Group Lotus has appointed Phil Popham as its senior vice president of commercial operations and CEO of Lotus Cars. He will report to Group Lotus CEO Feng Qingfeng beginning October 1, 2018. Phil joins Lotus from Sunseeker International where he was CEO for four years.

Prior to that, he was part of the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) executive team for nine years with global responsibility for commercial operations. He will oversee the company’s new business and operating structure, which has already been put in place. Lotus in a statement said “the business is now set for the next stage of future growth and global expansion.”

Feng Qingfeng said “I am delighted that Phil has joined Lotus at this important time in our 70 year history. We are growing the Lotus business not only at our Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk but also worldwide so the foundations are laid to become a globally competitive brand and a well recognised leader in the sports car market.”

Phil Popham added, “I have spent my career working with, and have a passion for famous British luxury, high tech and pioneering brands and Lotus, with its amazing history, definitely fits into that category. I am looking forward to being part of the team that will drive the substantial future growth of the Lotus business.”

Meanwhile, in 2017, Lotus sold 1,600 cars – an increase of 10% versus 2016 – and made profit for the first time in the company’s history. All models sold were produced at its plant in Norfolk, England. The British automaker is planning to introduce two sports cars by 2020, one of which is a halo model that will be positioned above the Evora. It could also switch to Volvo powertrains for selected models, particularly for its first ever SUV.