By on September 14, 2018

Image: Lotus Cars

In its quest to gain a loftier status among the sporty, well-to-do set, Lotus Cars spent the year poaching talent from other British automakers. China’s Geely, which holds a majority stake in the automaker, is expected to loosen the purse strings in pursuit of new models and a greater premium market share, but the human side of the operation needs to be in place before that occurs.

While former Bentley and Aston Martin execs have already hopped on board, the automaker now has a former top Jaguar Land Rover official in the big office, ready to put plans into action. He’s also no stranger to SUVs — a segment Lotus wants a piece of.

Phil Popham, who joined Land Rover in 1988 and finished his stint at the unified Jaguar Land Rover in 2014, was named the new CEO of Lotus on Friday. During his time at JLR, he rose through the ranks to become managing director of operations for JLR UK, then took the role of managing director for global operations. At Lotus, he joins other recent hires from the British auto industry, including new product strategy boss Uday Senapati, formerly of Bentley and JLR, who joined the company 10 days ago.

Marcus Blake, formerly of Aston Martin, showed up at Lotus earlier in the year to handle the automaker’s commercial operation.

Popham’s first day of work is October 1st, when he’ll relieve current Group Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng in the the Lotus Cars CEO role. Feng has worn two hats since the departure of Jean-Marc Gales in June. Once Popham’s installed, maybe we’ll see Geely unleash the nearly $2 billion it’s setting aside for the automaker’s expansion.

“I am delighted that Phil has joined Lotus at this important time in our 70 year history,” said Feng in a statement. “We are growing the Lotus business not only at our headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk but also worldwide so the foundations are laid to become a globally competitive brand and a well recognised leader in the sports car market.”

Earlier this year, Lotus announced the hiring of 300 employees to handle the creation of two new sports cars, as well as an SUV (something no modern automaker can do without). The two cars should appear by 2020, with the SUV arriving within a four-year window.

[Image: Lotus Cars]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

14 Comments on “Little Lotus Lands a British Heavyweight for CEO...”



Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ToolGuy: Latest Proposal to OEM’s Which Will Not Be Adopted… “Road Warrior Edition” or model...
  • ToolGuy: Corey, I don’t think Mopar was necessarily referring to the input side of the equation.
  • ToolGuy: I think the idea is that many EV fans have or are perceived to have a religious fervor for electricity and a...
  • ToolGuy: Serious comment: These guys are becoming masters of doing more with less. People love this stuff. Jackass...
  • ObviouslyCarGuru: Boy, a whole bunch of you poor babies heads are gonna explode when country hating politicians are...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States