Lotus Chief Executive Dany Bahar has been removed from his position over at British sportscar manufacturer Lotus. Two weeks ago we revealed that the controversial Chief Executive had been suspended pending investigations into his conduct. It’s now thought that parent company, DRB-Hicom has completed these investigations and found some level of wrongdoing relating to Bahar’s period in charge.
Rumours are suggesting that the reason for Bahar’s dimissal related to company expenses. A number of sources suggest that DRB-Hicom questioned an unpaid bill of £92,845, claimed as expenses, in relation to work done on one of Bahar’s homes. It is also thought that Bahar spent upwards of £1 million on private aircraft travel between Formula 1 destinations. It is thought that this has angered DRB-Hicom as Lotus currently runs a £200 million deficit. There’s no suggestion of wrongdoing by Bahar at the moment.
Dany Bahar joined Group Lotus in September 2009 after leaving Ferrari. He gained plenty of critics after presenting a new Lotus car line-up at the Paris Motor Show 2010. Since, Lotus has only produced one new model, the new-generation Lotus Exige. He currently takes home a payment package of at least £1.2 million, including a £600,000 salary and bonuses.
To replace Dany Bahar, DRB-Hicom has bought in Aslam Farikullah, a 51-year-old engineering graduate from Bath who previously oversaw vehicle manufacturing for the Malaysian company. His experience seems limited as DRB-Hicom focuses mainly on manufacturing of Honda and Mercedes-Benz models, assembly and distribution. Considering Lotus has at least four models to build from scratch, Aslam Farikullah has been placed into the deep end.
It remains to be seen what the new Lotus Group will look like in the hands of Aslam Farikullah. One of the only ways to reduce the deficit is to produce the planned model expansion. Hopefully Lotus continue to put effort into this, otherwise, it will not look good for the Hethel-based company.