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Lotus boss seeks more dealers to help brand to profitability

The new chief executive of Group Lotus says the company will return to profitability in the "very forseeable future".

And, in an interview with Automotive News, Jean-Marc Gales says his focus is to increase the number of dealers.

He said: "The focus has been on the commercial side, making sure we sell more cars, provide better coverage via our dealer network and develop a more precise marketing program. We also have restructured the whole company and given program management more power.

"In the first four months of this financial year , we sold 46% more cars, but that's still not sufficient to guarantee our future. We need to continue to reduce costs, and we are fully aware of the hardship that brings for our work force."

Gales believes sales have suffered from a lack of retail network coverage. "More dealers drive more sales. We have opened nine new dealers worldwide over the past six months, and I would not exclude having 20 more dealers in this financial year."

Gales became CEO in May. The previous CEO of Lotus was Dany Bahar. He left the business in June 2012. In the interim the CEO position was held by Aslam Farikullah.

Lotus was reported in September to be looking at cutting as many as 325 of its 1,215 employees worldwide to cut costs.

It has been awarded £10.44 million by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to invest in new products and training. The grant is a further boost on top of a recent £100 million investment by its owners DRB-HICOM.

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