Bosses at DRB Hicom have suspended three Group Lotus senior managers just weeks after its chief executive Dany Bahar was dismissed.

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The EDP has learned that the managers – members of Mr Bahar’s senior management team – were suspended following the audit carried out by the new Malaysian owners, who bought the loss-making car maker in January.

Group Lotus declined to comment last night and executives at DRB Hicom could not be reached.

The suspension of the managers is sure to raise more questions about the future of the Hethel-based car maker.

A plan to create five new models in five years has been put on hold while the car maker decides its next move and the suspension of three of Mr Bahar’s executives is sure to fuel further speculation that the plans could be scaled back or even shelved.

Last week more than 50 contractors involved in new projects at the car maker were given a couple of weeks’ notice in a sign of cost cutting by the conglomerate.

However, production at the car maker continues and a new model – the Exige S – could go into production in two weeks’ time.

The suspended managers are believed to be part of the legal, human resources and finance teams at the Hethel-based car maker.

The decision is thought to have been made by DRB Hicom’s board in Malaysia and not by the firm’s new chief operating officer Aslam Farikullah, who took over the day to day running of the company following the departure of Mr Bahar.

Mr Bahar was dismissed earlier this month from his post following an audit into the running of the company and an unspecified complaint against him by DRB-Hicom.

annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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