Duke Hale Joins Lotus

Subject: Group Lotus Names Duke T. Hale CEO
Date: Thursday, January 15, 2004 12:38 PM
From: Russell Datz <rdatz@brandwaregroup.com>
To: <rdatz@brandwaregroup.com>


Lotus continues its U.S. expansion with addition of industry veteran

Elke Martin, BrandwarePR
Office: 770.475.5253
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(January 15, 2003) - Group Lotus PLC, the UK-based parent company of Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering Inc., has named automotive industry veteran Duke T. Hale to the new position of Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Holdings, Inc. The appointment, effective immediately, was made by Tengku Mahaleel, Chairman, Group Lotus PLC. Hale, who brings over three decades of executive and senior management experience in vehicle distribution, sales, marketing, service and parts operations to Lotus Holdings Inc. will be responsible for the Lotus brand, including vehicle and engineering sales expansion in the important U.S. marketplace.

"With the recent introduction of the award-winning Lotus Elise in the U.S. market and Lotus Engineering's expanding role as a premier provider of engineering services to OEM and Tier 1 suppliers, we are poised to significantly grow the Lotus brand in America," said Mahaleel. "In order to take full advantage of the many opportunities available to us, we need to expand our already strong and dedicated team and Duke's vast industry expertise and successful track record in creating and managing growth is the perfect complement." Arnie Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Cars USA and Don Graunstadt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lotus Engineering Inc. will continue to lead their respective Lotus subsidiaries, reporting directly to Hale.

"I'm delighted to join the organization at such an exciting time," said Hale. „Lotus has always been one of the industry's most revered and loyalty-inspiring brands, but now we are at the threshold of introducing a new generation of sports car enthusiasts to our uniquely engineered products.‰

Hale has devoted his entire career to helping automotive manufacturers and enterprises successfully expand their U.S. market presence, including recent work in automotive consulting and marketing services. Hale has previously served as Chief Operating Officer at American Isuzu Motors, Inc., where he helped develop and implement business strategies that resulted in the achievement of 87,000 units sold in 2001. He also served as Vice President, Customer Service and Parts Operations at Mazda North America and has held the position of Vice President, Sales, at Mazda North America. During his tenure, Mazda enjoyed five consecutive years of sales records as well as dramatic improvements in customer satisfaction index (CSI) rankings. In addition, Hale was President of Starcraft Automotive and held senior management positions at Ford Motor Co. and the former Chrysler Corporation.

Hale, an avid motorsports fan and lifelong car enthusiast received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University in 1972. In addition, he completed the EPBA program at Columbia University in 1993.

About Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering Lotus is one of the worlds best-known British performance brands with a reputation for innovation and success through a steady stream of winning racing cars and memorable sports cars. The first Lotus car was built in 1948 by founder Colin Chapman (1928-1982) and the Lotus Engineering Company has pioneered automotive systems and components still in use today.

Lotus Cars USA and Lotus Engineering, Inc. are part of Lotus Holdings, Inc. Lotus Holdings, Inc.'s parent company, Group Lotus PLC, is headquartered at Hethel, in Norfolk, England. The location is home to design, manufacturing, research and development and sales facilities. While Lotus Cars continues to design and build sports cars revered for their performance, style and innovation, Lotus Engineering Inc. develops advanced powertrains, chassis and other automotive systems and components for many of the worlds leading automakers and Tier 1 suppliers. Together, these two enterprises are a powerful team, committed to changing the rules that define automotive excellence. Lotus Cars USA is based in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Lotus Engineering, Inc. is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan