Lotus owners Proton have said that Lotus is not up for sale and reports say Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has been suspended over his expenses.
Grandiose plans launch a whole range of supercars from a small niche manufacturer in the flatlands of Norfolk was always a strange call, and the sort of bills loss-making Lotus seems to be meeting make, on the face of it, little commercial sense.
Dany Bahar’s £1.2 million pay packet is the sort you’d expect to find in a profitable company and some of the bills Lotus appears to have been paying to support Bahar’s lifestyle are said to be at the root of his suspension.
It appears that Lotus are entangled in a dispute with a Norfolk builder over an unpaid invoice for £92k, just part of a £375,000 renovation bill for one of two houses Bahar appears to be renting at Lotus’s expense. And we thought Bahar might have been suspended for his PR disasters.
On a brighter front DBR Hicom has stated it has no plans to sell Lotus. Which will be true as they’re locked in for two years to Lotus after buying Proton, but that doesn’t mean they won’t leave Lotus on ice for the next two years. Not for sale, but going nowhere, perhaps?
Still, maybe the new team in charge at Hethel after Bahar’s ‘temporary’ departure will put together a more workable business plan that include the new Esprit – but probably not the Lotus V8 for it – and a sane way forward somewhere this side of the £700 million Bahar wanted to spend to turn Hethel in to Maranello.
Maybe then DBR Hicom will see long-term value in keeping Lotus?