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Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley has announced his retirement as the head of the U.K. based sports car maker due to medical reasons. The 70-year-0ld Kimberley has been suffering from severe back pain, underwent surgery in 2008 and has now been advised by his doctors to resign his position.
“Sadly, it is on doctor’s orders that I am stepping down but I will leave confident that Lotus is in great shape with a strong management team fully supported by our shareholder in Malaysia,” Kimberley said in a statement. “It’ll be very hard to leave knowing that there are such exciting times ahead but I’ll take with me many very happy memories. I want to extend my thanks to the company’s shareholder for their unfailing support, my management team and the wonderful staff both at Hethel and at our various operational locations throughout the world. Most of all I want to thank our Lotus customers and loyal fans worldwide for their support over the years.”
Kimberley started his career with Jaguar in 1953 and has since worked in the automotive industry for 56 years. He joined Lotus in 1969, leaving in 1992 to pursue other opportunities with companies like General Motors and Lamborghini, before returning to Lotus in 2006.
Since then Kimberley has over seen the production of the Evora, as well as the expansion of Lotus Engineering, a world renowned high-tech engineering firm.
Kimberley will officially retire on tomorrow, July 17th.
Official release after the jump:
Dewar Trophy awarded for Lotus's Versatile Vehicle Architecture
Those engineers over at Lotus have received a pat on the back by industry experts in the U.K., as the company was recently awarded the Dewar Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club.
The Dewar Trophy is handed out each year for a “outstanding British technical achievement in the automotive field.” Lotus received the award for developing its Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) chassis that underlies the upcoming Evora sportscar (pictured above).
What makes the VVA architecture so special isn’t just that it’s a light weight, but that is was created specifically to be used in different variants to be an equally capable and ideal platform for several different low to medium production number models (like the ones Lotus builds). Traditionally, a niche market vehicle requires an entirely new platform or the adaptation of an existing platform, two solutions that are either expensive or full of compromises. With the VVA chassis, Lotus has found a middle-road solution that will be the basis for the Evora as well as other future platforms.
“I would like to thank the Dewar Trophy Technical Sub-Committee for the award, and all at Lotus are most honored to receive this accolade,” said Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc. “It is a fantastic achievement for Lotus to win such a prestigious and recognized award for our Versatile Vehicle Architecture technology which is used in our stunning new Lotus Evora sportscar. This award is for everyone at Lotus; those who created the VVA technology, those who delivered the Evora engineering program and those who are building our car. With incredible hard work and dedication at Lotus, using this technology our excellent staff have delivered the Lotus Evora in 27 months from a clean sheet to the first production car driving off the line, a great achievement.”
“The automotive industry is changing fast, and technology needs to be robust, faster to market and more cost and mass effective than ever before,” continues Kimberly, “and Lotus will be there at the forefront of this exciting period for the future of personal transport.”
Official release after the jump: