Administrators called in at race car maker
AN ICONIC racing car maker has applied for administration, meaning an uncertain future for more than 170 staff.
Huntingdon-based racing firm Lola has announced its intention to apply for administration, blaming the Government’s decision not to pay ongoing research and development tax credits for the decision.
The Lola Group, which has two sites off St Peter’s Road, is famous for making sports cars for track events, such as the world-renowned Le Mans 24-hour race, through Lola Cars International Ltd, which was formed in 1958.
More recently, it invested heavily in technology and diversified its business, creating Lola Composites Ltd, which offers research services for the defence, communications, aerospace, renewable energy and motorsports markets.
In a statement issued by the firm yesterday, Lola said that recent changes to the tax credits system has resulted in a cashflow crisis.
It said: “The latest economic downturn and the decision of HMRC not to pay ongoing R&D tax credits has caused a serious cashflow problem for the businesses.
“It is with enormous regret that a decision has been taken to issue Notices of intention to appoint an Administrator to Lola Cars International Limited and Lola Composites Limited.
“This step allows the board to continue its discussions with possible investors and prospective purchasers with a view to securing the best outcome for the staff, creditors and customers of both businesses.”
Lola Cars celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008 after it was estab- lished in 1958 by Eric Broadley MBE. It has an illustrious history, designing cars that competed in Formula One, the Indy 500 and Le Mans.
The company first entered administration in 1997 following an ill-fated return to Formula One, before it was saved in a takeover by Martin Birrane.
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has asked for further information and has offered to provide help to the staff as Lola goes through the sales process.
He added: “Lola is a long standing and important part of the Huntingdon business community and is an internationally recognised brand.”
Legendary: Lola Cars in action.