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Bahar Suspended


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You're kidding right! You're seriously kidding right!!

On a scale of 1-10, I meant that as an 11.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Hehe. I knew you were joking because if you weren't you were the most insane person in the world....ever!

And that includes Jack Hugapoogawillawollabangbang who changed his name because the moon fairies told him to in space when he was taking his goldfish for a walk!

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http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

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I have video of Gino taking DB's coat, but other than that I'm not sure what his exact function is (was?).

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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You've summed it up pretty well there :)

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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This news came as a real shock.... despite (or because of ?) me being a newbie to the politics of it all. From an employment law perspective suspension at such a senior level is a serious step. The unproven (M`lud) allegations bring to mind Conrad Black`s conduct rather than an inevitable recall of DeLorean/Mr. Chapman`s dubious deal. ie a more simple hands in the till situation.

The underlying principles may be the same....questions associated with commercial dynamism and grandstanding-a close cousin to egotism tempting delusions of invulnerability and an ignoral of the relatively esoteric but still powerful tenets of commercial law and procedure .

Was this a species of rant ? I myself do not know. Good luck Lotus.

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I doubt the real story is being told. What's that saying, "never let the truth get in the way of a good story".

I read somewhere that DB is entitled to 5% of the price if the company's sold. Proton was sold for GBP 275m. What was the value of Lotus in that sale? What sort of claim does he have to 5% of that? What's the implication of his suspension (and ultimate dismissal) in negating that?

Messy.

DanR

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You're kidding right! You're seriously kidding right!!

Well for what it's worth, the CTO Wolf Zimmerman could probably take the helm so could Andreas Prillmann, current CCO, Frank Tuch, CQO or David Hewitt, Director of Operation! Really there's no shortage Talent and managerial skill at Lotus.... I think it just takes somebody to be selfless enough to do the job!

Is Karl-Heinz Kalbfell still there? Previously a senior manager at BMW and also headed up Alfa Romeo and Maserati for a while. When he arrived at Lotus he talked up improving and developing the current range to maintain sales which I think may have directly led to the 2012 MY Evora and Exige s etc.

I suspect he might be able to bring more focus to a slimmer product plan without unnecessary disruption. They really need to keep the top engineers such as Zimmerman as the cars are getting better and better. The Exjge S reviews have been really great to read.

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I suppose we should be happy that DB surrounded himself in people with credentials.

I wonder if the owner of the 'modest' house he was renting is aware that it got renovated?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Well call me niaive but I remain hopeful that Group Lotus will survive the politics and keep building great cars. They have a backorder of 1200 cars, rave reviews for the new Exige S V6 and being completely selfish for a moment, I want my Evora GTE here in Oz, so please keep trading Lotus so I can get one!

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It's sad the usual suspects here are relishing this news so much.

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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Yes setting myself up for the firing squad i know

IMHO i dont think DB did that much wrong apart from swiss whats his name yes i'm too old to be into that kind of noise!

DB has brought in some very talented people, which Lotus needed to move up market to take on the Italian/German cars head to head, Lotus were never going to survive just doing Elise/Exige and a basic Evora range; Lotus need a direction; 5 car/5 year plan or at least a forward plan.

DB has put Lotus cars back on the world scene via an agressive much publicised and expensive(?) motorsport programme. In fact it has been way too long to wait (30+ years) to have a Lotus(?) F1 car that should have won the last GP and should win this afternoon

Before I get shot; I have and always will hold MJK in the highest regards and during his stints at Lotus Mike did a brilliant job, however time does not stand still for anyone, and I hope that the parent company will promote from within and soon (if DB does go) to give a similar direction that does not mean the last two years are wasted

The Exige V6 looks a winner and we are both looking forward to our demo drives, I am looking forward to the GTE road car and a demo drive and really looking forward to seeing the new Esprit; and hopefully we will not have to wait a further 5 years to see the rebirth......

and now waiting for the firing squad with my blind fold on

Darryl & Sue

Proud to drive and own since new a true British supercar the Evora GT430

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No firing squad necessary, everyone is entitiled to their view and Bahar does seem a marmite boss in that you either love or hate him.

Only encouragement at the moment is that there seems to be some great people there, and I hope they remain there. The interview with Wolf Zimmerman in this months TG was enjoayble and I would be more concerned if he had gone TBH.

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My guess would be we'll know fairly shortly whether this is an overall cull of staff taken on for future projects and/or whether those people feel the need to look elsewhere for a more secure position. I desperately hope that's not the case but with Bahar on suspension, ie not outrightly dismissed, Lotus could be in limbo for a while.

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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I'd imagine mainly Evora's for the USA and Elise S, that's an easy 600 cars.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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From the EVO interview with Bahar in April -

Are all Lotus models going back into production at the same time?

First will be the Elise, then the Evoras and finally the Exige S. We have 1162 orders to fill [189 Elise, 156 Elise S, 350 Exige S, 182 Evora and 250 Evora GTE models] - which is incredible.

Allowing for that being a over a month ago, before the rave reviews of the Exige S for example, I'd say 1200 sounds reasonable. Production is up to about 44 cars/week at the moment.

Edited by hedgerley
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Yes setting myself up for the firing squad i know

IMHO i dont think DB did that much wrong apart from swiss whats his name yes i'm too old to be into that kind of noise!

DB has brought in some very talented people, which Lotus needed to move up market to take on the Italian/German cars head to head, Lotus were never going to survive just doing Elise/Exige and a basic Evora range; Lotus need a direction; 5 car/5 year plan or at least a forward plan.

DB has put Lotus cars back on the world scene via an agressive much publicised and expensive(?) motorsport programme. In fact it has been way too long to wait (30+ years) to have a Lotus(?) F1 car that should have won the last GP and should win this afternoon

Before I get shot; I have and always will hold MJK in the highest regards and during his stints at Lotus Mike did a brilliant job, however time does not stand still for anyone, and I hope that the parent company will promote from within and soon (if DB does go) to give a similar direction that does not mean the last two years are wasted

The Exige V6 looks a winner and we are both looking forward to our demo drives, I am looking forward to the GTE road car and a demo drive and really looking forward to seeing the new Esprit; and hopefully we will not have to wait a further 5 years to see the rebirth......

and now waiting for the firing squad with my blind fold on

Nicely put Darryl

Technically sound ...Theoretically poked !

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I believe the diligence period has exposed flaws in recovering the 200 million debt in an unyielding market. Realistically , even with 1200 orders to complete and a great range of cars ahead, how long will it take to break even? Perhaps the plan wasn't long term enough given where we are with the sports car market and rubbing salt into the wounds by supporting all manor of racing wouldn't help the new owners pen pushers.

Aside from the alleged misappropriation of Lotus cash, this funding could have been within the contractual agreement between DB and Lotus. Taking the laptop away is a sure sign (imo) that the relationship is terminal (the information on the laptop would have good use for a MBO plea or otherwise. Crap situation especially as there was fantastic growing awareness of the brand purely with F1 !!

Edited by Loteuk

I have to ask myself - 'do I feel lucky'?

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Sounds about right, plus the fact the new owners probably don't fancy the idea of throwing $200m at a loss making company. The slightly excessive motorsport thing probably didn't go down too well either... pen pushers indeed!

On the plus side DB has raised the profile of Lotus as well having a few half decent ideas but it's a crap situation to say the least. With a little more time and patience Lotus could turn the corner and with the Exige S it looks like they've got the car to make people take them very seriously. Let's hope the new owners don't blow it.

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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It really frustrates me to see companies commit hari kiri like this with creating board room drama. All it does it drive fear and speculation with demotes the workforce, puts talent off from applying for positions with the company and scares off investors it might well need if it goes on the market or a mgt buyout is attempted.

He and his team were obviously fairly competent to deliver such a strategy and get so far along, i believe it was the wrong move at the moment.The high end market it already crowded and with the world in throws of a deep set recession and facing spiraling costs of car ownership especially in terms of insurance and fuel which sportscars are particularly succeptable to. Without the cache of the classic marks which is the main reason a fair amount of top marks are sold, it would be difficult and expensive to break into.

I think lotus missed the oppurtunity to make the most of the out of the reputation for being an exceptionally handling sportscar within the reach of a fair amount of people once the second hand market was taken into account. It totally baffled me that after years of Lotus promoting simplicity, lightweight and fuel / power efficiency, that right when we are in the grip of spiralling fuel costs and fiscal restriant something thinks, yes lets just throw that all away and lets do that enourmous V8/V10.

The main marks already each have a niche market brand, and i think the benefit and value of these halo brands are shrinking (I could be wrong). What i think Lotus needed to do was to focus on getting deals in place to get the expensive to develop items off the shelve and focus on the design and build. They are never going to be large scale so i think 5 models was too ambitous. 3 well placed models spread across the market specrum would hedge bets nicely and could provide something for the type of person that can't meet the cost and compramise of an out and out sportscar. The average petrol head is facing the death of a reasonable cost version.

My business model would be; ditch the in house engine development, i'd be the first to love it, but in their current state and with modern regs its a pipe dream, sign a deal for off the shelf engines and make each of the 3 models able to accept multiple engine in your 'bin'. The engines need to be spread to help minimise the cost of the ever increasing environmental regs. I'd limit it to 3 powertrains across the range, a small bore 4 pot turbo - this keeps the emissions down and the economy high, you can also easily alter the power/torque to suit the application and pricepoint, a well balanced petrol V6 and a (hides now) advanced v6 diesel.

Model range;

Elise £25-40k- i'd turn this into a duel purpose chassis, have a version based on the current popular softop with the 4 pot and petrol v6, a race edition (exige) and a longer wheelbase small coupe which is more mainstream, two seats and a hatch boot comparable to a supermini and to be a comfortable cruiser with go kart handling.

?? £40-60k - Higher price point 4 seater coupe, with all 3 engine options. Excel type model, luxurious but without excessive toys(weight), having the 4 pot and diesel variant means it can be a potential company car option.

Esprit £60-80k - basically hark to the back to basics sports / super car, a turbo v6 will have plenty of oomph for the price bracket. Pricing in the band means its more accessible, but in the reduced lineup would still be a suitable halo car.

Whilst the elise' are popular and great cars there isn't the margin in them and lotus has missed out big time after the demise of the excel and espirt where it had no high margin high price point cars. The more practical variant of the elise coupe opens up a much wider segment than the second car / trackday market and re-introces a lotus which a much larger section of the population could aspire and achieve ownership..

Edited by fitz
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It's easy to come up with business plans and strategies from within a forum post, but the reality is that they have everything they need in place today, right now. They just need a sympathetic owner to allow them to execute on their plan.

Chassis - all the new models bar the city car are based on the Evora chassis, which has been universally acclaimed as being the best ever made, and is 2.6x stiffer than the older Elise/Exige tech. Even the new Exige V6 is using the Evora back end. So tick the chassis box.

Engine - they have an exceptionally versatile drive train with the Toyota/Lexus enginer/gearbox combo which can be tuned and tweak from 276bhp right up to 600bhp depending on ECU, air intake, exhaust, SC and other gubbins. Additionally they have gone on record to say their in-house V8 has already been soak-tested and run on the Hethel circuit via a mule. Sounds to me like that is about ready for production. So tick the engine/drivetrain box then.

Marketing/motorsport - DB has done more positive things for the Lotus brand, image and marketing than any CEO before him bar Chapman himself, and they now have major motorsport deals in place which effectively cost them nothing (Renault F1 deal gets them massive global brand exposure wihout spending a single cent - a bloody masterstroke really!). Hey, I was at Hethel last month and even purchased really expensive Italian-made clothing at their store. Add a slick magazine, Hethel customer events, Goodwood FoS, etc. and I think they can tick the marketing box as well.

I could go on.

The point of my post is that there are enough of the fundamentals in place for a solid recovery if the owners have the vision to realise the DB plan. Clearly though, they don't - and they seem intent on putting their own management stamp on the place at the absolute detriment to any chance of survival. In fact it seems as though they are doing everything they can to undermine Lotus Group having a way forward. Remember, they cut Lotus off at the knees after only $200m of the $500m plan had been spent.

I know that GM allocated $1billion in R&D to develop a family sedan here in Oz, and the result is a bland Opel-derived mass market sh1tbox. If people think Lotus is wasting money allocating $500m to develop 5 new models they need to step back in wonder and see what this company can do by developing the Evora on the budget of the Cayman's rear vision mirror design cost.

No, the issue at hand here is that DIB-Hicom are essentially scuttling Lotus and for no good reason other than their own internal boardroom politics, allegiances and overall, a lot of ignorance and arrogance,

Edited by koorby
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