Group Lotus has dismissed Dany Bahar from his post as chief executive with immediate effect.

A statement issued today said the decision was made by the board of Group Lotus plc following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against Bahar by the company's owner, DRB-Hicom.

Bahar was suspended from his role last month. A report in the Sunday Telegraph at the time said the suspension was related to an investigation into his expenses.

Aslam Farikullah, one of three DRB-Hicom executives who took over the running of Lotus when Bahar was suspended, has been installed as the company’s chief operating officer.

Bahar joined Lotus from Ferrari in September 2009, and started an ambitious programme to launch up to six new models and make the Norfolk car manufacturer profitable. These were all revealed at the Paris motor show in 2010.

The Lotus five-year plan, as Bahar christened it, has evolved in the 20 months since. Lotus has since started development of its own engine and gearbox, and has focused development on just one new model, the Esprit, while continuing to improve the current range of Elise, Exige and Evora models.

But the future of Lotus has been in limbo since parent firm Proton was sold to Malaysian automotive investor DRB-Hicom earlier this year.

Today's statement included some positive words about the future of Lotus from DRB-Hicom's group managing director, Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, who said: "I would like to assure you that we remain committed to ensure the ongoing and future business operations of the Lotus Group as we take the Lotus Group to the next level to remain relevant in the global automotive industry.

"I look forward to bringing mutual benefits to not only DRB-Hicom and Proton Holdings but also the Lotus Group and its employees as well as contribute to the growth of the British automotive industry."