Caterham Cars has responded to healthy demand for its iconic Seven sportscar by increasing 2009 production levels by around ten percent. The makers of the classic two-seater have "above-forecast" growth from UK, mainland Europe and further afield, particularly now that its Ford Sigma and Duratec engine range, including the Caterham Superlight R300, has just achieved European Community Small Series Type Approval (ECSSTA).

The increase in demand means that Caterham will not only produce about 420 units but will also have to add to the 45-plus workforce based at its factory in Dartford, Kent.

Additional staff will be recruited to the production side of the business to help with the increased pressure on an order book that is already full until mid-October.

Ansar Ali, Caterham Cars managing director, said: "When we saw the first signs of sales activity stalling last year, we cut our cloth accordingly in terms of resource and costs. I've always worked on the basis that I'd rather face the problem of how to build more cars, than the problem of how to sell them, so it's gratifying to now be manning back up to cope with the extra demand.

Caterham Superlight R300 (2002) - picture 1 of 3
Caterham Superlight R300 (2002) - picture 2 of 3
Caterham Superlight R300 (2002) - picture 3 of 3

"Our international sales drive is delivering the results thanks not only to favourable exchange rates but more importantly the quality of business partners we have established in markets including France, Italy, Japan and Germany."

The launch of the Caterham Roadsport 175 and the Caterham Superlight R300 earlier this year has brought the Company's range of cars up to full strength and last month's pan-European type approval has paved the way for significant Continental expansion.

Caterham RS Levante (2008) - picture 1 of 3
Caterham RS Levante (2008) - picture 2 of 3
Caterham RS Levante (2008) - picture 3 of 3