NORFOLK, U.K., 2 May 2014 —— PROTON Holdings Berhad (“PROTON”) today announced the appointment of Jean-Marc Gales as the new Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, effective 1 May 2014. Lotus is a wholly owned subsidiary of PROTON and a member of the DRB-HICOM Group.
Gales, a Luxembourgian, holds a MSc in Management from London’s Imperial College, and a MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.
A known industry player, Gales has held several significant positions with numerous global automotive manufacturers. Prior to his new appointment at Lotus, Gales was Chief Executive Officer of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (“CLEPA”) since 2012, where he played a key role in turning around the association through various strategic initiatives, including streamlining the working processes and increasing corporate members from 82 to 112. Gales also established a lobbying strategy with the European Parliament and European Commission, and helped define the Industry Research & Innovation Strategy and Roadmap for 2025.
Before joining CLEPA, Gales was the President of Automobiles Citroen and Automobiles Peugeot between 2009 to 2012, where he restructured the entire sales value chain and implemented a new brand strategy for the DS Line and introduced the Citroen DS in major markets around the world. During his tenure there, the Company delivered record retail sales in 2009 and 2010.
Gales’ other previous appointments include several senior positions in Daimler AG, General Motors and Volkswagen AG.
Aslam Farikullah, current Chief Operating Officer of Group Lotus plc, remains as Member of the Board of Lotus Cars Limited and will continue to contribute to the growth of the business in the future.
PROTON Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah is pleased to welcome Gales to the Group. “This is an exciting time for Lotus, and Jean-Marc’s appointment could not have come at a more appropriate time, especially taking into account our plans for Lotus. We believe that with his strong technical and managerial expertise and leadership, Jean-Marc will be able to drive the Lotus transformation plan and further enhance Lotus’ business and capabilities.”
Jean-Marc Gales is married and has one daughter.
Group Lotus plc, wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM, is based in Norfolk, UK, and has three operating divisions: Lotus Cars, Lotus Engineering and Lotus Motorsport.
Lotus Cars builds world class, high performance sports cars including the award-winning Evora, the iconic Elise and the stunning Exige.
Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world’s OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers and is an internationally recognised automotive engineering consultancy. Global facilities include those in the US, China and offices in Germany and Japan. Lotus is a global high-tech company, committed to driving forward technology for both Lotus Cars and its Engineering clients, spearheading research into such areas as hybrids, electric vehicles and renewable fuels.
Lotus Motorsport builds and develops vehicles for GT racing with the Evora GX, GTC, GT4, and GTS, in addition to racing vehicles such as the Exige V6 Cup and Elise Cup cars. PETRONAS is the Official Lubricants Partner for Lotus Racing vehicles competing in various high profile international GT categories. Lotus also competes in F1® with the Lotus F1 Team, racing in the iconic Black and Gold Livery.
Lotus Originals is the retail operation for all of Lotus’ non-car products. A diverse collection of luxury apparel, luggage, gifts, toys and limited edition collectables can be bought online at www.lotusoriginals.com or at any of the dedicated Lotus Originals outlets including the flagship Regent Street store in London’s Piccadilly.
PROTON, established in 1983, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM Berhad and Malaysia’s largest manufacturer of automobiles, and the only full-fledged OEM car manufacturer in South-East Asia. With operations from the UK to the Middle East, and across South-East Asia and Australasia, PROTON produces cars to suit a range of consumer demands and preferences.
Its offerings include versatile and reliable four-door family vehicles such as the Saga and Persona, the dynamic Suprima S hatchback, and Satria Neo three-door hatchback for the young-at-heart, stylish executive sedans such as the Prevé and Inspira, the spacious and affordable multi-purpose vehicle, the Exora, as well as world-renowned sports cars from Lotus.
Most importantly, PROTON models are developed with Lotus Engineering, offering customers superior ride and handling experience in every drive.
PROTON’s inception as a key driver of national development has seen the brand accelerate its learning curve through technology transfer with strategic partnerships and technical collaborations. By listening to the needs of customers, PROTON cars are now steadily on track to achieve the mission for the future, with PROTON set to become a marque which builds quality and safe cars with passion and soul; carsthat are a delight to drive – and a pleasure to own.