Say what you will about Lotus boss Dany Bahar – and let’s be honest, he’s not short of critics either here on the Autocar forums or out there in the automotive industry – but he’s certainly convincing.
I met him for the first time last week, and arrived with the preconceptions of many a sceptic. I left impressed with his candour, enthusiasm and energy for getting a job done.
He freely admits his plan for five high-cost new cars plus an engine, all to go on sale between 2013-2018, is risky – but says his policy was the best-case scenario out of the three options facing the company.
“In the past 15 years the company hadn’t been successful – losing money – so something needed to change,” he said. “There were three possibilities: sell, shut down or go on the attack.”
He admits that, if he had his time again, he wouldn’t have announced the five new cars at last year’s Paris motor show – “maybe three or four would have been enough” – but stresses that he was under pressure to outline his plans for “attack” in double quick time to the various stakeholders involved.