To no one’s surprise, DBR-Hicom – owners of Lotus – have terminated Danny Bahar’s employment and replaced him with Aslam Farikullah.
The tenure of Dany Bahar at Lotus has not been an easy one. But now it’s over with DBR-Hicom ending Bahar’s supension with a termination of his employment.
Lotus has always been engineering driven, but Bahar’s often brash marketing take on Lotus was hard for many to stomach. His grandiose plans for an East Anglian Ferrari had an appeal, but seemed more planted in fantasy than reality.
New owners of Lotus – DBR-Hicom through their recent acquisition of Proton – probably needed a way to bring Lotus back to reality and away from fantasy, and the Al Capone trick of financial irregularities seems to have been the preferred method of removing Bahar. But that’s not been confirmed.
Now we get the appointment of Aslam Farikullah – an engineer, not a marketing man – who will perhaps re-focus Lotus on its core and concentrate on the existing range plus the new Lotus Esprit, perhaps with an engine from Toyota’s stable instead of the bespoke unit Bahar wanted?
The DBR Hicom statement on Dany Bahar said:
Norfolk, 7 June 2012 – Group Lotus plc (“Lotus” or the “Company”) can today confirm that, Mr Dany Bahar has been terminated from his employment as Chief Executive Officer of Lotus with immediate effect.
The decision was made by the Board of Group Lotus plc following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against him by the company’s penultimate holding company, DRB-HICOM Berhad.
The Company today also announced the appointment of Mr Aslam Farikullah as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. Mr Aslam, aged 51, has over 26 years working experience, most of which was in the automotive industry. He graduated from University of Bath, England with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Engineering. A British permanent resident, Mr Aslam and his English wife of 27 years have three children aged 26, 22 and 16.
Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM Berhad and also Chairman of Lotus said: “I would like to assure you that we remain committed to ensure the ongoing and future business operations of the Lotus Group as we take the Lotus Group to the next level to remain relevant in the global automotive industry. I look forward to bringing mutual benefits to not only DRB-HICOM and PROTON Holdings Berhad but also the Lotus Group and its employees as well as contribute to the growth of the British automotive industry.”
Whatever route Lotus takes under Aslam Farikullah and DBR-Hicom they’re stuck with each other until 2014 at least. Let’s hope they can make it work.