Lotus Hires New Executives

Lotus Cars CEO Dany T. Bahar went headhunting for executives with global auto industry experience and came back accompanied by former BMW boss Karl-Heinz Kalbfell and ex-Ferrari executive Guillaume Chabin. Their addition to the Lotus team should help the company overcome a difficult period and regain its past glory.

Kalbfell will be Bahar's advisor and will provide operational support at the company's headquarters in Hethel, England. Kalbfell had previously worked with BMW, in engineering and marketing, being responsible for the first M sedans and the introduction of the BMW V12 into McLaren's Formula One car. In 2004 he joined the Fiat group to lead Alfa Romeo and Maserati, but according to Autocar, he and Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne didn't get along quite well.

"It's not often that you get the opportunity to work with such an iconic automotive brand at such an exciting stage of its development, and I really feel that now is the perfect time for me to contribute toward the future of Lotus," said Kalbfell, according to Autoweek.

"Karl-Heinz has incredible experience from working in extremely senior positions throughout the automotive industry to bring to the table--he has proven time and time again to have the qualities necessary to succeed in a difficult and fickle industry," said Bahar, according to the aforementioned source. "His main role initially will be to bring together all our existing efforts across the departments and ensure that we are working effectively as a united force."

Guillaume Chabin, the former director of Ferrari's North Europe division, will now lead Lotus' sales division. He has a past experience with a British brand, having helped Bentley recover as a high-performance, luxury brand.

"Joining Lotus was an easy decision for me to make, having previously been involved in the rebirth of an iconic British brand when I was working at Bentley," said Chabin.
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