Jean-Marc Gales leaves top job at Lotus

Gales replacement to be a Geely-sourced board member – a first visible sign of Geely’s influence?

Gales - lotus

Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales is to leave the company he took into the black after an extensive history of non-profitability. Not devoid of a controversial past, the Norfolk-based British manufacturer has recently fought its way through financial troubles with Gales at the helm.

However, Lotus’s recent acquisition by Geely, the Chinese motoring juggernaut also responsible for the purchase of Volvo in recent years, has clearly started to have an effect, with Gales’s replacement confirmed to be Qingfeng Feng, vice-president and chief technical officer from Geely, who joined Lotus’s board at the point of Geely’s acquisition.

> Click here for our review of the Lotus Exige 410 Sport

Geely’s purchase of Lotus was part of a larger acquisition agreement, including a 49.9 per cent share of Proton, purchased from HICOM Bhd of Malaysia. Due in large part to the revitalisation of Volvo, Geely looked to be the financial backer that Lotus would need in order to once again become a real player in the performance car market.

Gales has been widely acknowledged for bringing Lotus into profitability for the first time, by a combination of streamlining Lotus’s workforce and selling more cars at a higher profit margin through a constant stream of special and limited editions.

What does this mean for Lotus? With only further integration into the Geely conglomerate, Lotus should finally get the chance to take advantage of proper financial backing to redevelop its sports car range, one that has its foundations in many of its models from as far back as 1996. If Volvo’s current successes are anything to go by, Lotus could be on the cusp of a major redevelopment.

And what next for Gales? He’s been appointed the new CEO of Essex-based classic car restorer and retailer JD Classics. Leading an expansion planned by JD Classics, Gales said: ‘I am excited by the opportunity to lead the JD Classics team. This is a business with very talented technicians and craftsmen and truly knowledgeable and passionate sales advisors. It has grown over the past 30 years to a world-class business known for a quality product through the passion and dedication of its team.’

Recommended

Lotus E-R9 design study revealed
Lotus E-R9 profile
Lotus

Lotus E-R9 design study revealed

Lotus design has given us a glimpse into what it wants the electric racing car of the future to be
16 Feb 2021
Lotus Elise and Exige to sign off with Final Edition models
Lotus Final Editions 2021 - group
Lotus

Lotus Elise and Exige to sign off with Final Edition models

Lotus Elise and Exige Final Edition models to celebrate the end of one era and the beginning of another
8 Feb 2021
Lotus Type 131 production confirmed for this year
Type 131 render
Lotus

Lotus Type 131 production confirmed for this year

All-new sports car to rival the iconic Porsche 911 and set the blueprint for Lotus's future models
25 Jan 2021
Lotus Evija hypercar shown undergoing tests in new film
Lotus

Lotus Evija hypercar shown undergoing tests in new film

The global pandemic might have delayed proceedings, but a new video gives us our best look yet at the Lotus Evija hypercar
22 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Will synthetic fuel save the performance car? The manufacturers weigh in
R8 Filler cap
Porsche

Will synthetic fuel save the performance car? The manufacturers weigh in

Porsche claims a car running on eFuel will have the same CO2 footprint as an EV, and BMW, Audi, Aston Martin and McLaren all agree
24 Feb 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 revealed – special edition marks 45 years of the GTI
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 revealed – special edition marks 45 years of the GTI

The Golf GTI Clubsport 45 features aesthetic tweaks to celebrate 45 years since the icon first hit the road
26 Feb 2021
2021 Mercedes C-class revealed – all-new 3-series rival to channel S-class luxury
2021 Mercedes C-class revealed - front tracking
Mercedes C-Class

2021 Mercedes C-class revealed – all-new 3-series rival to channel S-class luxury

New C-class to launch as four-cylinder only; AMGs expected to be the same
23 Feb 2021