British manufacturer of sports Lotus parts and racing cars based at out of England. The company designs and builds Lotus parts, specialized race cars and production automobiles of light weight materials and high handling performance characteristics. In 1948, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman - an engineer and passionate racing enthusiast - built his first car using custom Lotus parts solely developed by him. By spring Chapman had finished his first vehicle, the Mark 1 which he based on an old Austin Seven. His new creation became the first Lotus in history. The company was officially formed in 1959 and was mad up of Lotus parts, Lotus Cars Limited and Lotus Components Limited which focused on road car and customer competition car production respectively.
Over the years, Lotus has manufactured a number of Lotus parts, and automobiles bearing the Lotus names and continues to do so. In the past 10 years, Lotus has won a number of awards pertaining to the rapid developments in Lotus parts. The company has proven to be efficient when facing pressure from the market to innovate having produced the Circuit Car from concept to prototype in just 11 weeks. Lotus later launched the Exige in 2004 at the esteemed Virginia International Raceway in the same fashion. Those in attendance were able to experience firsthand the phenomenal performance of Lotus parts that completely utilize and exploit the available vehicle resources.
The last European specification of Lotus parts for the Esprit were done in 2003. Lotus charged ahead with new market expansion, however, with news that it would sell Lotus parts and the Lotus Elise in both Mexico and Russia and would begin selling the Lotus Elise in the U.S. the following year. In 2004, the federal version Lotus Elise premiered at the Los Angeles Motor Show. Lotus parts were a completely re-worked and the car housed a state-of-the-art 190 hp (DIN 70020) Toyota engine, 6-speed gear box, plus twin air bags and track-tuned ABS. Lotus also launched the new 189 hp (1999/99EC) Lotus Elise 111R for the European and Rest of World markets.
Lotus parts and engineering are highly respected around the world; the company also acts as an engineering consultancy, providing Lotus parts and engineering development particularly in the area of suspension to other car manufacturers. The lesser known Power train department is responsible for the design and development of the 4 cylinder engine found in many automobiles produced by manufacturers around the world. Lotus parts and engineering standards can be found under the hoods of many international makes and models.
Tapping into the burgeoning ASEAN economy, Lotus announced plans for a new Engineering Operations and Lotus parts Center at Technology Park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This new location places Lotus in the same corporate neighborhood as some of the world’s leading car manufacturers. This strategic move was to improve Lotus' relationship with the automakers it serves by being in an efficient and local position when these automakers look to them for Lotus parts and engineering consultation. Responding to increasing demand internationally, Lotus Engineering also opened a dedicated office in China in 2004. The purpose of this development was to encourage worldwide sales of Lotus parts and automobiles by placing company operations directly in the center of the world's fastest growing automotive market.