Proton announced today that DRB-Hicom is not selling Lotus and confirmed that Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has been suspended.
It said three officials have been appointed to handle the daily affairs of Lotus in the interim period. They are DRB-Hicom chief operating officer Datuk Lukman Ibrahim, Mohd Khalid Yusof and Aslam Farikullah.
“Lotus can provide value to Proton,” said Proton executive chairman Datuk Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil.
“It is an iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce.”
Bahar was suspended following a complaint by Proton’s new owner, DRB-Hicom, into his conduct.
Mohd Khamil said DRB-Hicom has despatched a team of local and international consultants to Lotus in March to review and audit operations at Lotus.
Proton said the review was sparked by a £270 million (RM1.3bil) syndicated loan Lotus had taken in 2010, for which the national car company had stood as guarantor.