Fleet News

Lotus aims at fleet market with new leasing division

LOTUS is encouraging sales among business customers by launching a new vehicle leasing division and a website.

Lotus Vehicle Leasing will be run on behalf of Lotus by broker Direct Vehicle Leasing.

The resources of the leasing firm will be used to market the Lotus range to fleets, with about 50 vehicles expected to be provided in a full year.

Lotus has been a major winner in the Government's changes to benefit-in-kind taxation, as its lightweight cars have a low tax liability.

The Elise 111S produces just 163grammes per kilometre of CO2, equivalent to an 18% tax rating, achieves more than 40mpg and is in VED Band B, despite hitting 60mph in 5.1 seconds and achieving a top speed of 132mph.

Ansar Ali, general manager UK, said: 'Fleet sales are quite small, but our cars have strong wholelife costs, including good residual values.

'Drivers aren't just using them as summer cars. The mileages on vehicles being returned show they are being used every day.'

The leasing division will be backed by a new website, Lotus is working through a 10-year plan with owner Proton, which will lead to the development of a new model range, including a new supercar to rival Porsche and Ferrari.

A brand new sports car, one step up from the Elise, is expected in 2006 or 2007. Over the next five years, the firm hopes to double its global production to about 10,000 units, with sales in the UK rising above the current 1,100 units sold a year.

Group Lotus turns over about £180 million with 50% of business generated through its engineering business and the rest through the car sales division.

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