Following the news today that Phil Popham is to step down from his position at Lotus, the company confirms that Matt Windle, Executive Director, Engineering, is the newly appointed Managing Director, Lotus Cars.
Welcoming Matt into his new role, Phil Popham said: “Matt is an excellent fit for the senior leadership role at Lotus. He has been an excellent colleague to me since I joined the company, and is a popular and very effective member of the Lotus Executive team. He’s a long-standing ‘Lotus Man’ and I’m proud to welcome him as my successor. We will continue to work closely together in the coming weeks as I hand over the reins and pass the baton on to the next phase of the Lotus story.”
The handover process is underway, with Matt’s appointment as Managing Director effective immediately. Phil Popham will remain with the company until the end of March 2021.
Matt Windle, 49, started his career with Lotus in 1998 as a CAD designer. Before re-joining the company to head up the Engineering division in 2017, Matt worked internationally with both high and low-volume manufacturers, including Caterham, Tesla and Volvo. With more than 30 years’ automotive experience behind him, Matt’s most recent role saw him utilise rich technical expertise and leadership experience to head up both the Lotus engineering department and the Lotus Engineering consultancy. In his new role as Managing Director, Matt will lead Lotus in to the next chapter of its continually innovative and exciting 73-year history.
Commenting on his appointment, Windle said: “It is an honour to be appointed Managing Director of Lotus. Of the many manufacturers I have worked with over the years, Lotus has been the one closest to my heart. I have a history with the company dating back more than 20 years and I really know my way around the business. This period since 2018 has been the most exciting of my career and the scale of the global opportunity ahead of us is both inspiring and all-consuming.
He added: “I am proud to follow Phil into the leadership position and he has left a great foundation for me and the team to build on. I thank Phil for his friendship and support of the past years. I am proud to represent our shareholders Geely and Etika as I continue to work with our talented and dedicated team to fulfil the ambition for this wonderful brand and business around the world.”
Mr. Feng Qingfeng, CEO, Group Lotus, added: “Our future is extremely bright indeed, with new designs, new technologies and new markets for us to leverage with this precious brand. I thank Phil Popham for his dedication in bringing new stability and governance to the business following the restructure of 2018. I also welcome Matt Windle into the role of Managing Director. I very much look forward to continuing to work with him and the UK team as we expand both Lotus and Lotus Engineering across the world into a new era for the business.”
The first two projects that Lotus Cars will see through to completion under Matt Windle will be the Evija electric hypercar and the all-new, yet to be named, Type 131 sports car. Both will be built from new factories at a comprehensively revitalised Hethel UK headquarters, and both are programmes Matt knows intimately from his tenure at the head of the Engineering function. Look out for news on both these vehicles and more in 2021.
New leadership appointments for the Engineering department and consultancy at Lotus will be the subject of a future announcement.