Currently reading: Lotus names engineering chief as new company boss
Long-time Lotus engineer Matt Windle, who has also worked at Tesla and Volvo, will replace Phil Popham as MD of Norfolk firm

Lotus Cars’ current engineering chief, Matt Windle, has been named the new managing director of the firm, replacing Phil Popham. Windle will begin his new duties immediately, with Popham remaining with the company until the end of March to aid the transition.

Popham has decided to step down from his role to pursue personal projects. The industry veteran has been at the helm of Lotus since 2018 and played a key role in reshaping the business after it came under the control of Chinese car giant Geely. 

Windle, 49, has been Lotus’s executive director of engineering since rejoining the company in 2017, with responsibility for the firm’s engineering department and expanding the Lotus Engineering consultancy business. Windle is a Lotus veteran, having first joined the firm as a CAD designer in 1998. During his career, he has also worked for Caterham, Tesla and Volvo.

Windle said: “It is an honour to be appointed managing director of Lotus. Of the many manufacturers I have worked with over the years, Lotus has been the one closest to my heart. This period since 2018 has been the most exciting of my career and the scale of the global opportunity ahead of us is both inspiring and all-consuming.”

Popham described Windle as “a long-standing ‘Lotus man’ I’m proud to welcome as my successor.”

As the new head of Lotus, Windle will be responsible for overseeing the reinvention of the brand with an all-new model line-up, starting with the Evija electric hypercar. The current Elise, Exige and Evora will go out of production this year with a new car, codenamed Type 131, replacing them next year. The firm is also developing its first SUV and working with Alpine on the joint development of an electric sports car.

Those models are the result of the Vision 80 strategy that Popham led the development of. During his time at the firm, Popham has also overseen heavy investment in Lotus’s Hethel headquarters to ready it for production of the Evija and other new projects.


Lotus confirms Elise, Exige and Evora production will end in 2021

Electric Lotus SUV due in 2022: everything you need to know

Lotus 'Type 131' to lead bold reinvention plan

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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scrap 28 January 2021

Hmm. Lotus seems to chew through bosses like a K-series chews head gaskets.

soldi 28 January 2021

Gosh - that’s a bit of a shock. I think many people hoped the revolving door had stopped, but it still seems to be operating.

stokiesuzuki78 29 January 2021

Often not a bad thing, having an engineering led car company. Let's just hope he's given the chance by Geely management.