Senior Management

Below are selected members of the Lotus senior management team, all of whom are available for media interview. If you would like to speak to them, please contact a member of the Lotus PR team via the Contact page with details of your publication, deadline and what you’d like to ask them.

Read biog 
Matt Windle
Managing Director, Lotus Cars

Matt Windle was appointed Managing Director of Lotus Cars in January 2021. Prior to that he was Executive Director, Engineering, from February 2020, a role which included leadership of Lotus Engineering, the consultancy division of the business which provides services to external clients. Matt has also been Executive Director, Sports Car Engineering, from July 2018.

With more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, Matt has held senior management roles with both high and low-volume companies. He has worked internationally with businesses such as Volvo, Tesla, Zenos, Caterham and Daewoo. Matt first worked for Lotus in 1998 as a CAD designer before moving on to further his career.

His role as MD of Lotus Cars is to continue to deliver Vision80, the corporate strategy which will transform the Lotus business and brand before its 80th birthday in 2028. Between now and then, Matt will lead Lotus as it becomes a global force in performance carswith a revolutionised product range. His goal is for Lotus to be a financially strong company which is fully committed to the needs of its customers, staff and stakeholders.

 

First car:

It was a Hillman Hunter. Don’t ask me why, but I hand-painted it with a brush, Dormobile blue because I was working there at the time and used their paint.

Favourite Lotus:

The Lotus Elan. It’s just beautiful.

Outside Lotus:

It’s exercise. I run, play football, go cycling.

Claim to fame:

I’ve spent a lot of time with Elon Musk. He’s a very driven guy. I learned it’s okay to make quick decisions if it’s better than delaying.

Read biog 
Qingfeng Feng
CEO, Group Lotus

Qingfeng Feng was appointed CEO of Group Lotus in June 2018. He is also Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Geely Auto Group. He is responsible for the establishment and management of R&D systems and product strategic planning. He oversees Geely’s Market Strategy Centre, Technology Management Department, Geely Automobile Research Institute, plus Geely Components and Parts Development Centre. Qingfeng Feng has led the organisation in the promotion of scientific and technological innovation, enhanced Geely’s technical strength and global R&D capability, and helped Zhejiang Geely Holding Group become a globally competitive automotive group.

Since joining Geely Group in 1999, Qingfeng Feng has worked in sales, manufacturing, project management and R&D, among other areas. He has held multiple key positions, including General Sales Manager, Deputy General Manager of Geely’s Ningbo branch, and Head of the Geely Automobile Research Institute. He led the development and production of Geely’s Emgrand EC7, as well as designing its supply chain system.

He holds a degree in Fine Chemistry from the East China University of Science and Technology. In addition, he completed the EMBA program of Tsinghua University in August 2006.

 

First job:

It was when I was a student in Shanghai and I worked doing promotion for a shopping mall. I designed the publicity poster and then distributed it to residential areas. My pay was based on performance, so I got paid more if more customers came after my poster was created. I didn’t make much money!

First car:

It was 1998 and it was a Haoqing 6360. It was the first car from Geely Group, and I was the sales general manager at the time.

Favourite Lotus:

I have been very excited about the old Lotus racing cars, particularly the black and gold JPS, but I’m very fond of the Esprit S1. You can place it side by side with any car on sale today and it doesn’t show its age. It’s still full of modernity.

Favourite road:

The road outside Hethel is very twisty. I’ve driven that and enjoyed it very much.

Read biog 
Geoff Dowding
Executive Director, Sales and Aftersales

Geoff Dowding was appointed Executive Director for Global Sales and Aftersales in April 2019.

His responsibilities include overall commercial management and development of the Lotus business, including sales planning and performance, and engagement and development of the retail network.

Geoff joined Lotus from Al Habtoor Motors, one of the largest automotive distributors in the United Arab Emirates where he was Chief Operating Officer.

In a 40-year automotive career Geoff has held a variety of senior roles with global brands including Volkswagen, Nissan, Porsche, Harley-Davidson and Bentley.

During his 18 years with Bentley he played a pivotal role in the redevelopment of the specialist Mulliner business, and in establishing the brand’s expanding retail network around the world, especially China.

Read biog 
Peter Horbury
Executive Vice President, Design

Peter Horbury was appointed as Executive Vice President, Design, at Group Lotus in September 2021.

He has ultimate responsibility for the design of both Lotus sports cars at Lotus Design in Hethel and Lotus lifestyle vehicles at Lotus Tech Creative Centre in Coventry. Prior to this, Peter was Executive Vice President of Design at Geely Auto Group which included Geely, Lynk&Co, Geometry, Maple, London Taxi (now LEVC), Zeekr and Lotus.

Over a period of 11 years Peter had established a strong working relationship with the then head of Geely R&D, Feng Qingfeng, and when Mr. Feng was appointed Chairman of Lotus he invited Peter to join him.

Peter’s design career spans some five decades, starting out at the Royal College of Art with Chrysler UK and on to its studio in Coventry, then to Ford of Europe and, in 1979, to Volvo in Sweden and The Netherlands. In 1986 he returned to the UK to open a design department at the independent engineering company MGA in Coventry where, over a period of five years, many a famous vehicle first took shape.

In 1991 Volvo invited Peter to return to Sweden but this time as the Head of Design where, over the following 11 years, he oversaw the transformation of Volvo’s design language. In 2002 Ford, which by then had owned Volvo for four years, offered Peter the role of VP, Design, at its Premier Automotive Group which comprised Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.

After just two years in that role Ford asked Peter to move to the USA and take over Ford Design in Detroit. After five years of designing Ford and Lincoln products, it was then back to Volvo and, when Geely bought the company from Ford, Geely Chairman Li Shufu asked Peter to launch Geely Auto Design. “We started out with five of us in a borrowed room in Gothenburg and ended up, 10 years later, with around 1,400 people in nine different studios across the globe. I am very proud of what we achieved, helping to transform Geely from a relatively obscure local car brand to an internationally known and respected major automotive player.”

 

First car:

A 1967 Renault 4. It was standard issue for art students in the early 70s. Some people say about their first car, “I wish I still had it today, it would be worth a fortune.” Not I.

Favourite Lotus:

Lotus 49. After its fantastic debut at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix I was lucky enough to be at the British Grand Prix of the same year and see Jim Clark win from pole. There was no fancy sponsor’s podium at that time, Clark, Hulme and Amon were presented with their trophies on the back of a tractor and trailer.

Favourite driving road:

We have so many fantastic empty, beautifully maintained roads in the Swedish countryside, so if you drive carefully for about 10 kilometres, checking every gateway and behind every wall, you can then turn around and enjoy a hopefully police-free return trip!

Most proud of:

My decision at the age of around 10 that when I grow up I don’t want to be an engine driver nor policeman nor a pilot, but that I want to be a car designer. And, of course, getting there!

Outside Lotus:

My three (international) children; Nathan, born in Sweden; Edward, born in Holland; and Andrea, born in the USA.

Read biog 
Russell Carr
Design Director

Russell Carr was appointed Head of Design for Lotus in October 2014, and took the title of Design Director in April 2018.

During his 31-year career in design Russell has been involved in numerous exciting Lotus Cars projects, as well as leading design consultancy work for other brands. This rare mix means he has helped to shape everything from forklift trucks to superbikes, while benefitting from the opportunity to work alongside several renowned CEOs and respected design directors, gaining valuable knowledge from their experience and processes.

Russell joined Lotus Cars in 1990, initially as a designer. He has overseen the introduction of several significant Lotus models including the second-generation Elise, three generations of Exige, the Evora, the 2-Eleven, 3-Eleven and 340R. In his earlier career he was lead designer on the Esprit S4/S4s, the Elise GT1, and was fortunate to work on some aesthetic aspects of Lotus’ Formula 1 cars.

 

First ever job:

My first proper job was working at a small advertising and graphics agency in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. My first automotive design job was at MGA, a design and engineering consultancy who worked with numerous clients including Ford, Austin-Rover and Triumph motorcycles.

First car:

A white 1977 Mini clubman with go-faster stripes. It gave me independence but occupied my free time keeping the rust at bay.

Favourite Lotus:

I like many of the classic road and race cars, and I’m sure that I give a different answer each time I am asked. Right now, it’s the Evija because it is the complete package. It innovates both visually and technically and, of course, the fact that I have had so much emotionally invested in the product from day one makes it incredibly special.

Favourite driving road:

I have driven the Pacific Coast Highway in America a few times. Perhaps not a great driver’s road but breath-taking scenery.

Most proud of:

Professionally I am most proud of what the Lotus design team has achieved on the Evija programme. From a creative standpoint, the end product is beautiful, innovative and instantly recognisable as a Lotus. To achieve this we had to work as a team and demonstrate relentless drive, passion and commitment.

Desert island disc:

The Rolling Stones have always been a favourite and if I had to pick one track it would be Sympathy for the Devil. I associate it with several happy warm evenings seeing them play over the past 40 years.

Outside Lotus:

I work fairly long hours, so outside work it’s all about the family.

Claim to fame:

I did once win an art prize at primary school.

Read biog 
Ben Payne
Managing Director / Head of Studio, Lotus Tech Creative Centre

Ben joined Geely Design UK in 2018. The facility was renamed the Lotus Tech Creative Centre (LTCC) in January 2022, and Ben is currently Managing Director / Head of Studio, with overall responsibility for its day-to-day operation and creative output.

LTCC is responsible for the design and development of the Lotus Eletre, and is working on two more lifestyle EVs – the Type 133 and 134. As an integral part of the global future of the Lotus brand, LTCC works with a broader creative remit to influence the future strategy from a brand level down, to ensure that all products and touchpoints are correctly considered and realised.

Ben has a strong background as a consultant in automotive design. Working on an international level, he gained extensive technical knowledge and production car experience, spanning a number of major manufacturers and ranging from volume production to bespoke one-off models.

His experience includes working with established brands to sensitively create next-generation products, as well as establishing new brand identities for start-ups. He has professional experience of working with in excess of twenty-five different brands, including significant OEM experience with Ford, GM, Bugatti and Aston Martin before joining Lotus.

 

First ever job:

Not long after I started secondary school, I got a job working in a butcher’s shop after school. I must have only been 12 years old and I kept this for a number of years.

First car:

It was an Audi A3. Nothing too interesting about it, but it had the best wheel option available on that car.

Favourite Lotus:

The Esprit. To be precise the 1972 concept, which translated very faithfully into the first production version a few years later. It is still today an icon of progressive design, both inside and out.

Favourite driving road:

For me it’s more about where you are going. Years ago working in Turin, Italy, I drove a number of times to the Ligurian coast; the scenery and experiences in this area are still something memorable for me.

Most proud of:

Playing my part in building the team at LTCC and the achievements of that team so far. The launch of the Lotus Eletre was a great moment for us and we know it’s only the beginning.

Outside Lotus:

I have a passion for many aspects of art and design and, if I really get the time, I do occasionally still paint. More often free time is spent with friends and family cooking and entertaining.

Read biog 
Maximillian Szwaj
Vice President, Lotus Technology and Managing Director, Lotus Tech Innovation Centre

Maximillian Szwaj was appointed Managing Director of Geely Auto Technical (Deutschland) in August 2020. The facility – in Raunheim, near Frankfurt – was later renamed the Lotus Tech Innovation Centre (LTIC), and Max was named Vice President of Lotus Tech in November 2021. With a direct report line to Qingfeng Feng, CEO, Group Lotus, Max has overall responsibility for the management of LTIC.

LTIC is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions in new electrified propulsion systems and next-generation mobility technologies. Max leads the LTIC team as they put the pioneering spirit at the core of the Lotus business, focusing on the development of breakthrough technologies and unique product experiences in the spirit of the Lotus brand. They are also working on strategic component development programmes for the new lifestyle EVs – such as the Lotus Eletre – in tandem with teams in China and the UK.     

Max has more than 30 years of R&D experience working in the premium and luxury automotive segments, including most recently with Aston Martin Lagonda where he was responsible for all research and vehicle development. Previous employers include Ferrari, Maserati, BMW and Porsche.

 

First ever job:

After graduating from university, in 1989 I started working as a Vehicle Concept Engineer for Rover Land Rover Group based in the UK. 

First car:

1958 Porsche 356A.

Favourite Lotus:

1960s Elan.  

Favourite driving road:

There are many beautiful roads around the world. Through my adventurous life and career, I was fortunate to enjoy driving on African dirt tracks, Californian canyon passes and various British and European roads. The most memorable, enjoyable and challenging drives I experienced are in the Dolomites and other parts of the Alpine region.     

Most proud of: Always working on amazing projects with inspiring people, and having three wonderful daughters.  

Outside Lotus: I enjoy my hobbies working on my classic cars and restoring them when the time allows. Driving these vehicles provides a pure analogue experience which is disappearing from modern vehicles. It reminds me of the past and the history which is important to build the future. I also love skiing which can bring me close to nature.

Read biog 
Simon Lane
Director, Lotus Advanced Performance

Simon Lane was appointed Director, Lotus Advanced Performance, in January 2022.

Working closely with Lotus Design, Lotus Engineering and the manufacturing team at Hethel, Simon is responsible for all ‘special operations’ projects within Lotus Cars. That includes developing ‘limited edition’ variants of the Lotus core model range, as well as bespoke ‘halo vehicles’ to be built in limited numbers.

The Lotus Advanced Performance department is responsible for motorsport at Lotus, including the new Emira GT4 and all future racing initiatives. The team is developing options and accessories that can be ordered with or fitted to the entire range of Lotus performance cars. Simon is also in charge of delivering outstanding customer experiences, from tours of the redeveloped Hethel site to international Lotus driving events.

His years of experience in delivering bespoke vehicles and customer events around the world makes Simon the perfect fit for Lotus and its customers. That’s more relevant than ever as personalisation and customer experience become more important in the world of luxury and performance cars.

Simon has spent almost 25 years in the automotive industry and has worked with some of the world’s most illustrious brands. Most recently he led the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ bespoke division.

First ever job:

My first full-time job was in the corporate sales department at a large Vauxhall dealership. I started on 1August 1997 and we delivered 300 new cars in my first week. It was an exciting, fast-paced start to my career.

First car:

I bought a Triumph Spitfire 1500 in Pimento Red when I was 18. It had holes in the floor and a leaky roof but I loved it.

Favourite Lotus:

Without doubt the Esprit GT3 in a suitably unsubtle paint colour. As a teenager in the 90s it was one of my favourite supercars and I’m hoping to take ownership of one soon.

Favourite driving road:

The A832 approach to Loch Maree in Scotland is right up there for me, stunning scenery combined with a ribbon of twisty tarmac. I recommend a stay at The Torridon hotel en route.

Most proud of:

A few years back my team and I created a limited edition car with the RAF Red Arrows, which helped raise £1.5m for the RAF Benevolent Fund through the donation of a prize car. I hold our armed forces in very high esteem and it was a privilege to work alongside the Reds and give something back to the forces family.

Outside Lotus:

Favourites are playing one of my guitars, skiing down an Alp or attending one of the fantastic airshows at IWM Duxford. More likely I’ll be taking one of my children to a swimming lesson!

Read biog 
Gavan Kershaw
Director, Attributes and Product Integrity

Gavan Kershaw was appointed Director, Attributes and Product Integrity in May 2017.

Working closely with Lotus Design, engineering teams and the vehicle dynamics group, Gavan sets the targets, benchmarks and evaluation sign-off on everything to do with the performance of Lotus cars. That covers areas such as suspension, handling requirements, cockpit ergonomics and even what noise the customer hears.

His years of experience in vehicle dynamics and successful racing background makes him the perfect judge of what’s right for Lotus and its customers. That’s more relevant than ever as the industry moves towards electrification and autonomy; Gavan’s role is to ensure the brand remains ‘For The Drivers’ and the Lotus DNA is always at the heart of every car.

After successful completion of a Lotus Engineering apprenticeship, Gavan worked within the vehicle dynamics group. He was responsible for Lotus chassis programmes and Lotus Engineering client projects around the world. In 2010 he took technical responsibility for Lotus Motorsport, delivering the Evora GT4 and Le Mans GTE cars amongst others. In 2015 Gavan was promoted to Head of Lotus Vehicle Engineering, delivering several Evora and Exige programmes.

First ever job:

I’ve never had another job outside Lotus. I was employed from school when I’d just turned 16.

First car:

I had a 1987 Fiat Uno and it sat on my drive for six months before I was legally old enough to drive it. I got bored with it and bought a Vauxhall Astra GTE 16v when I was 18.

Favourite Lotus:

It sound corny, but I’m going with the Evija because it’s moving the game on so far. I enjoyed the Esprit when we were developing that, and I own an Esprit GT3.

Favourite driving road:

I really enjoy the roads around Thetford Forest in Norfolk – the A1065 and A134 Triangle – which we use for road test evaluation. They’re quiet and picturesque, but with challenging surfaces. Once you’ve done that route it really helps you understand what a vehicle’s potential is.

Most proud of:

What I’ve achieved through being a good driver. It has opened the doors to motorsport success, becoming a dynamics engineer, being part of a world-renowned team and even driving many of the historic F1 cars at Classic Team Lotus.

Desert island disc:

I’m going to pick Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, and a book called Tune to Win by Caroll Smith. It’s a race car set-up book from the Eighties and was the go-to manual for drivers if you were struggling with something. My luxury item would a MkI Lotus Cortina rally car on sand tyres.

Outside Lotus:

I still love getting in a race car – some GT4 and historics – and I’m a typical husband / dad, so often found standing by the side of a football pitch or watching my daughter dance.

Claim to fame:

I designed the Top Gear Test Track, so I’m the reason there are corners called Follow Through and Hammerhead. I also compared notes with Emerson Fittipaldi after I’d driven his Lotus Type 72 F1 championship-winning car. He didn’t know I was the guy who did the shake-down testing on it before he drove it at an event, and he signed a photo of me in his car.

Read biog 
Mark Stringer
Commercial Director, Lotus Engineering

Mark Stringer was appointed Commercial Director of the Lotus Engineering consultancy in May 2022.

Working collaboratively across all functions and across Lotus’ global network of facilities and expertise, Mark’s role is to lead the team in growing the consultancy business. This is a key pillar of Vision80, the strategic plan which is guiding the transformation of Lotus as it moves towards its 80th anniversary in 2028.

Mark and the team are ensuring that third-party customers across multiple mobility sectors benefit from the capabilities of Lotus Engineering in design and concept engineering, control systems, product attributes, vehicle integration and other advanced technologies.

Key to this is the commercial opportunity presented by Lotus’ four all-new and proprietary advanced vehicle architectures, three of which are dedicated to EVs. In addition, the innovative and lightweight bonded extruded aluminium ‘legacy’ platform – on which the Elise, Exige and Evora were built – remains fully viable.

With more than 20 years of front-line leadership experience across commercial, corporate, strategic, technical and operational engineering environments, Mark’s background makes him the perfect leader to determine and deploy the future strategy for the consultancy division.

He is currently in his second term with Lotus, having re-joined the business from Aston Martin in 2018. Most recently he has served as Director of Corporate Planning at Lotus, and prior to that was Director of Programme Management. Mark was previously employed at Lotus from 2002-2005 as a Senior Project Engineer within the consultancy.

 

First ever job:

I joined Lotus Engineering as a graduate where I was immediately deployed onto the Aston Martin Vanquish programme. It was a dream job for me, working within two iconic British automotive brands.

First car:

A Vauxhall Nova 1.2 Merit that I bought at auction without an MoT and which needed a bit of TLC to get it on the road. It was followed by a 1977 MG Midget, which was wonderful and unreliable in equal measure.

Favourite Lotus:

The Elise. It was the reason I joined Lotus as a graduate and I used to use a Series 2 as my daily drive. I’ve been lucky enough to experience some fantastic cars over the years, but I haven’t found anything that can match it for pure driver enjoyment.

Favourite driving road:

There are some great driving roads around my home in Warwickshire and over towards The Cotswolds, but for me the breathtaking views and challenging roads off the beaten track in Scotland are hard to top.

Most proud of:

The first whole vehicle programme I managed, the V12 Vantage for Aston Martin. We were a young team taking a new approach, creating a car that people said couldn’t be done. As a result it had a different character to the rest of the AML range at the time and developed something of a cult following.

Outside Lotus:

I try to keep a work life balance so the weekend is for the family with tennis, golf, cycling, watersports and a bit of online gaming.