As I said in last night’s piece, ‘Why Lotus’ future is far from safe’, Proton has been working on securing a platform sharing deal with a major automotive partner.
Last week an article was published online by Auto Express magazine, with the title “Lotus’ future is safe”. In the interests of transparency and to ensure an honest dialogue, I’ll provide a little background on the source of this article and why you should still maintain an open mind about Lotus’ future.
Rumours emerged in the past few days that Gerard Lopez’s Genii Capital, owners of Lotus F1, may be in talks to sell the team.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following Group Lotus recently, that Dany Bahar, who was fired as CEO back in June this year, has initiated a claim for £6.7m ($10.6 million) against his former employers for “unlawful early termination of his employment”.
The first production Exige S came off the assembly line last week, beginning a new phase for the Norfolk sportscar maker. Chief Operating Officer, Aslam Farikullah, marked the milestone event by speaking out for the first time about his plans for the company.
In a statement released this evening, DRB-Hicom announced the appointment of Mohd Aslam Bin Farikullah as Lotus’ new Chief Operating Officer (COO), at the same time as they confirmed the termination of Dany Bahar as Group Lotus CEO.
It comes as no surprise to hear that Dany Bahar’s suspension from his role as Lotus CEO, has now been confirmed as a full termination.
DRB-Hicom released a statement last night confirming that beleaguered sports car maker, Lotus, is not for sale. But what is their motivation for providing such an assurance, and what does this ‘really’ mean?
Several people have asked me why Dany Bahar, the CEO of Group Lotus, was suspended last Friday, and why DRB-Hicom have chosen not to give a reason when asked.
I use the word suspended, even though that’s not a term one would normally use when a CEO is removed from his post, however during the past few hours that’s the phrase which has been used when I spoke to those people close to the matter.
It’s been a matter of debate for months now as rumours continue to abound over the future of Group Lotus. But rather than clarify the situation, most reports serve only to confuse and frustrate an already jaded audience.
Much has been speculated, many of it inaccurate, and whilst I could go through each and every one, this would be of little benefit to Lotus or its 1,200 loyal employees.
Do you care about the truth? Do you care about the survival of a company whose engineering innovation has fundamentally influenced the cars we drive today? Do you really care? Or is Lotus just another target to parody and poke fun at for our own amusement?