In June 2012, Lotus’ parent company DRB-Hicom fired the British sports car maker’s CEO, Dany Bahar, after a complaint made by DRB regarding his conduct. However, Mr Bahar is not taking it lying down as he has filed a claim against both Lotus and DRB-Hicom for wrongful termination of his employment and is seeking a US$10.6 million compensation.
On the lawsuit, DRB said that the company would vigorously defend against Bahar’s claim. DRB’s official response says, “Dany Bahar was dismissed after an investigation into his stewardship of Lotus”. “We believe we have acted properly at all times”, the company added. However, DRB did not provide additional details on the reason for Bahar’s termination.
Bahar joined Lotus as the CEO back in 2009 and announced a massive five-year turnaround plan for the UK-based carmaker a year later in an attempt to boost sales in emerging markets such as China. He plans to introduce five new models in the coming years, beginning with an all-new Esprit scheduled for release come end of 2013. However, DRB-Hicom has already developed a more realistic plan compared to what Bahar wanted. Perhaps, his shock therapy was too much for Lotus’ parent company.
Lotus has struggled to compete against Porsche and Ferrari in Europe, and has hung on to relevance in the auto industry partly because of its decades-long expertise in designing lightweight frames.
Lotus Esprit concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show