Ogaard-Nielsen resigned at a board meeting last week, just 18 months into the role. Lotus says he has stepped down to “pursue his own interests”.
A Lotus spokesman tells AM: “It is too early to discuss who we are in talks with and we will not be pressured into giving a timescale for an appointment. Kim Ogaard-Nielsen’s decision was amicable.”
Yet only two weeks earlier Ogaard-Nielsen told journalists in Norwich that he was committed to Lotus although frustrated by a lack of progress on improving the factory’s efficiency. He had devised plans for more flexible working hours at the factory, which builds the Elise, Exige and will soon produce Europa and a new Esprit. He wanted staff to work shorter weeks and “bank” hours for when demand increases. This was rejected by the workforce.
Kimberley was managing director of Lotus Cars between 1976 and 1983 and was CEO of Group Lotus from 1983 until 1991. His priority is to improve the performance of Lotus and prepare it to compete in the global marketplace.
“I can assure our customers and business partners that Lotus is a highly valued and integral part of the Proton Group,” Kimberley says.
His son, Tony Kimberley, is corporate sales manager at Holden Honda in Norwich.