Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is under scrutiny yet again, after Genii Capital owned Lotus F1 Team split with the Norfolk car maker, who up until last week, were title sponsors of the team.
However speculation continues apace that trouble is deepening at Hethel. Lotus sold just 10 cars in the UK last month, up from February’s performance of just 2 cars. Sales in the UK are down 70-80%, compared to this time last year, and our contacts in Malaysia tell us that Proton are looking closely at how to save face during the intense scrutiny of DRB-Hicom’s due diligence process.
So, we know Lotus are under a great deal of pressure at the moment and our thoughts go to the many hard-working folk in Hethel, who are dealing with the daily onslaught of questions.
In the light of continued speculation, Lotus has taken the extraordinary step this evening and released a full statement to dispel the most recent rumours and clarify the present situation. It’s an unconventional approach to calming down a PR crisis, especially considering how personally they’ve written the statement, but perhaps it reflects just how serious the situation has become.
Last week we put together a satirical piece on Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, we wrote it as a light-hearted parody of the internet meme initiated by Samantha Brick’s article on the downsides of looking pretty.
Perhaps now would be a good time to share it and help lighten the mood..
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‘There are downsides to being this gifted’: why people hate me for being so brilliant
In an EXCLUSIVE fictitious interview with the man himself, Dany revealed what it’s like to be so misunderstood..
“At a recent motor show, I was delighted when a journalist came over and paid me a compliment about my circle of famous friends, rewarding me with an article in his national newspaper right next to a piece about my good friend Swizz Beatz.
This was from a leading journalist – not one of those misguided and uninformed hacks from the UK press, who seem obsessed with how well our cars reflect the vision of some flat-cap wearing engineer called Colin Chapman.
You’re probably thinking ‘what a lovely surprise’ to be on the receiving end of such reverence. But while it’s wonderful to see people recognise my social achievements, it wasn’t a surprise. At least not for me.
You see, throughout my business career, I’ve had people pay me compliments for the cut of my hand-made suits, my superstar good looks and the sparkle I add to even the most humble board room.
Take Ferrari for instance, when I joined, an old guy working out of a small brick house at Fiorano called all the shots. He had no style or charisma and acted like he owned the place.
As Senior Vice-President of Ferrari’s Sales, Marketing and Communications, I single-handedly turned this company into the most desirable automotive brand in the world – all my celebrity friends say so, therefore it must be true.
As reward for my achievements I was showered with untold riches, then asked to head up a small Norfolk-based company in need of some sparkle. And whenever I’ve asked what I’ve done to deserve such treatment, the shareholders of each company have always said the same thing: my good looks, cocky demeanour and wunderkind aura that brightens up their day.
While I’m no Richard Branson, I’m trim, fit and have Sharon Stone on speed dial, and from what I tell myself, I’m gifted and uniquely brilliant. I know how lucky I am. To be me.
But there are downsides to being so brilliant – the main one being that other people seem to hate me for no other reason than I’m better than them.
If you’re a car enthusiast or journalist reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering. For while many opportunities have been offered to me (literally) as a result of my engaging personality and film-star looks, just as many have been wrenched away — usually by those most jealous of my achievements and fearful that I’ll make them look bad.
As Chief Operating Officer for Red Bull, I put in place the groundwork for two world championships, but despite my success, was never asked to jump in the team pool at the Monaco grand prix.
You’d think they would have lifted me on their shoulders and cheered, but I guess people don’t want to hang out with someone more talented than them.
I’m not smug and I’m no fool, but over the years I’ve been ignored by countless colleagues and acquaintances who felt threatened if they were in the same room as me.
Let’s face it, I’m a winner. Not many people can say that.
But when ex-F1 world champions or politicians hang out at my Norfolk crib, all of a sudden I read ill-informed articles in the press saying I’m just some playboy. What do they know? How many of them are on speaking terms with Julia Roberts?
It’s not easy being so brilliant, I spend my days surrounded by people who will never know the taste of Cristal, but you won’t hear me complain nor curse their stupidity.
So now I’m in the headlines again and my bosses at Proton think I’ve made them look foolish. They talk about ‘saving face’ and ‘finding a scapegoat’. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose?
Don’t they realise? I’m the one with the glittering career at risk..