Recognising his significant and ongoing contribution to the Motor Industry, Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales has been awarded the title Commander of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg following a ceremony in the country’s capital.
Jean-Marc Gales received the Commander of the Order of Merit from His Royal Highness Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Held at the Luxembourg Philharmonie, during the county’s National Day celebrations, the honour was vested during the annual ceremony, and cited Jean-Marc Gales’ ‘distinguished international career’, ‘exceptional service’, and ‘stunning commitment’.
Speaking after the ceremony, Jean-Marc Gales said: “I’m very proud of my Luxembourg heritage and I am honoured to have received this title and be recognised in such a way. The automotive industry is a challenging, fascinating and exciting business to be in and I continue to thoroughly enjoy it. My current role at Lotus is certainly the most rewarding as, together with our dedicated and hardworking staff, we have succeeded in turning the Lotus business around.”
Growing up in the era of Team Lotus Formula 1 World Champions including Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Mario Andretti, Jean-Marc Gales enjoyed an early fascination with Lotus and its cars. He cites a childhood visit to a local Lotus dealer in Luxembourg as a pivotal moment, helping define his future path. Today, he retains strong personal links with the country and frequently returns.
Graduating with an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany and an MSc in Management from London’s Imperial College, Jean-Marc’s career has seen him work for many of the world’s best-known car marques.
Prior to his appointment at Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales was Chief Executive Officer of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (“CLEPA”), before which he was the President of Automobiles Citroen and Automobiles Peugeot. His other previous appointments include senior positions in Daimler AG, General Motors and Volkswagen AG.
Joining Lotus in 2014, Jean-Marc has implemented and overseen a plan which has overhauled the business. With the support of the team at Hethel, Norfolk and the company’s owners, DRB-HICOM, Group Lotus has now returned to strength. Expected to deliver a profit this financial year, it will be the first time in the company’s history that both the car and engineering divisions have made a positive contribution to the business.
As part of this return to form, production of cars at the company’s factory is expected to exceed 2000 vehicles this financial year.
With a heritage of efficient design, Lotus is the maker of some of the finest, lightweight, pure and most efficient sports cars sold today. No other car manufacturer can claim the design philosophy of ‘lighter and faster’ which is perfectly demonstrated in the current range of sports cars: Elise, Exige, Evora and 3-Eleven. Lotus sets the benchmark for performance and handling both on road and on track with hand-built sports cars which provide a level of precision and driver involvement that rivals cannot match.
Already in 2016, Lotus has launched the Exige Sport 350 (the fastest real world sports car), the Elise Cup 250 (the latest and quickest version of the legendary Elise) and the game changing Lotus 3-Eleven. The new Lotus Evora Sport 410, a lighter and quicker version of the Evora 400 will arrive in dealerships later this year.
Remaining true to the ethos of the company’ s founder Colin Chapman, Lotus continues to lead the field with its latest class-leading generation of sports cars, combining high-output engines with the company’s dedication to cutting mass, and so boosting performance through intelligent engineering.