Big changes are happening at one of Britain's greatest sports car manufacturers.
After Geely had acquired a majority of shares in Group Lotus, via their acquisition of Malaysian car manufacturer Proton from HICOM Bhd, pundits in the industry had been speculating that the new Chinese parent will initiate a major shift in management. And now it's happened.
Geely Holding has just announced that Feng Qingfeng is to be the Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus with immediate effect, succeeding Jean-Marc Gales. Feng is no stranger to the auto industry; he has been the Geely Auto Group's Vice President and Chief Technical Officer.
“I am honored to have been appointed to lead this iconic British sports car group,” said the new CEO of Lotus in a press release. “With Geely’s global synergies and total support I am confident that Lotus has an exciting opportunity to achieve its full potential as a luxury sports brand, based around its engineering legacy and its future product pipeline.”
According to Geely Chief Financial Officer, Daniel Donghui Li, Feng Qingfeng has expertise in sportscar engineering and lightweight materials; qualities that are at the core of the DNA of Lotus. Li continued that the company is now ready for the next phase of growth with their upcoming products.
In a separate press release from JD Classics, a car company that specializes in restoring vintage automobiles, outgoing Lotus CEO Jean-Mark Gales has assumed the role as their CEO. Gales has been head of Lotus for the last four years, leading the company after a turbulent time with the issues surrounding the supposed misuse of funds by its former CEO, Dany Bahar, and the legal battles that ensued with previous owner Proton and HICOM.
According to Lotus, Mr. Gales will also retain the role as Chief Strategic Advisor to Lotus Chairman and CFO, Daniel Donghui Li.