Letitia Mace is delighted to announce that Mike Kimberley has been invited to become a patron of Xclusively Jaguar, and agreed to this role.
We (Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace) had the great honour of meeting Mike for the first time when he approached us on the JEC stand at the NEC and asked Rob to take a picture of him with his car. He was referring to the car that took pride of place on the JEC stand as he was involved in the development of XJ13.
We were very fortunate to be able to spend some time with Mike at the NEC and have since corresponded with him. Some of his comments are included below.
“I feel very strongly about the fact that so few young ladies come into our engineering profession. When I was active in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers we were always encouraging and promoting the need to attract young women to become engineers. I am glad that your daughter has done so through Jaguar as I did – they are one of the best apprenticeships in the world.”
As well as his important role at Jaguar, Mike said “I was also President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Sant’Agata Bolognese during my global career. Please do tell your daughter it shows that a Jaguar Cars apprenticeship as an Engineer is a good starting point for ones career.”
He finished by saying “I would be most honoured to be a patron of your website Xclusively Jaguar, thank you.”
Finally, he added “Thank you again for your kindness and consideration. Please do pass on my thoughts and message from when we spoke of your daughter, Jaguar Cars is a great foundation and springboard.”
A synopsis of Mike Kimberley’s career
Born in Brown’s Lane, Allesley.
Apprenticed to Jaguar in 1954 (Mike was a probationary apprentice for a year beforehand, as he was too young at 15 to start a full apprenticeship, so his formal apprenticeship ran from 1954 to ’59).
Section Leader Special Projects (Vehicle) for XJ13.
In 1969 he left Jaguar and went to work for Lotus, becoming Chief Engineer in 1974, Engineering Director in 1975, Operations Director in 1976 and Managing Director in 1977.
Working closely and in harmony with Colin Chapman, Mike’s career and Lotus continued to develop and expand until Colin died from a heart attack in 1982 and Mike became Group Chief Executive for the Group Lotus Plc.
In 1986 General Motors took a controlling interest in the Lotus Group and in 1991 Mike was invited to become an Executive VP for GM Overseas Corporation working with a small team to re-establish General Motors in Asia Pacific.
In 1994 he was offered the position of President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Sant’Agata Bolognese and moved to Italy!
Then, after working for Tata in India he was invited to return to Lotus ( and 10 other Boards of Proton Snd Bhd at the time) and did so in late 2005. He restructured the loss making Lotus Group and returned it to an operating profit in 2008/09 including designing, engineering and launching a 100% new model, the Lotus Evora, in October 2008.
Mike Kimberley is highly regarded as an accomplished engineer and businessman. More on his career will follow in due course.