DETROIT -- Lotus Cars USA said Maurizio Parlato, former CEO of Ferrari North America, has been named CEO of the British automaker's U.S. arm as part of a plan to move the brand upmarket.
Parlato has been with the company for several months but Lotus has not made the appointment public because the automaker has been pre-occupied with appearances at numerous shows, Lotus spokesman Kevin Smith said on Wednesday.
Parlato left Ferrari North America on Jan. 1, 2010, after seven years as CEO and 20 years with the company.
Smith said Lotus Cars USA officially announced Parlato's appointment at the Los Angeles auto show on Nov. 16, but he's been CEO since the Frankfort Auto Show in mid-September.
Smith said Parlato's experience with a company like Ferrari will prove to be beneficial as Lotus repositions "a good part of (its) future portfolio."
"He has the experience we need … to help insure success with our future Lotus vehicles," Smith said.
Smith said Lotus Cars USA is aiming to strengthen its dealer network to better prepare for selling cars it expects could range anywhere from $78,000 on the low-end to $180,000 for current concept cars.
"(Parlato) is a welcome addition to the team," Smith said. "He's brought in a lot of energy already and great contacts in the industry."