I think Bahar and co, wanted control of the brand, with someone who potentially wasn’t going to try and buy the Lotus Group.
I’d say he has every right to do that. Bahar controls the Lotus name, and there’s evidence to suggest that Fernandes was looking to use Lotus Racing to eventually gain control over the Lotus name. Riad Asmat, one of Lotus Racing’s senior personnel, was working with Fernandes on that front while on the Lotus Cars payroll. James Allen posted as much, and his blog is of extraordinarily high quality. I doubt he’d be taken for a ride too easily.
And then there’s other stuff. The Lotus T125 – which was created before the T127; the names are sequential – is a track dy car styled after a Formula 1 racer. Lotus Cars was sponsoring KV Racing Technology in Indycar (and they’ll expand to two cars in 2011), and has expanded out into GP2 and GP3. They’re also looking to develop a bodykit for the Indycar ICONIC project. They’ve made the Evora available to teams looking to compete in the GT4 championship, and they’ve toyed with a push into GT2 or GT3 with one of their new models. And speaking of the new models, all of these big announcements about their entry into various forms of motorsport as a constructor or a manufacturer have co-incided with the launch of five new models to the Lotus Cars range. They’re clearly trying to relaunch the Lotus Cars name and want to use motorsport to do it. The objective is for Lotus Cars to have a presence in half a dozen forms of motorsport by the time the new cars are on the market. No doubt they would have liked to have worked with Tony Fernandes on that, but the dispute over merchandise and Fernandes’ plans to gain control of the Lotus Cars brand obviously pushed them away.