Dany Bahar, the chief executive with ambitious plans for British-based sports car maker Lotus, has been suspended by the new Malaysian owners of Group Lotus.
Group Lotus said the move followed an operational review with Bahar temporarily suspended from his role "to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct" made by DRB-Hicom.
The move adds to uncertainty about the future of the niche car maker. DRB-Hicom has denied reports that consultancy firm KPMG has been hired to sell Lotus to a Chinese buyer.
A DRB-Hicom spokesman said it was business as usual at the Lotus headquarters in eastern England, where more than 1,000 workers are employed.