Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales has stepped down from his position with the British company.
Gales is credited with helping to return Lotus to profitability after it suffered years of losses under the leadership of former CEO Dany Bahar. Gales had been with Lotus since 2014 and helped to reduce operating costs by reducing supplier spending and trimming its workforce.
The 55-year old “stabilized and turned Lotus to profitability for the first time in the iconic brand’s history,” said Daniel Donghui Li, Lotus Cars chairman and CFO for Lotus owners Geely Holding.
Gales will be replaced by chief technical officer at Geely, Feng Qing Feng. He will continue with the company in a part-time role, serving as an advisor to chairman Donghui Li.
Lotus is hoping to grow its global sales from 1,600 to over 10,000 with the introduction of a new SUV, which is pictured below in a leaked patent drawing. It is also planning on releasing new sports cars to replace its aging product portfolio, which consists of the Evora, Exige and the track-only 3Eleven.
According to Automotive News Europe, the appointment of a Geely executive to Lotus will likely speed up the development of Geely-backed products at the storied British marque. The Lotus SUV will use a Volvo platform, another automaker with Geely backing, and should arrive by 2020.
Gales will now serve as the CEO of JD Classics, a British car dealership focusing on classic car sales and restorations.
Discuss this story on our Lotus Forum.