FENG Qingfeng has been appointed to succeed Jean-Marc Gales as chief executive of Group Lotus with immediate effect.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), the privately owned Chinese automotive group that acquired a controlling stake in Group Lotus last year, said the vice-president and chief technical officer of Geely Auto Group had taken on the role with immediate effect.
Gales had chosen to leave for personal reasons, it said, and will become chief strategic adviser to Lotus chairman and chief financial officer of Geely Holding Daniel Donghui Li, who said: ‘Since joining the company in 2014, Jean-Marc has stabilised and turned Lotus to profitability for the first time in the iconic brand’s history with new industry-leading products and unique business models.
‘Lotus is poised for the next phase of growth under Feng Qingfeng’s leadership, where its expertise in lightweight materials and sports car engineering will form part of the wider expansion of Geely‘s automotive portfolio. At the same time, I will welcome Jean-Marc‘s counsel as chief strategic adviser to myself and the board of directors.’
Geely acquired a majority holding in UK-based Lotus in 2017 as part of its agreement to acquire 49.9 per cent of the shares of Lotus owner Proton Holdings from Proton’s parent company DRB-Hicom Berhad.
Feng, pictured with Gales, said: ‘I am honoured to have been appointed to lead this iconic British sports car group. 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.’
In 2017, Group Lotus sold 1,600 of the high-performance lightweight sports cars – an increase of 10 per cent on 2016 – which are produced at its plant in Norfolk.
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