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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.

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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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Long term solution; The Germans, BMW have the cash, they have the engines and they could do with a legendry sports car brand !

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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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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,

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,

Firstly, you need to get your facts straight.

Colin was Never CEO, he was Chairman. My father was MD/CEO under Colin (post 1978, he was MD of the car company before that, technical director before that etc) and After Colin. Its more complicated than this as Group and Cars were seperate entities then. Incidently, did I mention that my Father and Colin started up Lotus Engineering as well? Has that been a success?

He is attributed with saving the company 3 times from Bankruptcy, the most recently just a few years ago. Mr Bahar wouldn't have had a company to run if it wasn't for MJK.

Both of the elements you listed above as "universally acclaimed" and "Exceptionally versatile" were introduced by My father (Then CEO) and Roger Becker.

So I take issue with your comment about Bahar being the most successful. Big time!

So lets look at your comment that "DB has done more for positive things for the Lotus brand, image and marketing ,".

He (DB) introduced an "Italian" line of clothing and got into many motorsports...which he backed out of recently (or is being sued by) because the company was in financial problems.

The image has been temporarily raised, I agree, but in the US its only been tarnished and what next? It was just a month ago that they were talking about Administration.

Then finally you talk about the new owners "ignorance and arrogance". When all they are doing is investigating what they call irregularities and have no intention of closing Lotus down. They may sell it but they have said they want to sell it as a going concern, or maybe even keep it themselves if they need to get it straight first.

Please be sure of what you say before saying it. Get your facts straight or state they are your opinion only.

The above are facts and not my opinions.

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quite agree john, it is often politics that get in the way of a companies success, or the recent desire to quickly grow at an unsustainable rate and sell after a couple of years rather than running a longer term concern and plan. There also seem to be very few uk people investing locally...probably for the above reason busy chasing quick wins in the emerging markets than looking for a stable return.

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Firstly, you need to get your facts straight.

Colin was Never CEO, he was Chairman. My father was MD/CEO under Colin (post 1978, he was MD of the car company before that, technical director before that etc) and After Colin. Its more complicated than this as Group and Cars were seperate entities then. Incidently, did I mention that my Father and Colin started up Lotus Engineering as well? Has that been a success?

He is attributed with saving the company 3 times from Bankruptcy, the most recently just a few years ago. Mr Bahar wouldn't have had a company to run if it wasn't for MJK.

Both of the elements you listed above as "universally acclaimed" and "Exceptionally versatile" were introduced by My father (Then CEO) and Roger Becker.

So I take issue with your comment about Bahar being the most successful. Big time!

So lets look at your comment that "DB has done more for positive things for the Lotus brand, image and marketing ,".

He (DB) introduced an "Italian" line of clothing and got into many motorsports...which he backed out of recently (or is being sued by) because the company was in financial problems.

The image has been temporarily raised, I agree, but in the US its only been tarnished and what next? It was just a month ago that they were talking about Administration.

Then finally you talk about the new owners "ignorance and arrogance". When all they are doing is investigating what they call irregularities and have no intention of closing Lotus down. They may sell it but they have said they want to sell it as a going concern, or maybe even keep it themselves if they need to get it straight first.

Please be sure of what you say before saying it. Get your facts straight or state they are your opinion only.

The above are facts and not my opinions.

Hey easy mate, I was offering my opinion, not a thesis. I respect your father's legacy with Lotus and was not intending to undermine his hard work over many decades for a moment.

However the fact is I had no interest in Lotus cars until the Evora IPS MY11 came along, and correct me if I am wrong, but a lot of what is good about the MY11/12 Evoras is a result of the DB era post 2009 yes?

I fall into the 'new demographic' - that is, a Porsche or Merc buyer who has been lured into Lotus ownership because of the most recent product offerings and improvements, not because of the marque's history.

What is patently clear is that DIB-Hicom are dealing with internal 'expense claim' issues in an amateurish and absurd manner that is harming the brand value with each day that goes by without a clear leadership plan and product vision.

DB might be the polarising "marmite MD", but I like what he's done and if he truly was incompetent do you think the Beckers et al would still be hanging around?

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Just remember one thing guys;

This is not our fight ...it may be our concern and /or interest but not our fight.Whatever happened in the past has absolutely no bearing on where it is now nor was it a creation of us being enthusiasts.

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You should probably exercise better judgment and think about recusing yourself from these type of threads .....

Firstly, you need to get your facts straight.

Colin was Never CEO, he was Chairman. My father was MD/CEO under Colin (post 1978, he was MD of the car company before that, technical director before that etc) and After Colin. Its more complicated than this as Group and Cars were seperate entities then. Incidently, did I mention that my Father and Colin started up Lotus Engineering as well? Has that been a success?

He is attributed with saving the company 3 times from Bankruptcy, the most recently just a few years ago. Mr Bahar wouldn't have had a company to run if it wasn't for MJK.

Both of the elements you listed above as "universally acclaimed" and "Exceptionally versatile" were introduced by My father (Then CEO) and Roger Becker.

So I take issue with your comment about Bahar being the most successful. Big time!

So lets look at your comment that "DB has done more for positive things for the Lotus brand, image and marketing ,".

He (DB) introduced an "Italian" line of clothing and got into many motorsports...which he backed out of recently (or is being sued by) because the company was in financial problems.

The image has been temporarily raised, I agree, but in the US its only been tarnished and what next? It was just a month ago that they were talking about Administration.

Then finally you talk about the new owners "ignorance and arrogance". When all they are doing is investigating what they call irregularities and have no intention of closing Lotus down. They may sell it but they have said they want to sell it as a going concern, or maybe even keep it themselves if they need to get it straight first.

Please be sure of what you say before saying it. Get your facts straight or state they are your opinion only.

The above are facts and not my opinions.

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The dispute (assuming no criminal liability) in legal terms, proceeds from the terms of the Contract...Rights to remuneration and shares are usually written in detail into the contract of employment....if either party claims the the contract has been breached the usual remedy sought is to enforce the terms of the contract ...ie. to pay/repay the "fair share"; however the breach might be so serious that the parties might claim that the contract has been repudiated ie completely at an end and unenforceable.

It does get messy then, and the usual outcome is some kind of settlement deal incorporating the departure of the employee.

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I've just spoken with the factory and DRB-Hicom and neither have anything to add to the DRB statement at this time.

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You should probably exercise better judgment and think about recusing yourself from these type of threads .....

I understand what you are saying Trev. But I will not see history re-written and historical inaccuracies given weight to, Especially if I consider something said either besmirches the reputation of my father or doesn't give him credit for something I know to be fact and therefore true. He can't comment himself to protect his reputation or history due to.....certain issues.

I don't "want" or "need" to be involved in this conversation you are right. And I will make no further comment as long as inaccuracies and downright lies aren't mentioned in conjunction with previous Lotus Management.

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It was just a month ago that they were talking about Administration.

'They' being journalists with their own agenda ie Joe Saward. There was no foundation in those stories.

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I find Steve Davies is one journalist who has a more balanced view and also has hooks into Lotus and indeed was facilitating talks involving DB. More here http://skiddmark.com/2012/05/rumours-abound-of-lotus-ceo-dany-bahars-suspension/

@Kimbers - I apologise if you thought I was lying or trying to discredit anyone; I am not a Lotus historian, just a new Lotus (Feb 2012) owner with a vested interest in wanting to keep the group remain viable, if only so I can buy more products :)

From my perspective DB was good for the company but I completely understand and respect that this view is not universally shared.

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I understand what you are saying Trev. But I will not see history re-written and historical inaccuracies given weight to,

It is amazing how much History can be re-written by saying something over and over again...even if its not true!

Buddsy

John

I am with you in many ways I came to Lotus from a classic point of view by more recently I have been more excited by the new cars. Im sure Im gonna buy an Exige at some point (Maybe not for 10 years but still!)

Buddsy

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In the end history will be written by the winners.

Whilst DB was be in charge he was getting good PR and taking the credit for great new vehicles coming out of Hethel. If he does not come back then it will quickly be pointed out that the new Evora versions, the V6 Exige and the new Esprit were all part of the product plan before he joined.

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However despite the endless DB issues you have to give him credit for getting on top on the quality issues, ie the MY12 which really was only the car the Evora should've been at the launch. My biggest concern is that the accountants take over, cut production times and rush cars out the factory doors.

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God: "Yes, Colin, what was it you wanted to see me about?"

Chapman: "Evenin' your Eminence. Was hoping to ask for your assistance in an ongoing matter down below. You see, as I know you do...being omniscient and all that..., there's quite an altercation going on with my life's work enterprise and its very survival."

God: "Go on."

Chapman: "Well, my earthbound current protege is experiencing some difficulties with his new bosses. Something to do with a kitchen remodel...or maybe it was that trip to Vegas last month...I'm not really sure. Quite a lot of speculation going on with the paparazzi at the moment."

God: "Continue."

Chapman: "Seems they've even taken away his laptop and mobile, and the poor bloke isn't able to properly participate in the social media circles so necessary in today's web driven environment. He's essentially 'tweetless,' and it's taking an emotional toll."

God: "And?"

Chapman: "I was hoping you might perform a small 'miracle' on his behalf, and see your way fit to restore his laptop and phone to his personal possession. Some sort of quantum tunneling contrivance. The ususual marvel of magical material revival."

God: "You are aware of the follow on effects when I do these types of requests, Colin? Creates all kinds of havoc with the masses. Shrines, cults, new sects, conspiracy theories and the like. Gets very messy sometimes."

Chapman: "Yes, I know it's a lot to ask, what with all the other marques' past owners up here always badgering you for similar favours. But I really think it best that the poor soul be given back his interweb voice. It's only fair that he be given the chance to express his views on the matters in question. And what's the harm in a little Twitter and Facebook activity anyway? I'm sure at this point he's in serious need of a little venting. And, in any event, he'll definitely need both devices to find new work if he's actually let go."

God: "And what of the possible legal ramifications if I permit this to happen? Won't his barristers go absolutely bonkers if he breaks his silence?"

Chapman: "Well, yes, there is a certain amount of risk involved, but he's a fellow who seems not at all averse to risk taking. Afterall, he's bet the company on an ambitious 5 year plan. Seems a shame to deep six the effort just when the spinnaker's been fully set."

God: "No promises, Colin. But I'll look into it further. Harumph! Taking away a man's laptop. It just don't seem right, mate. I'll see what I can do."

Chapman: "Thank you, your Immenseness."

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I'm surprised there is still not notice about the suspension on the Lotus website. DB is still listed as CEO with no mention of any suspension.

Seems a bit unprofessional not even having a press release on the matter.

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It's an ongoing issue, that's why Thomas. DRB have issued a response to the press and that's it until the matter is resolved.

Have we considered that this is a move by DRB to bring in their own CEO who has their interests at heart without having to pay Bahar a severance?

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Considered and accepted to be honest Bibs.

Ethics policies and papaerwork are being used more and more in the corporate world to remove people without severance.

If you dig deep enough everyone has done something wrong at some stage whether it be getting to drunk at the christmas party to forgetting to knock a mars bar off the petrol expenses. Its the new cowardly way!!

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