Currently reading: Bahar dismissed as Group Lotus boss
Group Lotus owner DRB-Hicom has dismissed chief executive Dany Bahar from his role with immediate effect
Matt Burt
2 mins read
7 June 2012

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."

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TBC 9 June 2012

It seems to me that DRB-Hicom

It seems to me that DRB-Hicom were not willing to invest in Lotus with Bahar at the helm. Hopefully with the new CEO in place, the appropriate funds will start to flow. I fear however, that Aslam Farikullah's main role will be to improve the Lotus balance sheet so that it can be sold; I certainly hope I'm wrong....... 

leojk 8 June 2012

Well a couple more won't hurt!!!

I'm not sure about journos naivity to be honest - I think there is a tendency for (certainly) Autocar's journos to get behind projects like these for the "greater good" - another similar example is the Gordon Murray T25/T27 project. I suppose you can either be another BBC, and just report what you see, which is informative but not very interesting or revealing (until you drill-down into the detailed analysis eg Robert Peston), or you can "work for your industry", generate a bit of a buzz, expecially around any UK based venture - and why not? If anything, the naivity lies with those that cannot see through this type of reporting. If dragging Lotus into the 21st Century wasn't tricky enough, adding to Mr Bahars difficulties were that Lotus is wholly owned by a parent company, seemingly necessitating this whole charade of perverse marketing and publicity stuntwork in order to build credibility - with the owners. Ironically! Who knows..... I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Lotus!!!

leojk 8 June 2012

Wait a minute!

I know it does happen, but if I was looking for someone to run my football club, I wouldn't necessarily be looking to a footballer, even if he had a great track record with the club. Likewise, I probably wouldn't look to an engineer to be running a car company. The business of running a company, raising capital, marketing and sales is a separate responsibility to that of designing and building cars. Bahar was the frontman, with, given, a genuine enthusiasm for the automotive industry. I doubt he personally penned the designs for the new cars in the plan, although I suspect he was part of the decision to make Lotus look serious and big. If you head into a negotiation process asking for funds to develop a single new model, you'll probably get enough cash to build half a new model. So ask for enough for 5 cars, and you might get enough for one!!! It's business, don't confuse this with engineering. Some of the ideas were slightly gimmicky and undoubtedly controversial (rappers etc), but you can't argue that Lotus has never before had so much exposure - there's supposedly no such thing as "bad" exposure (in business terms) so why not try these left-field ideas. Perhaps Bahar's dodgy expenses were keeping Lotus ticking over during the hiatus "takeover" period!!!! Who knows..... Anyway, ultimately Lotus will lose momentum... and change for change sake is not always a good thing, it just costs money and causes delay.

Broughster 8 June 2012

already waited years

No, you wouldn't want a footballer to run a football club, but someone with football management experience might be a good idea! Actually, football analogies are hopeless, because (as far as I can tell) with only one or two exceptions everyone at the top of football is too busy feathering their own nest to care about the game. Or perhaps that is a really good analogy for car company bosses?

Nobody wanted Bahar to pen the cars personally, just have enough of an understanding of how it was done to convince his team to make good cars and the public to buy them. He instantly lost any credibility he may have had by putting together an overambitious product plan that made him look ridiculous (unless you happened to be a member of the rather naive motoring journalist fraternity).

In business you don't ask for 5 cars to get one, you ask for one or two cars to get one. Otherwise people think you are a dreamer and you end up getting pushed out of the organisation when the grown ups take over....