Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) notes the recent media reports and is both surprised and disappointed that Lotus (owned and controlled by Chinese automaker Geely) has terminated its technical partnership with WAE to develop the Lotus Evija.
Since partnering with Lotus on the highly sophisticated and technically complex project to develop the Evija, WAE has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Lotus management. With its world class knowledge in high performance light weight electrification, aerodynamics, next generation powertrains and vehicle integration, WAE has been instrumental from day one of this project in defining the vehicle specifications, building the prototypes, and delivering the whole vehicle engineering programme for the Evija.
WAE believes that the decision to terminate this partnership is wrongful, without any legal basis, and made for Lotus’/Geely’s unrelated commercial reasons. In particular, WAE is firmly of the view that the allegations - including so called “delivery problems” - of breach of the agreement made by Lotus are false and contrived. Moreover, WAE was only informed last week (26th August 2020) that the partnership had been terminated, and not prior to this as comments from Lotus suggest. As a result of the termination, however, highly skilled UK jobs are now at risk, along with the launch of the world’s first fully electric British hypercar, the Lotus Evija.
As Lotus itself said recently, the project has been delayed because testing could not be conducted during the Covid-19 lockdown period. But overall the project is nevertheless now in its latter stages. WAE had continued to perform outstanding work and progress the project despite the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which WAE’s staff also worked tirelessly to help in the accelerated production of life-saving ventilator equipment for the NHS.
Following Lotus’ wrongful termination of its agreement with WAE, WAE has been left with no choice but to instigate legal action to pursue compensation for unpaid invoices, none of which have been paid since April 2020, and other losses caused by Lotus’ breach of the agreement.
WAE wishes to make clear that this issue has no impact on its existing projects, customers and partners.