Mike Stevens | May 28, 2012

Lotus boss Dany Bahar has been suspended from his role this week, owner DRB-Hicom has confirmed, ahead of an investigation into the outspoken CEO's conduct.

The news follows the release of a scathing statement in April that read more like an internal email, tearing into F1 figure Tony Fernandes and the motoring press. (You can read the full release at Yahoo! Sports.)

"As a result of a number of media inquiries, Group Lotus plc (“Lotus”) can today confirm that, following an operational review, chief executive Dany Bahar has been temporarily suspended from his role to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct made by Lotus’ penultimate parent company, DRB-HICOM Berhad."

The Malaysian company confirmed that Bahar's responsibilities as CEO will be managed by three representatives from Lotus parent Proton and group owner DRB-Hicom.

Speaking with industry paper Automotive News, a spokesperson said that it was business as usual at Lotus, which employs more than 1000 workers in the UK.

Bahar joined Lotus in 2009, overseeing the development of a full range of concepts unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

With the financial support of parent Proton, then owned by the Malaysian government, Lotus kicked off a plan to have a number of new models in showrooms by 2015, with the first - a new Esprit - to arrive in 2014.

At this stage, the Esprit is officially expected to debut on time, while plans for the Elan, Elise, Elite, Eterne and a new city car, are still to be confirmed.

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