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New chief engineer for Lotus

Pure minded: Lotus’ new engineering chief Miguel Fragoso promises to preserve the distinctiveness, competitiveness and purity of the brand’s sportscars.

Former GM tech exec now leads Lotus engineering but future model program unclear

18 Sep 2014

LOTUS has named Miguel Fragoso as its new engineering director.

Mr Fragoso will be based at Lotus headquarters in Hethel, England, reporting to Group Lotus’ recently appointed chief executive Jean-Marc Gales, a former president of PSA Peugeot Citroen (2009-12) who joined the Malaysian-owned British sportscar brand in May.

Mr Fragoso was most recently chief executive of the Millbrook proving ground – about two hours’ drive south-west of Hethel – and previously held senior positions in engineering and corporate planning at General Motors in the UK, Europe and Japan.

“His background in the automotive industry in delivering vehicle programs will assist in the delivery of our growth plans for the future,” Mr Gales said.

Lotus and its parent Proton have referred to a “transformation plan” at the company in recent months, although details of its latest strategy are still to be divulged.

Earlier this month, Lotus announced that it was preparing to bring a road-going variant of the Elise S Cup R racer, the Elise S Cup, to market, and in June released details of a limited-run Exige LF1 edition.

However, a broad model development program has been off the agenda in recent years after Proton and its owner DRB-HICOM shelved an ambitious plan to introduce five all-new vehicles by 2015 under former chief executive Dany Bahar.

Mr Fragoso said only that he looked forward to “contributing to the exciting future of Lotus, to help grow the business and lead the teams that will continue to develop sportscars that are distinctive, competitive, pure and possess unrivalled ride and handling.”

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