You can't keep a good man down, or so the saying goes. The jury may still be out on whether Dany Bahar was a good thing for the automotive industry – with some portraying him as an overambitious opportunist and others pitting him as a genuine car guy against the bean-counters – but he's not about to stay down for long.
Five years after it began, it appears the Dany Bahar tenure at Lotus is finally over. After former Lotus owner Proton brought in the ex-Ferrari and Red Bull marketing savant to run the company in 2009, everything had gone pear-shaped by 2012: Proton had been sold to Malaysian auto supplier DRB-Hicom, who suspended Bahar and then fired him for what it said were expense-account transgressions (although Bob Lutz reportedly said something different).
More details have come out about the legal suit and countersuit being contested between Lotus cars owner DRB-Hicom and former CEO of Lotus Dany Bahar. Bahar was brought in by Malaysian car company Proton in 2009 to turn Lotus around, and events during his tenure have made just about everyone wonder "What's going on?" That's not unusual – it can take a minute to figure things out when a new leader takes everything in a new direction – but in this case the clouds didn't clear quickly e
Two years ago, we were gobsmacked when humble Lotus shocked the automotive world by wheeling out no fewer than five new models – admittedly in various stages of development – at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The ambitious onslaught of new sheetmetal came at the behest of then-CEO Danny Bahar who aimed to broaden the British marque's appeal by dramatically expanding its portfolio. Bahar was later thrown out by new Malaysian owners DRB-Hicom in a management shakeup that seems to still be,
File this one under "not surprising in the least." Fired Lotus CEO Dany Bahar is reportedly suing his former employers for some $10.6 million, claiming that the automaker and its Malaysian owner, DRB, broke the law when they dismissed him. According to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek, DRB and Lotus will defend themselves in court rather than settling, including filing a countersuit against the former top executive.
The plan put forth by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar was to explode the British brand into the high-dollar sports car segment and directly challenge its marquee names. The first explosion came with the surprise introduction of five concepts at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. What has continued to surprise, though, is that the explosions haven't stopped: parent company Proton has had troubles leading to a reworking of its Formula One involvement, its IndyCar effort has had a rough ride, Proton's sale to
Lotus and parent company DRB-Hicom haven't offered much commentary on the suspension and eventual firing of former CEO Dany Bahar. European newspapers and websites, on the other hand, have been having a field day reporting on various financial missteps rumored to have taken place with Bahar at the helm.
We record Episode #286 of the Autoblog Podcast tonight, meaning you can drop us your questions via our Q&A module below and chime in to direct our conversation. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
We record Episode #284 of the Autoblog Podcast tonight, meaning you can drop us your questions via our Q&A module below and chime in to direct our conversation. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
DRB-Hicom has suspended Lotus CEO Dany Bahar pending an investigation into the executive's conduct. While the sports car manufacturer's parent company has declined to comment on exactly which facet of Bahar's conduct is in question, The Telegraph reports the inquiry may be related to expenses. DRB-Hicom is said to have confiscated Bahar's laptop and mobile phone as part of the investigation. Reportedly, the executive rented in two homes in Norwich, both paid for by Lotus.
"The past four months have been really tough for us," admits Lotus CEO Dany Bahar to Autocar magazine. "We were working at a pace nobody had seen at Lotus for many years," Bahar continued, alluding to the British sports car maker's planned rollout of four models over five years that recently had recently hit the skids thanks to a 60-day financial freeze at Malaysian parent DRB-Hicom. "The shut-down, as I call it," Bahar continued, "was very hard for us," but the Lotus boss forcefully rejects med
Lotus has put a halt to all development of future models. The news comes after the Malaysian government sold its controlling stake in Lotus parent company Proton. According to EVO, the company's takeover regulations require all involved parties to enter into a "lockdown" wherein anything outside of normal business is brought to a halt. For Lotus, that means stalling development for 60 days and pushing back launch dates for vehicles like the Exige S, Evora GTE and the upcoming Esprit successor. L
Reports this week out of London indicate that Lotus CEO Dany Bahar seeks a partner, or even a purchaser, for the Hethel firm. Malaysian automaker Proton currently owns Lotus, but Proton was taken over in January when Malaysian auto parts supplier DRB-Hicom bought the government's controlling interest. The trend with new ownership is to put every project on the table for review, and with Lotus in the midst of massive initiatives – Esprit, Elan, Eterne, new Elise and in-house V8 – it m
There's a lot of smoke going on over at Lotus, but we still have a while to wait before we get the first evidence of fire: the new Lotus Espirit and it's in-house V8 won't be here until 2013. On the other side of the world, there's a fair bit of smoke and fire happening at Malaysian automaker Proton, which owns Lotus.