May 20 2013 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Thursday, July 26, 2012
New Lotus boss Aslam Farikullah joined staff at the carmaker’s Norfolk base in Hethel today to watch the first new Exige S roll off the production line.
"We can all look forward to exciting times ahead as we bring the company to the next level. But I am not a fan of the limelight. I will let our cars do the talking"
In a low key launch and in marked contrast to his predecessor Dany Bahar, who was dismissed from his post in June by new owners DRB Hicom, Mr Farikullah said he would let the cars do the talking in the future.
Mr Farikullah is yet to speak directly to the EDP about his vision for the car company, and there is still no word about how DRB Hicom intends to press ahead with a £10m bid for the government’s regional growth fund aimed at creating 1,000 new jobs now that it has torn up Mr Bahar’s previous turnaround plan to create five new models.
But in a statement released by Lotus, Mr Farikullah, who was appointed chief operating officer in the wake of Mr Bahar’s sacking, said: “We are very proud of the Exige S. It marks the first step towards consolidating and then growing the company. I know that customers have been eagerly waiting for this car, and I assure them that it will be worth the wait. We wanted to be sure that we had a product that was absolutely ready before launching it. We are confident that the right time for the Exige S is now.
“Our new philosophy is simple,” he added. “We will keep announcements about our planned products to a minimum. New models will only be launched when the product and timing is right. Once we do launch a new product, we will ensure that we can deliver to customers anywhere in the world as scheduled.”
He also outlined what else would be different under his leadership.
“Our emphasis now is on the finer details of what we do,” he added. “I believe that the ability of our engineers and workforce makes them among the best in the world. We will leverage on this key strength as we revitalise and strengthen the Lotus brand.
“We can all look forward to exciting times ahead as we bring the company to the next level. But I am not a fan of the limelight. I will let our cars do the talking.
“I want the Lotus name to become a by-word in the automotive industry for integrity, which means delivering quality products on the dates we say we will deliver them. As a start, we will refocus our human resources in order to further strengthen our Quality Department by 20pc, clearly demonstrating our future intent.
“I would also like to reiterate that DRB Hicom is committed to the future of Lotus. When I arrived I found a company full of talent, ambition and pride in the Lotus name. It’s my job now to re-galvanise the company and we will be doing that by investing in our existing talent.”
Announced at the Frankfurt motor show last year, the 170mph model was unveiled at the opening of Group Lotus’ flagship shop in London’s West End earlier last week in front of the Malaysian press and business secretary Vince Cable.
Norfolk turkey giant Bernard Matthews is in talks to sell a stake in the business.