Automotive News reports that Lotus Cars is “courting” two ex-former BMW executives, ex-BMW of North America CEO, Tom Purves, and ex-BMW sales chief and former General Motors product guru Bob Lutz. The two experience automotive executives are to be brought onboard as advisers at the British niche carmaker on a five-year turnaround plan.
Tom Purves led BMW in North America before becoming CEO of the German automaker’s Rolls-Royce unit in 2008. From 1991, Tom Purves handled all sales, marketing and distribution activities for the BMW and MINI brands of the BMW Group in North, Central and South America.
He has led BMW of North America, to achieve groundbreaking success, with market share and sales of BMW Group vehicles more than doubling during his tenure. In addition, he was responsible for the successful launch of MINI in North America.
Lutz, who left GM as vice chairman two months ago at age 78, served as Executive Vice President of sales at BMW for three years (1971-1974), and he takes some credit in the development of the BMW 3 Series. He is one of few senior automotive executives with experience in both hemispheres and more than one major manufacturer. He joined BMW after eight years with GM in Europe.
Both former executives have been in talks with Lotus, but according to sources familar with the situation, no formal offers have been put forward.
In a short interview with Automotive News, Purves said that he “would be happy” to be involved, but his talks with Lotus aren’t final.
“The goal is to make a contribution to projects of the future — improving the quality, the product offerings and the operations of the company,” said Purves, . “It’s exciting, and there is no question it is a great brand and has a good future.”
The addition of Lutz and Purves would bring a combine 90 years of industry experience and will help Lotus Cars CEO Dany Bahar in its goal to boost worldwide sales to 8,000 in 2015 from about 2,500 cars last year, and competing once again with brands like Ferrari, Porsche or Aston Martin.
GM owned Lotus from 1986 until 1993, when it sold the company to Bugatti International.[Source: Automotive News ]