DETROIT -- Duke Hale has resigned as CEO of Lotus Holdings Inc. after two years of heading the British automaker's North American operations.
Hale, 56, said Tuesday that he tendered his resignation on Monday, Feb. 20. The reason, he said, was to avoid any conflicts with a new job opportunity.
Hale would not give details of the potential new job. He said it is related to the auto industry and "it should be apparent in a couple of weeks what I'm going to do next."
His job at Lotus put Hale in charge of the automaker's North American sales operations, in Atlanta, and its engineering group, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Lotus headquarters is in Hethel, England.
During Hale's tenure, Lotus launched sales of the Elise roadster in the United States, prompted dealers to upgrade their stores and restarted sales in Canada. The automaker is launching the Exige, a race-tuned coupe variant of the Elise, in North America.
The Elise's base sticker price is $43,915 including shipping.
Lotus says its sold about 2,400 cars in the United States in 2005, up 242.9 percent from about 700 cars sold in 2004. Lotus reports its U.S. sales on an annual basis, spokesman Colin Price said.
Hale said Lotus' U.S. operations made record sales and profits for its most recent fiscal year, but he did not give details.
Hale joined Lotus in January 2004. His resume includes stints as COO of American Isuzu Motors and executive posts at Mazda North America Operations.
Hale said he did not expect to his position at Lotus to be filled, adding, "After all that we've done over the past couple of years, with both the sales arm and the engineering arm, there's really no need for me there."
You may e-mail Dale Jewett at [email protected]