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Lotus, the engineering and sports cars group, has appointed former Ford special vehicles chief Rod Mansfield (left) as its managing director following last week's sudden departure of Adrian Palmer. Mr Mansfield is joined by Neeraj Kapur (right) who takes the post of finance director, also abruptly vacated by Andrew Tempest. Lotus, which is owned by Bugatti International, said that the company remained strong and was not affected by financial problems at the automotive arm of the Bugatti group. The company declined to comment on reports that Lotus was about to be bought by Shivagi Rao, a wealthy Indian entrepreneur.