BCW Manufacturing Group and Lotus Cars are pleased to announce the result of a collaborative project which will see BCW take over the operation of the former Lotus Lightweight Structures Anodising (LLSA) plant in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

LLSA is where aluminium chassis components for Lotus sports cars are anodised.

This ‘win-win’ move allows Lotus to focus efforts on core business processes at a critical time in its new sports car programme – including the Lotus Emira – and to enable greater manufacturing volumes in the future. For BCW, it means the opportunity to take on additional treatment processes which are an area of operational excellence.

As a current Tier One supplier within the automotive industry, BCW is a natural fit to take over the operation of the Wellingborough site, which Lotus had operated the site since 2009. Under BCW it will become the responsibility of Dr Andy Wilson, Managing Director, BCW Treatments.

Claire Whelan, Managing Director, Ansuka Group – the holding company of BCW Manufacturing Group – commented:

“We are pleased to secure Wellingborough and its current workforce, the site will more than double our anodising capacity. Anodising is the perfect treatment for lightweight sports vehicles such as the Lotus Emira.

“We offer an aluminium anodising service of the highest standard, providing an end product for lightweight bonded aluminium structures where bond durability and corrosion resistance are equally critical. BCW offers added focus on enhanced sustainability of the anodising process, a perfect fit for the Lotus platforms.”

Claire added:

“We have been busy working to ensure the transition to BCW is as smooth as possible. We have a fantastic team to help deliver this and we are looking forward to running the first programmes from the new site. Working collaboratively with the management at Lotus has been refreshing and we are excited to be able to support Lotus’ increased production volume plans by taking on the responsibility of anodising. Having a Midlands presence is strategically important to our long-term vision in BCW’s growth, Wellingborough now enhances and strengthens BCW capabilities.

“With the 20 jobs already in Wellingborough, this grows the BCW group to in excess of 300 staff, additionally our manufacturing footprint has grown to 310,000 square feet across the UK.”

Carl Elston, Executive Director – Quality, Lotus Cars, said:

“We are pleased to pass the anodising business over to BCW, which will give us the flexibility and efficiency improvements that go hand-in-hand with the planned production of the Lotus Emira. When we pioneered the use of extruded, anodised and bonded aluminium in the automotive industry, starting with the Lotus Elise in 1995, it was a technology that benefited from low volumes. Now, with our advanced new sub-assembly manufacturing operation in Norwich, our new assembly facility at our sports car HQ in Hethel, Norfolk, and with BCW’s help, we can increase our vehicle production volumes substantially.”

Carl added:

“I would like to thank the skilled Wellingborough team for their hard work, passion, dedication and enthusiasm over the years and wish them the very best for their future with BCW. They can all be proud of the fact that they contributed to the success of such iconic models as the Elise, Exige and Evora – and are already contributing to the success of the Lotus Emira.”

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Published On: April 7th, 2022