The CEO of iconic British sports car company Lotus will step away from his position for personal reasons. Jean-Marc Gales has been the CEO of Lotus since 2014, this was a point in time when Lotus was in poor health and was run on a tight budget. The CEO position will be taken up by Feng Qingfeng, who was Chief Technical Officer for Lotus' parent company from China Geely Auto Group.
According to Driving, while Gales is stepping away from the CEO job he will remain within the company, he will become an advisor to Daniel Donghui Li, who is currently Geely's Chief Financial Officer and the chairman for Lotus. Gales will also be working with restoration company JD Classics, which focuses on the restoration of classic European cars and upgrades to some more modern cars as well. JD Classics named Gale the CEO of the company on the same day he stepped away from Lotus.
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This is significant because Gales oversaw Lotus turn the company's first ever profitable year in 2017. In 2017, Lotus sold 1,600 vehicles, which is a 10 percent increase from the previous year. Another significant thing happened in 2017 with Geely becoming majority owner of the British brand, adding it to its portfolio of other automakers which include Lynk & Co as well as the Swedish brand Volvo, a company they purchased from Ford in 2009.
With Gale gone, there's a high possibility that Lotus (founded in 1952) may go back to being a brand that bleeds money all over the place. Though if the new managerial team plays their cards right, they could keep Lotus a competitive in the small sports car market, which is highly popular throughout Europe. Though, considering Gale remains part of the company in an advisory role, some of his ideas and initiatives might still be implemented and this could help Lotus remain profitable for years to come.