Lotus is evaluating a proposal to establish a regional support centre in Australia. According to Steve King, Lotus Asia Pacific vice-president, a decision is still some months away, although the company has costed many elements of the proposal.
King says he was quite surprised at how cheap the Australian option worked out. Apart from low telecommunications and real estate costs, Australia now has a competitive advantage in cheap labour costs. King says service engineers are much cheaper here and also the workforce is more stable than Singapore, where King is based.
If the deal goes through it will see a significant boost to staff numbers atop the current support arrangements.
It could see a doubling or tripling of the current 10 to 15 staff, he says.
The centre would provide support for the Asia operations and would eventually provide the third leg in a 24-hour worldwide support chain. If Lotus goes ahead with the centre it will be a case of third time lucky. About five years ago the company planned to establish a manufacturing facility in Australia but received the cold shoulder from the then Labour Government.