Find a car review

Make
Model

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?

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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

> 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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.’

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/lotus/22552/lotus-evija-revealed-1972bhp-all-electric-hypercar-to-take-on-pininfarina-battista
Lotus

Lotus Evija revealed

17 Jul 2019
Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
Features

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019