Friday, November 27, 2009

EDP24 interview Dany Bahar CEO Group Lotus

Today EDP24 the local Norfolk newspaper printed a full interview with Dany Bahar, CEO Group Lotus.
Here is a small quote:
Q Taking a step back, what was the appeal of coming here?

A I had the good luck to work for one of the biggest brands in the world and I enjoyed every minute of it. But I'm the sort of person that likes challenges and I was attracted by the opportunity to change a reality and help a company take the next step. The biggest trigger was the brand name, Lotus. I had a safe future at Ferrari, but the Lotus brand attracted me - and if it can attract me, hopefully it can attract hundreds of thousands - maybe millions - of other people. That's the opportunity I see.

I am glad Dany appears to think the same as me!
I am going to embed my Slideshare version of my webpage. Look at the 'Revenue stream' page...(page 5)
I am glad that Dany appreciates that Lotus has its roots in the UK. However, much like Ferrari they are not afraid of global exposure. Ferrari embrace it. I hope lotus does too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More than 1000 apply for F1 jobs in Norfolk

Today a local Norfolk paper reports that 1000 people have applied for jobs in the new Lotus F1 facility.
In an earlier blog I noted that 6000 people had applied in Malaysia.
The Lotus name is still strong.
I sincerely hope they have the foresight to get involved in MUM!
Below I have embedded my TV interview with Bernama. At the time my focus was on SepangF1 as a probable site for the 'Facility'.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Group Lotus 7 year plan being 'Leaked'. Evora wins EVO award

Today Autocar reports that a new Esprit has been given the go ahead by Group Lotus.
Congatulations on winning the EVO car of the year award for the Evora.
I hope the upcoming Esprit will be in line for the same award in the not too distant future.
It is my hope that Dany puts his new found influence into promoting the Motorsport University Malaysia within both 'group' Lotus and it's sphere of influence.
Dany, obviously wants to raise the Motorsport profile of the company. This would do it. I see synergy, one can only hope the new CEO can also!
Once again I have embedded the slideshare version of the vision!
I look forward to reading Dany's 7 year plan in a few weeks time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GM the ex Lotus owners retain their European asset. Chrysler dump 'Lotus' Electric car

I noticed today that GM have appointed a new top guy for OPEL... Nick Reilly, with another GM executive Bob Lutz also involved.
The Opel/Vauxhall support will come from Hans Demant.
I wish them all the best.
I enjoyed my time working for GM Europe. Hans Demant was head of Body Engineering at that time. I liased with Dieter Bratke (GM Opel) during this period. He was very knowledgeable, and in my case very helpful. In fact I found most of the people in the Opel tech centre went out of their way to move forward with our project (I was part of the 'American' contingent).
The project was a joint GM America/Europe effort to produce a car for the Saturn division.
Part of my job was to keep data flowing between the two entities,and ensure lines of communication remained open between the two sets of engineers.
I'm sure the new management team will have to ensure that both sides of the Atlantic remain on speaking terms...
Good Luck to them!
I have embedded a video of Hans Demant talking at the 2008 Geneva show.He is talking about powertrain developments. Rita Forst was in charge of Powertrain when I was there.
During this period Lotus still had a desk in the Opel Powertrain department. Obviously they had done a lot of work for GM when under it's ownership, and was still involved in constant improvement tasks.

Also today, the Detroit NEWS has an article on Chryslers (FIAT) new electric vehicle line up.The Lotus bodied Dodge circuit car appears to have been dumped... at least in the near future.
Here is a short quote:
But the first pure electric vehicle will not be the Dodge Circuit sports car. Rather it will be a commercial van from Fiat, due in late 2011 or 2012, according to a presentation by powertrain chief Paolo Ferrero last week as part of Chrysler's five-year business and product plan.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A little support from Moneyweek Asia reporter

Not too much to report.
I replied to a recent article in Moneyweek Asia.
The reporter Cris Sholto Heaton answers the comments!
He viewed my presentation (MUM) and was positive in his assessment.
This the reply:

Thanks John. Your proposal looks interesting and I hope it suceeds - that kind of skills development is what they'll need to make Iskandar a success.

*(Niether the reporter [Cris Sholto Heaton] nor Moneyweek Asia are endorsers of my proposal... On my webpage, I have an endorsement from Alex Yoong. Alex is a supporter of my proposal and gave me his permission to use him. No fee was involved)*

I would hope that this view is held by others in a position to positively influence events.
Obviously, this has not always been the case! But I won't go into that here...
I have embeded the slideshare version of my web page below:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yesterday, I read an article. The Proton Saga (chedet)

I read the ex Malaysian PM's blog yesterday. It was a post titled The Proton Saga.
Here is a quote:
3. Since Proton acquired a new chairman in the person of Datuk Nadzmi Salleh, I find it easier to perform the work of Proton adviser. The Prime Minister has also indicated that Proton affairs should be referred to me. Accordingly I have been busy on a plan to resuscitate the company. I have been talking to potential technology partners for Proton.
Banner from Dr Mahathir's blog

For those of you who do not know, Dr. Mahathir is adviser to both Proton (owner of Group Lotus) and Petronas, the Malaysian national oil and gas company.
I have sent my proposal to both of these entities seperately.
In order to get a person who talks to both companies, I have sent a letter to Dr.M's PA.
I hope the good Doctor sees the synergy between Petronas and Proton in regard to Motorsport, and it's potential as an educational driver.
I feel Dr.M would be a good man to have in my corner.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Joke to cheer you up...

The Proton Chairman Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh is in hospital in India after suffering a mild stroke.
Take care of yourself. My brother sadly died at 50 due to heart failure.
Here is a joke to cheer you up!
I hope your not a Liverpool fan

“The Ferrari F1 team fired their entire pit crew yesterday."

This announcement followed Ferrari's decision to take advantage of the British government's 'Work for your Dole' scheme and employ some Liverpudlian youngsters. The decision to hire them was brought about by a recent documentary on how unemployed youths from Toxteth were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari's existing crew could only do it in 8 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech equipment.

It was thought to be an excellent, bold move by the Ferrari management team as most races are won and lost in the pits, giving Ferrari an advantage over every other team.

However, Ferrari got more than they bargained for! At the crew's first practice session, not only was the scouse pit crew able to change all four wheels in under 6 seconds but, within 12 seconds, they had re-sprayed, re-badged and sold the car to the Mclaren team for 8 cases of Stella, a bag of weed and some photos of Coulthard's bird in the shower.

I am still waiting for a call from Proton/Lotus asking me to execute MUM for them. They are as always working away behind closed doors...
Come on boys... It's been YEARS since I first proposed this!