Lotus confirms Bahar

Dany Bahar has been appointed as the new CEO of Group Lotus effective October 1. He replaces Mike Kimberley, who retired in July.

Bahar was previously Senior Vice President, Commercial & Brand for Ferrari SpA where he was responsible for worldwide road car sales and after sales business, overall road car and F1 marketing activities, licensing, and merchandising business.

Before joining Ferrari SpA, he was the Head of Corporate Projects Business in Red Bull GmbH. He was responsible for the overall corporate project business development, with emphasis on diversifying the business such as setting up their F1 strategy with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso and the US based NASCAR operations, plus acquiring soccer clubs in Salzburg, New York and Ghana.

"Lotus has a worldwide reputation for innovative engineering and superb sportscars that lead the world in efficiency, design and dynamics," Bahar said. "With the recent launch of the award-winning Evora, there is proof that Lotus is better placed than many to capitalise on the rapidly changing automotive market. I can't wait to get my plans under way in October."

The chairman of Lotus Datuk Nadzmi Salleh said that "With Dany's track record in motorsports and Ferrari, we strongly believe that we have found the right CEO to enhance the Lotus image, brand and reputation as a world class sportscar and engineering company. With a strong management team already in place, we are confident this objective can be attained."

It remains to be seen whether this means that Lotus will be returning to Formula 1, but it is a logical step for the company given that it is controlled by Proton, the Malaysian carmaker, which is in turn controlled by the Malaysian government, through the national investment company Khazanah Nasional, the government pension fund EPF and Petronas.