That’s right; according to a report from MSN U.K., the former head of Lotus has denied the allegations that he incorrectly used funds and is suing the British automaker. So not only did he collect £1.2 million ($1.48 million) per year as his company spiraled down the drain, but now he wants a little bit more money from Lotus, who needs to save every dime it can if it hopes to ever recover.
Here’s TopSpeed’s own solution to the problem. Hire the guy back, give him his old job, and have him sign a non-disclosure form that also waives his right to sue for the previous termination. Next, call him into a board meeting and fire him for the overall performance of Lotus in his three years as its head.
If I perform poorly at work and cost my company millions of dollars, I get fired. My boss wouldn’t have to dig up some weird financial slight on my behalf. Just call me into his office, tell me that I was not performing, and send me on my merry old way. That is it… Then again, maybe this whole investigation was to avoid having to pay a severance package to Bahar, which would likely be several million dollars, and that is the fuel powering this alleged lawsuit.
As expected, Lotus and Bahar are not available to confirm or deny whether this lawsuit is actually happening or not, which points to the likelihood that it is happening.
We all know that when you buy or sell anything of significant worth, the gummament is not too far away with its hand out asking for its share. It doesn’t care which side it comes from, just as long as someone pays “The Man.” Well, when VW AG decided it was time to buyout the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche and get its former ownership group completely out of the picture, we were talking billions of Euros, €4.5 billion to be exact.
Well, even in Germany, “The Man,” or better yet “Der Mann,” is there in the form of the Baden-Württemberg Finance Mini stry asking for his cut of the deal, which would total about €1.5 billion ($1.9 million). This was just about the breaking point of the entire deal, as a part of the buyout was that VW pays the tax.
After five months of massaging the numbers, looking at the laws, and manipulating things in ways that would make a business ethics major cringe, VW and Porsche are about to pull off this deal 100 percent tax free. How they pulled this off was simple enough… The only real sticking point was the fact that VW had to find out how to manipulate the deal into a corporate restructuring, as opposed to a sale.
To achieve a restructuring classification instead of a buy-sell classification, VW gave Porsche the €4.5 billion buying price, but included in that price a single voting share of VW stock… Yeah, that’s it. One little piece of paper that says “I can vote on important issues” saved VW €1.5 billion. Gotta love those tax attorneys.
The deal has yet to be approved by state authorities, but sans any omissions or errors, this looks to be a final deal that gives VW the title to Porsche, instead of just a rental contract.
few days ago, we let you know that several sources were reporting that bankrupt Swedish automaker, Saab, was finally sold to Hong Kong-based, Sweden-registered renewable energy company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). This in turn booted Youngman out of the bidding war for the third time, but we had not yet seen any official reports. Well, we now have all something official.
NEVS’ boss, Karl Johan Jiang (interesting mixture of names) announced at a news conference that NEVS indeed won the folded automaker and that NEVS will indeed use the “Saab” name on its cars. NEVS was awarded the Saab factory, its tooling company and the 9-3’s architecture, which is odd, as BAIC purchased the intellectual rights to the 9-3 several months ago. We assume that BAIC got the drivetrain rights and Saab retained the underpinnings and body.
NEVS also let us know that we will not be without a new Saab vehicle on the road for much longer, as NEVS is currently developing an EV car based on the 9-3’s architecture that it was awarded and that car should be released in the next 18 months. Sales will start in China, then eventually move worldwide.
Unfortunately, NEVS’ bid did not include the 9-4x or 9-5 rights, so other than the 9-3, Saab will be starting all over again with brand new models, if it ever gets off of the ground. Given the Saab 9-3’s somewhat sporty nature, we expect to see a higher performance EV made of it. It definitely won’t be a screamer, like the Tesla Model S , but also not as slow as a Nissan Leaf .
There should be loads more information coming down the pike in the next 18 months, and we will update you as often as we can. Until then, congratulations to NEVS and the “Saab” name for making it through this long saga.
The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.
In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley , and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.
As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!
Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.
At this point, nearly a month after his death , we all assumed that Carroll Shelby was peacefully laid to rest in a plot of land or cremated, so his ashes may stay with his family or spread as he saw fit. According to a report by TMZ, neither of these scenarios are true, as his family is now fighting over who has control over his deceased body.
On one side we have Shelby’s children that are claiming that their father signed paperwork leaving the eldest son in control of the deceased former racecar driver’s body. It looks as if Shelby’s long estranged wife, Cleo, is fighting the children stating that being his wife, she has full rights to his remains. She is fighting this despite the fact that Carroll was in the midst of annulling their 14-year-long marriage citing her lying about numerous personal things, such as her assets and even her real name.
She is also arguing that there is no way that Mr. Shelby could have signed any papers giving his son control, as he did not have the “physical capacity or eyesight” to read, understand, and sign off on the papers.
Until this is all sorted out, Mr. Shelby’s body is stuck at the medical examiner’s office in a freezer, which is not the place for this automotive hero. He needs to be laid to rest in the place that he made clear he wanted to be prior to his death. If his estranged wife truly does care, she would allow him that right.
There is a silver lining to this whole thing and that’s that the annulment Shelby filed for in April is still pending and a judge does have the right to approve an annulment even after death. So in the end this could all be resolved with one tap of a gavel from a judge and Mr. Shelby can rest peacefully.
There comes a time in every person’s life where sacrifices must be made and the biggest moment of sacrifice is when you have a child. I know that my son comes first in everything. There is not a single thing in this world that I would put before his health, safety, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way.
Enter in a woman (we know her name, but we’ll spare her some privacy) from the Denver, Colorado area, and you have a woman that made the “mistake” (her words, not ours) of putting $7.00 worth of gasoline in a child safety seat, as the young child sits in the seat next to the car seat with a lap belt around him.
After picking up what appears to be a 2-gallon gas can of fuel, she apparently couldn’t find any other better place to sit it other than her child’s car seat. So she removed her son and placed him on the adult seat and securely strapped in the can of gas in the child seat.
Fortunately, she was stopped by the Aurora Police Department during a random seatbelt checking campaign and she received a slew of tickets. One of the officers snapped a picture of the terrible site and posted it on the Colorado DOT’s Facebook page, which now has 704 comments, most of which comment on the horrendous lack of safety, and 2,031 shares.
To make matters worse, on this undisclosed woman’s Facebook page she posted on May 30th “So I jus [sic] got pulled over! No license again....but I didn’t go to jail! Thank God! This time I learned! !!!” This leads us to believe that not only was she driving with her son in the worst possible position – in a regular seat with a can of gas within reach – but she was doing so without a valid license, which she has done before.
It’s not our job to judge, so we will just say that no matter what, the safety of you children always comes before a can of gas…
So picture that you just snagged up a car for, let’s say $3,800, and it is a great car that you completely fall in love with. A year later, you find out that the car was illegally seized according to a court ruling and you have to hand the car over to the heirs of its original owner. You’d be pretty upset, right? Well, add three zeros to that price and you that exact situation unfolding in Germany.
A Dutch car collector purchased a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster from RM Auctions last year for a whopping $3.8 million in California. When the collector shipped the car back to Germany, the German government seized the car stating that it was illegally taken by an American military official around 1945 and shipped to the U.S., as the heirs of the pricy automobile are claiming that the American serviceman stole the vehicle and hid it in the U.S.
Typically, Germany has a 30-year statute of limitation on this sort of case, but a German court stated that since the car was not in Germany for 30 years, the limitation clock never started, which is an odd interpretation of statute of limitations laws. The strangest thing is that between 1945 and 1970, no one has any idea where the car was and what was being done with it, so there is technically no proof that the car was not in Germany, and we find the ruling a little off the wall.
We certainly hope that the buyer can recoup at least a majority of the $3.8 million he used to purchase the car from the seller. Also, there has to be some U.S. law on the books that puts RM Auctions on the hook for selling a car with a shady and undocumented past that just may cost the collector millions of dollars.
One thing’s for sure, if this car wasn’t worth $3.7 million, we are willing to bet that the heirs couldn’t have cared less about getting back the property… We’ll keep you updated as this story progresses.
Oh boy… It seems like the FR-S and BRZ just hit dealerships – oh wait they did – and already they are showing up on the recall list. So, does this spell disaster for the Sciobaru twins, or is this just a rocky start to something special, a la the Ford Escort? Well, actually the recall has absolutely nothing to deal with the overall build of the vehicle, but rather a strange safety requirement by the NHTSA.
This recall is still hot off of the press, as it just hit the NHTSA’s site on June 8 at 2:49 a.m. – ah, someone couldn’t sleep – but there is still enough info to pass along. It looks like there was just a small bit of information left out of the owner’s manual regarding how the airbag system works. You know, one of the many sections of the owner’s manual that the average owner just bypasses.
From the reports we are reading, the missing information is almost unnoticeable. As described by Subaru officials, the missing information in question is that the manual not making a distinguished difference between a child and a small female when it is describing the way the BRZ and FR-S weigh its passengers for airbag deployment.
Per the NHTSA, this recall only affects a small number of the first FR-S and BRZ models to leave the production line. It is estimated that roughly 1,156 Scion FR-S models are in need of replacement owner’s manuals, but the number of BRZs needing replacement manuals is undisclosed yet, though some outlets are reporting 1,600 BRZs.
Fortunately, this recall is just something small and not a safety issue, which could be catastrophic for a new car in the market.
Well, you can just color us shocked, as Lotus chose to fire suspended CEO, Dany Bahar (it’s sarcasm, folks). We already anticipated new Lotus owner, DRB-Hicom to part ways with the unsuccessful and oft-newsworthy CEO from the beginning, but his “temporary suspension ” pending an investigation sealed the deal. The word “suspension” in the corporate world is simply shorthand for “we are getting you out of the office so we can dig up some dirt to fire you before you get a chance to cover your tracks.”
To boot, the investigation that Bahar is under is pretty serious business, as he allegedly used Lotus’s money to fund renovations on his rental properties. After Lotus caught on and stopped the flow of money, the builders were stuck with a pretty hefty unpaid building bill. So that’s a double whammy for Mr. Bahar that just might land him in a court room.
We are sure this is far from the last thing we hear from Bahar, though we are certain he won’t find his way into the CEO role of another company. We’ll keep you updated on his potential legal issues as more information comes around. Until then, it looks as if he is just going to be joining former Mercedes-Benz CEO, Ernst Lieb, in the unemployment line.
Where’s Donald Trump with his famous “You’re Fired” line when you need him?
In all seriousness, we wish the best for the British automaker, but it needed Bahar out of the CEO role to get back to what it once was. Here’s to a fresh start for Lotus and we are hoping DRB-Hicom selects the perfect candidate for the job.
Monaco is pretty well known as the land of supercars, as it has arguably the highest concentration of supercars roaming its streets than any other country in the world. With all of these supercars, it makes life a little difficult for law enforcement to catch speeders. Often times, cars are simply flagged down by foot patrol officers, because Monaco officials know that chasing down a high-powered Lamborghini is fruitless.
Another thing about Monaco, which we know from the Grand Prix of Monaco, is that its roads are chock-full of crazy twists and turns, so agility may be even more important than overall speed. So what are the Monaco Police to do when they finally decide it is time for a crackdown on these crazy drivers? Well, buy one of the most lightweight and agile supercars in the world, the KTM X-Bow R by MTM, of course.
This MTM-tuned KTM X-Bow R pumps out a low-for-a-supercar 400 horsepower from its 2.0-liter engine. It makes up for this relative lack of power by being the Calista Flockhart of supercars and weighing only 1,700 lbs. To give you a better idea of how awesome this car is, it only has 4.25 lbs per horsepower, which is drastically better than that Lamborghini Aventador’s 4.96 lbs per horsepower and the Ferrari 599 GTB’s flabby 6 lbs per horsepower.
The only supercar to beat the KTM X-Bow R by MTM in weight-to-power is the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 , which comes in at 4.15 lbs per horsepower. Now that is some impressive company to be in.
If you still don’t believe us that the KTM X-Bow R by MTM is the car to be chasing down supercar speeders in Monaco, have a look at the video of the police testing it after the jump. That should be plenty to convince you that it is one bad-ass supercar killer.