Lola Cars International is to go into administration, parent company Lola Group Holdings has confirmed today.
The group’s fabrication arm, Lola Composites, will also be affected by the decision to appoint an administrator to handle its affairs. Both companies are based at the group’s headquarters in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
Lola Cars International was created by automotive engineer Eric Broadley in 1958 and enjoyed prolific success across many motor sport disciplines, particularly sports cars and Indycar racing. Former racer and entrepreneur Martin Birrane acquired the company in 1997.
In recent years, the firm diversified into other industry areas, creating Lola Composites Limited to work in the defence, aerospace, communications, renewable energy, automotive and motorsports markets. The company worked with Caterham on elements of the latter’s hardcore SP/300R track day car.
The move to appoint an administrator has been blamed on "the economic downturn and the decision of HM Revenue and Customs not to pay ongoing research and development tax credits". The combined effect of those factors has caused a serious cash flow problem for the two elements of Lola’s business.
A statement from Lola said appointing an administrator would allow “the Lola 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”.
The company said it would make no further comment on the situation until next Monday, 21 May.