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Lotus exec hiring continues

Evolution: The Evora will be the first in a series of new Lotus models.

All change at Lotus as new CEO appoints a fresh management team

18 Jan 2010

LOTUS has made a number of key personnel announcements in recent weeks, following the appointment of Dany Bahar as CEO in October.

Most recently, former managing director of Lotus Engineering Paul Newsome was last week appointed to the new role of director of product engineering for Lotus Cars “to develop an exciting range of new Lotus cars”.

In his place, Dr Robert Hentschel joins Lotus as director of Lotus Engineering, the automotive consultancy and technology division of Lotus Cars Limited.

According to Lotus, major new projects with three Chinese clients will result in a fourth consecutive year of growth in new orders for Lotus Engineering’s global third party consultancy work.

 center imageFrom top: Paul Newsome, Robert Hentschel and Donato Coco (bottom).

Dr Hentschel will be tasked with further expanding Lotus Engineering’s consultancy work in the areas of lightweight architectures, driving dynamics, efficient performance and electrical/electronics.

Reporting to Mr Bahar, Dr Hentschel was most recently the chief operating officer for the North American operations of Edag – a leading automotive engineering service provider – where he was previously head of the electrical/electronics business unit.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to contribute to the continued success of this outstanding business which boasts talented engineers and an iconic brand,” said Dr Hentschel.

“Lotus Engineering has an exceptional heritage with an exciting array of future products, technologies and services that will further enhance its position as a pioneer in the new automotive era. Our key areas of expertise allow us to deliver exciting vehicles and sustainable transport solutions that are exactly aligned to the needs of the global automotive industry.”

Said Mr Newsome: “Lotus has, through its launch of the all new multi-award winning Lotus Evora, again demonstrated the capability of its engineering.

“I look forward to building on this tremendous success with the team and delivering the exciting next generation of products we have planned. These will continue to demonstrate Lotus’ world leading attributes of performance and dynamics through light weight and take the Lotus brand into more segments of the sports car market.”

Both appointments follow the mid-December naming of Donato Coco as the director of design for Group Lotus, commencing on January 4.

In the newly created role, Mr Coco will lead all Lotus design activities for both Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering. Head of Lotus Design, Russell Carr, will continue to work on both Lotus products and third party design work.

Mr Coco was previously director of design and development at Ferrari, where he worked on the Ferrari F430 Scuderia coupe and Spider 16M, the Ferrari California, 599XX and the F458 Italia.

Prior to that, the Italian national, who will be based at Lotus’ headquarters at Hethel in England, was responsible for the Xsara, Picasso, C3, C3 Pluriel, C2, C1, ZX Paris Dakar and the Xsara WRC.

“The appointment of Donato Coco as the new director of design for Lotus puts even more prominence on design within Lotus and strengthens the already talented team,” said Mr Bahar.

“We have a very busy few years ahead of us as we are working on a new strategic business plan which will include the introduction of an all new range of Lotus cars and expansion of our third party design work.

Among the first of many appointments made by Mr Bahar was that of Claudio Berro to the new position of director of motorsport for Lotus in late October.

“This year will see some very exciting developments to the Lotus product line-up and I have set the Lotus workforce quite a challenge,” he said.

“The success of the changes that I and my executive team look to make relies upon their support and I thank them for their dedication and commitment in joining us on this journey.

“The executive team I am building around me represent some of the industry’s most innovative and passionate professionals and I look forward to working with Paul and the rest of the team to make Lotus the brand it has the potential to be,” said Mr Bahar.

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