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Sep15

Little Lotus Lands a British Heavyweight for CEO

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Image: Lotus Cars

In its quest to realize a loftier standing among the many sporty, nicely-to-do set, Lotus Automobiles spent the yr poaching expertise from different British automakers. China’s Geely, which holds a majority stake within the automaker, is predicted to loosen the purse strings in pursuit of latest fashions and a larger premium market share, however the human aspect of the operation must be in place earlier than that happens.

Whereas former Bentley and Aston Martin execs have already hopped on board, the automaker now has a former prime Jaguar Land Rover official within the massive workplace, able to put plans into motion. He’s additionally no stranger to SUVs — a phase Lotus needs a piece of.

Phil Popham, who joined Land Rover in 1988 and completed his stint on the unified Jaguar Land Rover in 2014, was named the brand new CEO of Lotus on Friday. Throughout his time at JLR, he rose by way of the ranks to grow to be managing director of operations for JLR UK, then took the position of managing director for international operations. At Lotus, he joins different current hires from the British auto business, together with new product technique boss Uday Senapati, previously of Bentley and JLR, who joined the corporate 10 days in the past.

Marcus Blake, previously of Aston Martin, confirmed up at Lotus earlier within the yr to deal with the automaker’s business operation.

Popham’s first day of labor is October 1st, when he’ll relieve present Group Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng within the the Lotus Automobiles CEO position. Feng has worn two hats because the departure of Jean-Marc Gales in June. As soon as Popham’s put in, perhaps we’ll see Geely unleash the almost $2 billion it’s setting apart for the automaker’s enlargement.

“I’m delighted that Phil has joined Lotus at this necessary time in our 70 yr historical past,” stated Feng in a assertion. “We’re rising the Lotus enterprise not solely at our headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk but in addition worldwide so the foundations are laid to grow to be a globally aggressive model and a nicely recognised chief within the sports activities car market.”

Earlier this yr, Lotus introduced the hiring of 300 staff to deal with the creation of two new sports activities automobiles, in addition to an SUV (one thing no trendy automaker can do with out). The 2 automobiles ought to seem by 2020, with the SUV arriving inside a 4-yr window.

[Image: Lotus Cars]

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