Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Out with the old in with the new!

This is my last entry for this year.
My previous entry was sent to Group Lotus top management.

Motorsport university ... Show me the money... Billions

Here is a small portion...
Using this as a template: 1 million students would mean 10 billion dollars revenue.
This is far more than I projected using Malaysian Open University figures 4-5 billion Malaysian Ringitt (1 billion plus American dollars)

Presently Phoenix seems to operating on an income that is 13.4% of Revenue...
On a 10 billion Dollar revenue that would be 1.34 Billion dollars a year.
 So far no reply

During the ASLI Conference I used the 1 billion Dollar figure as the total revenue stream. I may well have undersold the project.

Never mind.
In 2009 I attended ASLI with Alex Yoong as my guest.
Alex was Mister popularity and got some work out of the conference (Bufori). Later joined the Tony Fernandes F1 team (now Team Lotus) as Driver Development coach.

This year I attended with a couple of my team. People are aware of the project.

Here is Tony with some of his 2010 friends. (Courtesy of lotusbuzz)

Times change.

I fully expect the project to get funding in 2011. 

Goodbye 2010... Hello 2011

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Motorsport university ... Show me the money... Billions

At a recent ASLI conference I presented my Motorsport University Malaysia concept.
As I need investors, I had to mention the revenue stream.
I used the Limkokwing projection of one million students in ten years time.
Today Phoenix University is probably the Leader in for profit virtual education.
Here is a portion of their financials for 2010.
OutlookFor the full year, analysts expect Apollo to grow revenue 23.3% to $4.9 billion. Earnings should exceed $5 per share and grow approximately 20%.
Third Quarter Sales and Profit Trends 
...     Net income fell 11% to $179.3 million, which was still a very healthy 13.4% of revenue. Share buybacks reduced the hit to earnings, which ended up falling 6% to $1.18 per diluted share. Excluding the charges above, earnings came in ahead of analyst expectations.

From Wikipedia
The University of Phoenix (UPX) is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded (NASDAQAPOL), an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona.
As the university with a student body in North America second only to the State University of New York, it has a current enrollment of 420,700 undergraduate students and 78,000 graduate students,[2][3] or 224,880 full-time equivalent students.[4]

So Phoenix  University has approxiamately half a million online students, and has revenue of aproxiamately
$5 billion dollars American.

Using this as a template: 1 million students would mean 10 billion dollars revenue.
This is far more than I projected using Malaysian Open University figures 4-5 billion Malaysian Ringitt (1 billion plus American dollars)

Presently Phoenix seems to operating on an income that is 13.4% of Revenue...
On a 10 billion Dollar revenue that would be 1.34 Billion dollars a year.

 It is always possible to spend more than you earn. However, if you can get a high quality educational product out there, that has value for the students, you can certainly generate a healthy revenue stream.

Claudio Berra (Motorsport Director Group Lotus) recently stated: 
The 2011 season would also see Lotus in GP2 and GP3; in ALMS with an LMP2 entry; a Lotus presence in GT2/Endurance racing; a full season of Lotus Cup races around the world, specifically series in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and the Middle East with 40 to 50 cars each weekend, and Lotus Academies just about everywhere there is a Lotus Cup

Incidently, there is an oval track for sale not too far, 60 miles from the Lotus Ann Arbor facility asking price $325,000 USA.
Springport Motor Speedway is a 3/8 mile high banked asphalt paved oval, located in South Central Michigan

 Below is the video (Part 1) showing the track being built. It was a $million++ project at the time 1989.
It needs an innovative new owner..

Combine this with the track (I believe it's for sale ) in Johor, and the facilities at Hethel and you can easily incorporate this into the Group Lotus 5 Year Plan.

To quote Nike... Just Do it (Dany Bahar)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lotus propose a new family of engines. Omnivore based? Embed of Jackie Stewart

Yesterday I posted on
I asked if they thought the company (Lotus) would resurrect the 918 turbo.
Wayne the moderator said it would probably be an Omnivore based product.
He posted a link to this video.

I have to assume that Lotus will justify the Research and development costs by factoring in the likely-hood of selling the technology to other OEM's.
Showcasing the technology in Lotus products would then make sense.
However, they would have problems covering Research and Development should there be no takers..

I still think that by incorporating the MUM proposal into their business plan, and selling the technology as an educational product would help mitigate the risk.

In view of Group Lotus re-entering F1 Motorsport with Renault next year, I have embedded a video of Jackie Stewart... Motorsport gives back to society is one of his themes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dany Bahar to commision new Lotus designed engines...What an opportunity to resurrect the 918 turbo...

Well it's been a week since ASLI. The phone has not rung off the hook...
Interestingly, Lotus via Dany Bahar are talking about designing a family (V6 and V8) of engines.Normally, designing engines from scratch for a run of 6000 vehicles per year (estimated) would not make sense. When Lotus as a division of GM helped design the ecotec it was with a view to use in Opel/Vauxhall and Holden cars, plus in later years the USA.
I have to think the business case was for a lot more than 6000 units per year.
The V8 is for the exotic end of the market... I'm guessing 1000+ units a year.
Dany Bahar must be hoping for a massive profit margin per vehicle to cover Research and Development.
If he cuts corners and the engine is a dog ... Goodbye Lotus (seriously).
Here is a link to an article in autofieldblog
 entry dated 18 feb 2010.
General Motors is again making an investment in manufacturing capability in the U.S. Today it announced it will be spending $494-million—yes, just short of a half-a-billion, which somehow sounds more impressive—for the production of the next-generation Ecotec four-cylinder engines.
The primary recipient of spending will be the GM powertrain plant in Tonawanda, NY. It will be receiving $425-million to obtain the capacity—meaning facility renovation, new machinery, equipment, and tooling—to produce 370,000 engines per year. It also means the creation of about 470 jobs.

May I suggest, he incorporates my project into his business plan, and designs the engines in tandem with a renowned educational institution, and use the design material in educational modules. If the engine is good the design data will be in demand with students world wide in subscription form modules.
Working with an educational partner from the outset will impact R&D costs negatively, however Ministry of Education approved modules will give long term returns on investment.
The Hethel Centre sits on the Lotus site. Lotus (Proton) effectively gave the this land away.
It is public knowledge that the land was provided by Lotus at nominal cost.
The Hethel Engineering Centre has to date spent 7.4 Million pounds on the educational facility.
Lotus is a partner.
If Dany Bahar is serious about building an FIA approved track on the Hethel site. He is a long way to fitting the template set out in my webpage.
I'm sure the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) with whom he is negotiating a loan would be very pleased to think that some of the loan may be used to promote education within the area.
While writing this I came across an interesting article: Perhaps Lotus are thinking of using their old 918 V8 turbo... has written an interesting piece:
The 918 engine’s architecture was designed with an eye towards modular construction, such that the engine could be manufactured as a twin-tubo V8, a single-turbo inline-4, a supercharged V6, or even a naturally-aspirated V10 … this “modularity” is a well-practiced black-art at Lotus, which uses the same basic modular chassis to produce two generations of the Elise and Exige sportscars, as well as the GT1 Elise, the Opel Speedster...
You’ve got to hand it to Bahar.  He’s not a car guy, but he seems to have a good business head on his shoulders, and he may be the guy who finally turns the world’s best engineers into the world’s smartest car company.
Sources:  Autocar, Wired, a long and sad series of lonely Saturday nights in college spent reading Motor Trend.

Interesting article. If this is an old off the shelf design, then maybe a sensible business case can be made for it's resurrection in 4-6-8 and maybe 10 cylinder iterations. Teaming up with educational institutions still makes sense. They may even digitize some of the design data for a nominal fee...

I must say that Dany Bahar has not said they will use the 918 turbo as a starting point.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I participated in the ASLI Auto conference. Presented MUM. Attended the KLIMS KL Auto Show.

I just spent two days at the ASLI Auto conference. I got to rub shoulders with Malaysia's movers and shakers. I appreciate the opportunity to present my proposal to an audience who may be actually be able to move it forward.
I presented with Tengku Mahaleel, who took centre stage, and SIC chairman Dato Mokhzani, or Dato Mokzee as Tengku Mahaleel referred to him.

Apparently, I made the evening new on the first day TV3. I had an interesting time. Lets see what happens.
Here I'm shaking hands with the major mover and shaker, Tun Mahathir (Dato Mokzee's dad). He was gracious enough to have his photo taken with me.
 I have to say Tun Mahathir obviously has an influential circle of friends. Seen here with Hilary (at another event I hasten to add).

Many thanks to Kenanga of ASLI for being so supportive.
The KLIMS Auto show was interesting. I'm glad that Malaysia can hold one. Sadly the UK has missed out in the last couple of years.
I moderated a couple of the ASLI Sessions:
Session 3 : Green Technology (Matthias Gelber - The greenest Man on the planet - was very entertaining and informative).
I sat beside Dato Zainal MD of Proton. He was very composed, and comes across very well.

 Session 4 NAP (National Auto Policy.) I was sat beside the new MD of Perodua Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh. He had only been in the job 70 days. Once again he was very pleasant.
 Tengku Mahaleel was a handful. He went over his presentation time, and got gonged several times!

I presented in session 7 Motorsport potential and promise:
Thankfully, I let my video do most of the talking!
I made up a short powerpoint from my webpage which I presented afterwards. I am capable of confident public speaking. I was disappointed with myself for not practicing more before the event.

Neither of my fellow participants had official presentations. Tengku Mahaleel invited some of his friends to the function. He got them to ask him questions about the old days, and how cheap it is to race at grassroots level... (Cheap is a relative thing... I don't think Tengku and his friends are from working class backgrounds).
Tengku Mahaleel received good feedback for his efforts. (10/10 from some people).Dato Mokhzani spoke off the cuff. He is chairman of the Sepang F1 circuit. He was polite, and answered questions from the floor in a straightforward manner.
Click here to view webpage:
Click here to view video. username: mum  password: 2020

All in all a very pleasant couple of days. Alex Yoong should try and make an appearance next year.

Many thanks to Hanis and Herry for the support on the day! Plus Tilo for graphics on the video.
A special thank you to Armin for letting me borrow a few pic from his blog:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dany Bahar, Bob Lutz and Claudio Berra hold a conference...

As I have said before, next week I will be attending the ASLI automotive conference in Kuala Lumpur 1-2 December 2010. It precedes the KL Auto show.

I read in Autoweek .com that Dany Bahar held a conference in an expensive mansion last week.
Here is a small portion of the Claudio Berro presentation...

Then it was motorsports director Claudio Berro's turn with the laser wand. Berro is also from Ferrari. He started by saying that the Indianapolis 500 "is the most important race anywhere in the world," letting us know where Lotus's priorities stood. He reiterated Lotus's participation in the IndyCar series, in GT4 with the Evora and the availability of the Type 125 semi-F1 car for private gentleman racers. He said that Lotus's IndyCar entry in 2011 will consist of "two or three cars," and the following year Lotus would provide "bodywork" for IndyCars.

The 2011 season would also see Lotus in GP2 and GP3; in ALMS with an LMP2 entry; a Lotus presence in GT2/Endurance racing; a full season of Lotus Cup races around the world, specifically series in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and the Middle East with 40 to 50 cars each weekend, and Lotus Academies just about everywhere there is a Lotus Cup. That is a tremendous amount of motorsports, even by pie-in-the-sky standards

Bob Lutz earned his crust with this comment.

"Of course they have a chance," said Lutz, perhaps being a bit too blunt. "If you do nothing, then it's certain death. If you make a massive investment, then it's maybe death. When faced with the choice of maybe dying and certainly dying, you always pick maybe dying. I learned that in military aviation."

We all die, thats a fact of life. Lotus appears to be in the middle of a rebirth. I hope they grow up big and strong...
At the ASLI conference, I will be presenting the slideshare presentation below.
In my opinion this presentation dovetails in well with the new racing plans envisaged by the company. The same can be said of the plans for the new economic corridor planned for Johor.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Team AirAsia versus Lotus Renault?

Today I received my newsletter from team AirAsia instead of Lotus racing... Oh well.

I am looking forward to flying to Malaysia next week. I am participating in the ASLI auto conference that precedes the KL Auto show.

1-2 December 2010.

I am sure that it will be very interesting to hear some of the people on the inside speak!

The site had an interesting article:

I have to think Tony Fernandes is a little annoyed.

I'm sure he will get over it.

I certainly hope that I can get some practical support for my MUM proposal during the conference.

Enjoy your weekend!

This is the basis of my ASLI presentation:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tony Fernandes may not use Team Lotus name, although he legally owns it. ASLI Automotive conference coming soon. Go it should be interesting.

Renault have sold their 25% share in the F1 team to Proton.
Proton will now spend Euro30 million a year for the privelege of promoting the Lotus brand. Tony Fernandes has stated he does not intend to have two Lotus named cars in F1. I have to assume we will now have an Air Asia /Tunes / Naza named car on the grid.
Tony now owns the Team Lotus name.
Oh well.
I'd be happy to use the Team Lotus name in relation to my MUM proposal.
Base it in Johor. MUM could quite happily co-exist with both Tony and Proton as an independent educational entity.
I will be at the ASLI automotive conference in a couple of weeks. I'll punt the idea around there.

This years conference will have a Motorsport portion.

It would be nice if Alex Yoong and Tengku Djan could attend.
Alex works with Tony Fernandes.

 Djan is head of Proton Motorsport

I'm sure that Proton will send some big hitters, I'm not sure about Group Lotus (Dany Bahar) or Tony Fernandes.

Tun Mahathir is a keynote speaker...
Resolve Lotus issue amicably, urges Mahathir

It should be interesting in any event!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I will be at ASLI conference. I might raffle Italian Job script for charity. Group Lotus Team Lotus saga goes on.

Today, I confirmed again my attendance at this years ASLI Auto conference. I will be a panellist in 3 sections. The conference coincides with the KL Auto show.
The ASLI auto conference 1-2 December precedes the Auto Show

I have an early 'Italian Job' script I might raffle to attendees. All procedes to charity. I'm waiting for ASLI to agree.
The Lotus Formula 1 saga goes on...
Here is a portion of a David Hunt interview.

Let’s be clear: Group Lotus has never raced in F1, and, despite what it now claims on the freshly-applied murals on the Proton Building at Hethel, it has no F1 World Championships, Grand Prix wins, poles or even races contested in its history. Their claims are as ridiculous as if I had announced a new sports road car from Team Lotus which followed in the long tradition of Team Lotus road cars such as the Elan, Esprit, Europa etc. I would have been passing off; my claims would have been laughable and Team Lotus would have been demolished in court if it had dared defend litigation from Group. In my opinion that is what is likely to happen to Group in the litigation now underway in the British High Court. It is also my opinion that they know that as well as I do, which is why they have attacked now. I believe they are counting on it never reaching the court hearing and a ‘Malaysian settlement’ resolving ‘ownership’ of Team Lotus in their favour.

David Hunt is obviously of the opinion he has sold the rights to Tony Fernandes.

I think from an educational perspective this could be an interesting thing to study. I'm sure we could do an interesting Law Module using this whole thing as an example.

I'm looking forward to the conference. I certainly hope some good will come out of it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Team Lotus or Air Asia Renault F1. Why are Group Lotus only now interested?

The argument about Tony Fernandes using the Lotus name goes on...
Tony has agreed to set up what was going to be the Lotus technology centre in SepangF1. Now it will be called?
Group Lotus have spurned the opportunity to set up there over the years preferring to stay in Bukit Jalil (Where?)
I must say I wish Tony well. He is doing what I wanted to do!

Never Mind.
There is an FIA approved circuit in Johor. Up for sale, and dying to have a project like Motorsport University Malaysia onboard.
Maybe Tony Fernandes should show the initiative to become involved and watch Group Lotus suddenly become interested...
Just a thought... Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rita Forst beer drinking songs ... Mum a Mia!

Whilst working in OPEL Reusselsheim, I as a member of the USA team found my German counterparts to be friendly and helpful.
There was a faction who felt that OPEL as a German manufacturer in the mould of BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz etc had the upper hand when it came to technology and quality.
While I was there we had engineers from Sweden (Saab) Australia (Holden) and they were just starting to use Fiat drivetrains (Italy).
The Opel tech centre is home to many nationalities. Generally, they get on...
During my time at Opel, Rita Forst was head of Powertrain.
Today Rita effectively heads up GM Reusselsheim.
Bloomberg reports that Rita is encouraging the singing of Beer drinking songs when dealing with non German colleagues...

As an executive at the carmaker’s powertrain unit, she’s belted out German drinking songs over dinners with Swedish colleagues to loosen people up. While heading GM’s diesel engine development center in Turin, Italy, she set up exchanges between German and Italian employees who were reluctant to cooperate.
“You can only work in a globalized environment if you know, accept and adapt to various cultures,” the 55-year-old German said in an interview. “That can lead to friendships and makes things a whole lot easier.”

I'm not sure how the Swedes reacted. However,Saab has since been sold off...
Here is a video from this years Paris Show. Nick Reilly, Rita's boss opens and Rita finishes.

I enjoyed my time at Opel. I wish them well.

All you potental funding partners out their contact me through my web page:

I will be participating at this years ASLI automotive conference in KL 2-3 December 2010.
 You can meet me there, if you wish to send a delegate.

On a funding note: Malaysian PM Najib announced his budget today.
A portion taken from the Star.

19.Another PPP(Public-Private Partnership Initiatives) project identified is the Academic Medical Centre. This project is a joint venture between Academic Medical Centre Sdn. Bhd. and Johns Hopkins Medicine International as well as Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. This project involves private investment of RM2 billion

The text of Najibs speech starts with the words:
1.Praise be to Allah, for enabling me to table the 2011 National Budget. Indeed, this is a significant budget. This Budget is a precursor in our final efforts towards achieving Vision 2020, which is 3,365 days or 9 years, 2 months and 17 days away.

As you can gather, Malaysia is a Muslim led country. I'm not sure if Rita will be sitting down with Najib for a beer drinking song session any time soon.
Secondly, Malaysia is striving to become a fully developed nation by 2020. It's neighbour Singapore has already achieved this.
My proposal would be on the border between the two nations.
I'm neither a Muslim nor a German beer drinker.
However, I must fully endorse Rita's statement:
“You can only work in a globalized environment if you know, accept and adapt to various cultures,” the 55-year-old German said in an interview. “That can lead to friendships and makes things a whole lot easier.”

On that note,
I'd like to wish everyone, everywhere, a very happy weekend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Proton name probable divisions. Fiat 500 fails test...

In todays EDGE publication, space is given to the Lotus business plan. The funding is coming largely from bank loans.

In terms of financing for the Lotus project, Syed Zainal said the over-£300 million capital expenditure would be 80% funded by borrowings from local and international banks.

I must say I hope it works. One of the main reasons Lotus was bought was technology transfer.
This was not mentioned. I assume Tony Fernandes will do this under the TEAM LOTUS banner.
Group Lotus had the chance to set up in SepangF1.
Tony Fernandes will be successful, I wish him well.

According to the EDGE the new divisions will be:
Group restructuring and consolidation

The Lotus project is part of Proton’s group restructuring plan to create four core operating units that are each a profit centre, to be modelled after the Petronas group organisational structure.

The four core units are Lotus sports car division, Proton-Lotus engineering division, Proton manufacturing division and Proton distribution division. It is learnt that a restructuring plan is due for implementation next year.

This is based on the Petronas structure.
Petronas were asked to set up a University. That is now in existence. It has formed a partnership with TEAM LOTUS in Sepang, as has UTM.

Lotus gave the land to Hethel engineering centre, which is based on its site. This actively works with Lotus to educate people in the local area.
Group Lotus (and by default Proton) have never tried to replicate this Educational facility/technical assembly area/ track model in Malaysia.

Whilst it ticks all the boxes in the UK it is considered a no go in Malaysia. ODD.

Perhaps someone within Lotus / Proton should look at both the Lotus UK site and the Petronas educational initiative.

Check out my wesite for some ideas...
As an aside Fiat have lost there deal for supplying learner cars to BSM (British school of Motoring).
Here is a quote from the Mirror.

DRIVING school giant BSM has been forced into a U-turn after instructors gave its new Fiat 500 a thumbs down.
Instructors preferred the Corsa’s larger size, five doors and steel wheels, which cannot be scuffed like alloys.
The deal is a boost for Vauxhall, with studies showing 70% of drivers buy the make of car they learned in.

Proton are trying to become the Learners choice. They will give instructors special deals.
Shame they can't bring this same philosophy to education in general.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dany Bahar to invest £800 million into Lotus. THINK ABOUT IT!

Dany Bahar made an appearance on ITV news:

He said that Lotus will invest £800 million in the next ten years.
Investment in Hethel will be dependent on the British government offering financial incentives.
I think Lotus should invest in Hethel. I hope the British Government feels that way.

Obviously, You are revamping the track, and Group Lotus have given Land to the Hethel Engineering Centre.

How about investing in Malaysia?
You are owned by Proton. They have a major shareholder in Petronas. The company adviser is the ex Prime Minister of Malaysia.

As a Malaysian owned entity, I think Dany should also look to Malaysia. Not only at Protons huge excess of manufacturing capacity, which he could potentially utilise, but also at the MUM proposal.

If investment in a circuit and the infrastructure requires Malaysian Government incentives, you have access to all the governmental departments. The company Senior Adviser can present your proposal on behalf of the company.

You are asking your Senior Adviser to protect you from Tony Fernandes and Team Lotus. They are using the arguement that Group Lotus haven't done anything for Malaysia/ ASEAN.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Video. Dany Bahar on the future of Lotus Motorsport. Porsche to enter F1? Paul Ritchie on the Porsche Hybrid.

In view of all the controversy over Team lotus, I thought I would embed this video I found on youtube.

I hope Dany starts to see the educational benefits of motorsport and looks to set up a facility in Malaysia to compliment his commitment to Hethel.
Hethel + Malaysia + China sounds good to me.
Just as an aside. I read that Porsche may be entering F1. Here is a portion of a Crash article:
Earlier this year, Audi motorsport director Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich had hinted that the Ingolstadt manufacturer and F1 'do not fit' on a technological basis  – with the inference being that if one of VW's two flagship names does join the grand prix grid, it will have to be Porsche.

My only dealings with Porshe were in the USA where I was invited by John Packwood then a senior advisor to Porsche engineering  in Troy Michigan and Paul Ritchie General Manager/CEO,  on a boat trip with Dave Jones.
Both John and Dave were former presidents of Hawtal Whiting, a now defunct design house. I used to work for Hawtals.
  Previously they all (John, Dave,Paul and myself) worked at both Fords and Hawtal Whiting. The ever present PA Moira was also onboard.
I had a long talk with John about my MUM proposal, he let me drive his Porsche. John and Dave were nice guys.It was a good day.

I'm sure Paul is excited about entering the world of F1.

Here is a video of Paul Ritchie in his present role as President of Porsche Motorsport:

I wish Paul, John, Dave and Moira all the best.
I do feel that Lotus has the possibility of competing with Porsche on all levels.
I look forward to being a participant in that competition...
Here is the company car that I'd like...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Riad Asmat has a point. Group Lotus have been sleeping...Dany Bahar to the rescue?

Today, I received another email from Tom Webb.
In view of yesterdays post regarding naming rights I found it interesting.
Tom quotes Riad Asmat. Riad used to work for Proton, Group Lotus owners...

Now we look to the future. The details of what has been going on behind the scenes are now coming to light, and that’s good because it means the shareholders of Proton, the government, will now know the truth of what has been going on. However the important thing is to look at what we are doing to guarantee future success. We have already invested heavily in ensuring the Malaysian / ASEAN motorsports platform grows, something that cannot be said for our colleagues at Group Lotus.

This slideshare gives a little history to the Group Lotus story regarding the SIC SepangF1 track.

Yesterday, I quoted an article written by Bernama, the Malaysian media agency:

SIC, Lotus to jointly develop world class Motoring industry
SIC chief executive officer Razlan Razali said:
We have sent proposals to the finance ministry, not only for the Lotus technical centre, but also to repair and upgrade the circuit.

I assume the circuit are referring to Tony Fernandes and his business partners when referring to the Lotus technical centre. I would be amazed if Group Lotus had anything to do with it.

Riad Asmat is quite right to bring this issue up. Group Lotus were in a position to set up an academy/technical centre in SepangF1 (SIC). They remain in Bukit Jalil (Where? I hear you say).
I guess Group Lotus are above working with the ministry of finance.

Luckily, should the management wake up from their slumber, Group Lotus still have a plan B - Johor.
I have removed my slideshare version of the plan.
Google: Motorsport University Malaysia or click here to see my webpage.

Sadly, Johor is even further from the wonderful expat watering hole that is Bangsar...

Perhaps the new Group Lotus CEO, Dany Bahar will now view my proposal personally.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Team Lotus rights are causing a little controversy... Proton withdraw support

Paul Tan a respected Malaysian blogger reports that the TEAM LOTUS issue is still unresolved.

Here is a small portion of his posting:
Chairman of both Proton Holdings Bhd and Group Lotus, Dato’ Sri Nadzmi Mohd. Salleh said, “We believe the Lotus brand to be one of the most valuable brands in Formula 1 today. We are the owners of this brand, and will take all necessary steps to protect it. Tony Fernandes has no rights to use the Lotus brand in the 2011 Formula 1 season, and we will strongly resist any attempts by him to use our brand without our permission and will withdraw our sponsorship of the Lotus Racing team.”

“To put it simply, Group Lotus is everything Lotus. The fact that 1 Malaysia Racing Team entered into an agreement with Group Lotus to use the brand means that both Mr. Fernandes and 1 Malaysia Racing Team recognises and acknowledges Group Lotus’ rights,” he added.

Interesting times...
Tony Fernandes has set up his racing team in SepangF1 (SIC), his Airline, Airasia, is also positioned there.
The National news agency has written this article today:
SIC, Lotus to jointly develop world class Motoring industry
SIC chief executive officer Razlan Razali said:
We have sent proposals to the finance ministry, not only for the Lotus technical centre, but also to repair and upgrade the circuit.

I have to assume that the government are now backing Tony Fernandes in his plans for a Motorsport base in Sepang.

So what are Proton going to do? They are now in a confrontational position.
Should they wish to promote Group Lotus in Asia, basing it on the Educational model I have put forward, Johor FIA approved circuit might be worthy of consideration.

Lets see how this pans out... Alls well that ends well.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Team Lotus name officially sold. Tony Fernandes has the rights.

Today, I received my usual Lotus Racing update via email.
The email comes from  Tom Webb
Here is a portion of the content:
Tony Fernandes, Lotus Racing Team Principal, is delighted that the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes to make this acquisition can now be announced, saying: “Kamarudin, Nasa and I are absolutely delighted to have completed this transaction - It’s difficult to express just what it means to us to now be able to say we are Team Lotus, one of the most iconic names in any form of sport worldwide, but we have been working very hard to make this dream come true, and today it has. My thanks go to David for looking after the Team Lotus brand so well over the period of his stewardship, and keeping the integrity of Team Lotus together. We are very excited about now taking over the brand and after our first year in Formula One™, we believe we are ready to do justice to the legacy we have inherited. These are heady days for Team Lotus, and it will be a very exciting process for the team we have in place to help us achieve our goals, on and off track.

Fair enough. Proton, the owners of Lotus are official sponsors of Tony. So they have a finger in the pie whether Team Lotus is owned by Tony and his business associates or Group Lotus.

Historically, both Lotus Cars and Team Lotus came under Colin Chapman.

Times change.

Both Tony Fernandes and Dany Bahar (Group Lotus CEO) appear to know where they are heading.
Group Lotus are still in racing, but not under the Team Lotus banner.

I have no axe to grind with either party. It's a big world, I'm sure there is enough room for both of them.
I still see this project taking off in Johor... However, here is my Bernama TV interview based on the initial idea of using the SepangF1 circuit.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Group Lotus Dany Bahar v Tony Fernandes Air Asia?

On the 14 September I made an entry entitled:
 Team Lotus. Tony Fernandes has bought back the name.

I have just read an interesting article on entitled:
F1: Dispute Over Lotus Name?
A battle over the rights to the Lotus name seems to be emerging...
It appears that Group Lotus are also trying to use the TEAM LOTUS name. This is a portion of the article:
Intriguingly, UK government documents from the Intellectual Property Office show that Group Lotus applied on July 15 to use the name Team Lotus in connection with a raft of activities, some of them way beyond motor sport, but mostly connected with the sort of souvenirs and memorabilia that you might associate with an F1 team.
From my perspective as a person set on promoting a training facility which delivers learning from a base that has a core activity of Motorsports, this is an interesting development.
Sadly, I only see them approaching this from a merchandising view. A GP2 or GP3 team based at a circuit with a real world team operating in the real world sharing their experience with a college would be great.
Sport Science, Law, Business plans, Journalism, Design, Logistics... Motorsport covers them all plus much more. People tend to focus on driver training. This is only a small portion of the whole.
I hope Dany Bahar takes a little time to consider my proposal. Tengku Djan as head of Proton Motorsport might want to make him aware of potential campuses outside of SepangF1 within Malaysia.
Believe me, align this institute with Group Lotus under the Team Lotus Banner and you will have zero problem bringing some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world onboard.
We can obviously produce college t-shirts, mugs, even computers with the company logo on if this is deemed to be an ethical and profitable endeavour.

The following Slideshare presentation is an old one initially set around SepangF1. This is obviously where Tony Fernandes has set up both is Airline and Motorsport operations. Group Lotus might want to consider Johor FIA approved circuit.
In the UK Lotus has both a circuit and a college (Hethel Engineering Centre) close by...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Senior Advisor Role. Me and Dr. Mahathir

I am a Senior advisor on a travel website. As such I don't have to do much work, I just advise other people how to. I enjoy it. Not everyone takes any notice. Such is life.
In Malaysia they have a very influencial Senior Adviser. Dr. Mahathir. He is the official advisor to Petronas the national oil company, and Proton, the national car company.
He is far more influencial than me.
On occasions Dr.M (as he is often referred to in Malaysia) often acts as the spokesman for Proton.
He has stated that Proton is profitable, and is not actively looking to tie up with a partner.
This is a portion of an EDGE article:
KUALA LUMPUR: PROTON HOLDINGS BHD [] is financially stable and sees no hurry in merging with other car manufactures, according to its adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Financially, Proton is still okay. We too are not very anxious to merge at this moment,” the former premier told reporters after launching First Sovereign Advisory Sdn Bhd on Friday, Sept 17.
Dr Mahathir was asked to comment on the national carmaker’s possible plan for merger after recent news report stated that DRB-Hicom was not actively looking to acquire a stake in Proton.

Proton own Lotus. Lotus are spending a lot of cash on new products. I have to think that this investment money comes from Proton. Proton is Malaysian government owned.

This brings me to my proposal. As one senior adviser to another, I would like to ask Dr.M to have a good look at the Motorsport University Malaysia proposal, after which, realising the enormous potential benefits he should recommend a huge funding allocation in order to make the dream a reality.

Dr. Mahathir will be at the ASLI  Automotive conference. If I am lucky he may get to see my presentation there. Stranger things have happened!

As Senior advisor to the travel website, which I must say is excellent, I should be attending the Travel industry conference next week. Sadly I am otherwise engaged. I have borrowed a small portion just illustrate the numbers bandied about. This refers to malaysia only and is taken from the ASLI webpage.

By 2015, the government aims to achieve RM115 billion in revenue and provide 2 million jobs by deploying key strategies aimed at increasing high-end travelers and promoting high-growth tourism segments.
As I write it is about 5 ringitt to a British pound, so Malaysia is looking at a 20 Billion pound industry!
Universities download lectures Tourists download travel advice

In any 24-hour period, there will be 45,000 Open University students working online.
BBC online articleMy proposal would complement this. People visit Britain to visit Oxford and Cambridge. Because they are famous University towns. Students, both local and foreign will add to the economy. The University will create jobs, not only for lecturers, but a whole slew of support staff.
As this will be a physical site with a virtual arm, the project will 'Advertise' the area. The synergy between this project, Proton, Tourism, a Knowledge based economy, a tourist based economy, are very apparent to me.

Please check out an earlier entry that deals with Universities using downloads to share information:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bernama article on DRB Hicom. Proton for sale?

Bernama has an article today:
It relates to DRB Hicom and it's finances.
Part of the article refers to the possible sale of Proton to DRB Hicom.
DRB Hicom presently have agreements in place with Volkswagen and Westfield cars.
Please read my previous entry:
Hicom already have a college dedicated to automotive study.
Motorsport University Malaysia would have a great synergy with this potential new entity.
Just to change the subject slightly. I have added a video from youtube showing the R3 division of Proton.

R3 is the motorsport division of Proton. Tengku Djan heads it up. Oh Kah Beng is GM for Lotus cars Malaysia.
I'm sure they enjoy their jobs! All the best guys.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Team Lotus. Tony Fernandes has bought back the name.

Team Lotus is now under Tony Fernandes. He has succeeded in getting the rights to the original Lotus racing name.
Lets hope he can bring back the glory days. Maybe if Proton are keen to give part of Group Lotus to their management team, they should ask Tony if he wants a piece of that action. Just a thought.
Motorsport University Malaysia is still alive, at least in cyberspace!
I have deleted my newer slideshare. So I will embed my old one.

My friends in KL have launched their new website. I hope the feedback is positive.
I am always interested to hear from anyone able to offer a good funding package for this project.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BBC article on UK Graduate Numbers.

The BBC has run an article today:
7 September 2010
 Last updated at 10:09
  UK slipping down graduate league
By Sean CoughlanBBC News education correspondent

The article addresses the coming public services cuts.
Here is a quote from the article:

Lack of places

Taxpayers benefit from investing in higher education, says the OECD. Even though the government subsidises students, this is outweighed by the increased revenue from higher tax from better-paid jobs.
The OECD says that in the UK each extra graduate brings $89,000 (£58,000) to the taxpayer over a working life.

Sadly, it looks like funding for UK Universities is not ring fenced from government cuts.

People are very keen for their offspring to get a good University education. The demand is there. Foreign students coming to the UK may well find getting a visa to study is difficult.

I imagine good quality UK institutions will be more willing to embark on joint enterprises with ethical good quality partners.

From the perspective of Motorsport University Malaysia this could actually be a good thing.

Sadly, for British Universities generally things are not improving.

Another quote from the BBC article:

Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of leading universities, warned that other countries would benefit if the UK cut spending.
"While our universities are bracing themselves for a period of austerity and uncertainty, other nations are rightly pumping billions of dollars into their institutions at this key time before the world economy picks up," said Dr Piatt.

IMO this is the right time to fund this proposal.
I am ready and willing to help.

Just out of interest here is a chart showing the top ten Universities: 4 are British 6 are American

Graph borrowed from Daily Mail 8 Oct 2009

Friday, September 3, 2010

Investors welcomed.Uk targets student visa's

In the UK the new government has targetted student visa's as a way of reducing immigration into the UK.
Supposedly, this will not impact people coming to the UK for bona fide degree courses.
More people seem to want to go to college than there are places to accomodate them.
The MUM project is still my main focus.

If you wish to support this project feel free to contact me personally on:
Sadly, I am looking for large corporate support, and as such offers of small amounts will probably not be welcomed...

Investors, welcomed!

Pic borrowed from

Here is the slideshare version of my website:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

F1inschools final to be in Singapore. 16 year old tests for Lotus. My wish List. Funding needed.

I see F1inschools will be having their finals in Singapore this year.
I met the founder in Malaysia with his 'Local' team a few years ago. They were local business owners.
Andrew Denford is a charismatic guy. He now has a major sponsor in LG. Andrew himself, owns a company that sell CNC machines,
Here is a small quote from
Participants compete for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy along with a chance to get a scholarship at City University, London for a chance to study Automotive and Motorsport Engineering.
Andrew invited me to one of these finals in Australia. I didn't go. He was kind enough to send me plenty of pictures with him and Bernie!
F1inschools have Lotus racing among their associates.
Today, I received a press release from Tom Webb, that a 16 year old actually tested for Lotus!

Duxford, UK 1st September 2010
The Imperial War Museum runway at Duxford played host to the youngest ever test driver in Formula One™ history today, with 16 year old Nabil Jeffri seeing his F1™ dream come true as he conducted a day of aero testing for Lotus Racing on the museum’s Cambridgeshire runway. Fairuz Fauzy and Heikki Kovalainen were both on hand to lend their advice to the young Malaysian and Nabil, a key member of the AirAsia ASEAN Driver Development programme, completed the day’s testing, and gave the team valuable pitstop practice throughout a busy day on track for the Anglo – Malaysian squad.

Group Lotus have produced a pretend F1 car. It costs approx one million USA dollars.
How about letting MUM have a couple of these?

Motorsport University Malaysia could do with a couple of these!
I certainly wouldn't mind getting one in CKD form, and allow the students, under supervision to assemble/drive one.
If I'm making a wish list the Foggy Petronas bikes sitting in Basildon would be nice too.
Check out my previous post.

I have made it known that I am looking for funding for this project. I am available to head it up.
Feel free to contact me on the address below:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Proton to issue 20% of Lotus to new Dany Bahar Management team. Does Tengku Djan have a plan?

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend.
Today I read that Proton is contemplating (giving) issuing 20% of Lotus to Dany Bahar and his team. This is by way of an incentive to turn Group Lotus into a profit making entity.
The sentence below is taken from a BorneoPost article.

Proton was also contemplating to issue new shares amounting to 20 per cent of Lotus to its new management as a motivating tool to help in making the turnaround plan a reality.

Previously, I have made an entry where this was a 40% share to Dany Bahar.

I have to assume ownership must have been on the table when Dany Bahar was brought onboard.
What has this got to do with Motorsport University Malaysia?

Well, other than Dany has shown absolutely no interest. Nothing I suppose!

Proton have their own Motorsport Division, headed by Tengku Djan. Whilst I have been able to talk to several Lotus CEO's, Tengku Djan has been very non communicative.

Djan is also a successful Drifter. He has taken part in Red Bull sponsored events, and has helped produce the Proton Satria Lotus machine. So there is a connection between him and Dany. Dany was marketing chief for Red Bull before joining Ferrari and now Lotus.

Ultimately they have the same management team above them.
pic borrowed from

I have sent my proposal to Proton Management. I obviously presented an early iteration to Group Lotus management when I was there. It was not well received at that time. However, the management that poop pooped the idea have all since left Lotus.

Djan worked about 3 metres from me during this period. He was very quiet. He still is.

Djan has been aware of this proposal for a long period. He is head of Motorsport within Proton.

Does he have a plan?

Here is MUM on Slideshare.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Proton to setup strategic units. Tengku Djan to head strategic Motorsport division?

Proton, upset at their inability to ink a deal with Volkswagen, are to set up strategic units. The object is to allow Proton to work with other entities whilst not compromising itself as the official carmaker of Malaysia.
It has no trouble inking deals with local government run Universities. UTM recently signed a professorship deal with them. I'm not sure what that entails. However, both entities come under the Malaysian government.
Pic borrowed from Paul Tan

Proton has two production facilities. Shah Alam is supposed to be sold.
Why not reinvest the money into buying the circuit in Johor? Set up your Motorsport division there.
Obviously, between Proton R3 and it's links with Lotus racing and group Lotus you have a good base. Throw in local companies Malaysian and Singaporean, plus any other interested parties, and you have a wonderful environment for Motorsport University Malaysia... a private University able to work with all entities on legal/ethical educational projects.
Tengku Djan is head of Motorsport. He should make his voice heard in the boardroom.
Show them my proposal. Use that as a starting point for discussion.

Dany Bahar, should also look at this personally. The formation of these business units gives him a wonderful opportunity to form an alliance with Djan on this.
Lotus should look at the global impact of this proposal. As should Proton.
I am available should you require my services:

Monday, August 23, 2010

British students consider studying abroad. Newcastle Uni Promo video.

Once again I would like to remind you that I am available for hire:

This week, in the UK much has been made of the public spending cuts. Many students are unable to get places at UK Universities.
The BBC showed a clip of the Petronas Towers and a representative of Newcastle University asking people to consider studying in Malaysia.
Newcastle have opened a campus in Johor.
Here is a promo video for Newcastle University:

My sister went to Newcastle University many years ago. I attended her graduation. In a week or two my niece (Kate), will be studying Law there.
I wish her all the best!
I have met lawyers through my volunteering with the local Citizens Advice Bureau in Basildon. Without good contacts within the law community it is difficult to get started on a good career.
Luckily, Kate is a lot smarter than her uncle. I'm sure she will get excellent grades, and do very well for herself.
The last time I visisted my old College (Chelmsford) it was to get paperwork for the American immigration authorities. Most of the teachers had left. Chelmsford is now a University. I have to be truthful and say I did not enjoy studying there!
Life is always throwing up odd situations. Here I am promoting an educational project. It is my dream project, and I am sure it will come to fruition. However, I myself am not an academic.
Such is life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Volkswagen partner DRB-Hicom

Westfield recently inked a deal with DRB-Hicom to produce it's sportcars in Malaysia.
Westfield are available as kits

DRB-Hicom recently opened a new Automotive college: Please refer to my earlier post
Now DRB-Hicom and Volkswagen are going to produce CKD vehicles together!
Proton held this deal up. DRB-Hicom were asked to make way, by the Malaysian government for Proton.
VW and Proton never managed to ink a deal.
My only experience with VW management was 20+ years ago in Spain. They had bought the Spanish national car company and had set up shop in it's Martorell tech centre. I am sure they will have quality control people and management in place shortly.
What will happen to Proton? They are looking to find synergies with the other Malaysian based manufacturer Perodua.
Both have Malaysian government influence.
Dr. Mahathir started Proton and is still influencial. He is officially Proton and Petronas advisor. He gave Tony Fernandes his blessing to start Air Asia. Please check my previous entry.
Tony is now principle of LotusF1 Racing. Dr Mahathirs son is also involved with Motorsport and is chairman of SepangF1 circuit, where Lotus racing are based.
It is my plan to set up in Johor circuit. Lotus have always been my partners of choice. Johor circuit is being 'reactivated'. Please check my previous entry
DRB-Hicom certainly have the potential to participate.
Should Proton close Shah Alam, perhaps Tengku Djan could move his RaceRallyResearch skunkworks to Johor circuit. It would be interesting to see what breathed on campro engine could achieve in a Westfield...
Share the technology with the students... Let them get involved in the assembly process... Show them how to drive... etc.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MV Augusta sold for a buck... Why not a circuit?

Todays internet reports that MV Augusta has been sold for One Euro.
Here is a Quote or two from the article.

MV Agusta Sold for 1 Euro
Harley-Davidson to provide 20 million euro in escrow
By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 10, 2010
In addition to the $109 million spent to acquire MV Agusta, including $70 million to pay off existing debts, Harley-Davidson has written off $162.6 million in taxes for the Italian brand.
This isn’t the first time MV Agusta has been sold for 1 euro. In 2005, Malaysian carmaker Proton, which holds majority ownership of Lotus, sold its ownership MV Agusta to Italian finance company GEVI SpA. Proton originally paid 70 million euro for MV Agusta a year earlier.

Claudio Castiglioni and Son pic borrowed from article

Here is a footnote to a Wall Sreet Journal article:
A footnote: There is a certain element of should-have-known-better in this story. This isn’t the first time Harley-Davidson has had a hard time with an Italian acquisition. In the 1960s it bought a stake in Aermacchi, a maker of small off-road bikes as a way to expand into new markets. Eventually it bought the whole company, but thatmove also eventually failed and Harley sold Aermacchi in the late 1970s. The sellers and buyers: the Castiglioni brothers.

MV Augusta has been changing hands a lot recently. When Proton sold it, there was a lot of controversy.

I wish someone would sell me a circuit for a buck and then give me a huge working capital! I promise you won't be sorry!!
I'm serious about this.

I am available for such a project. It would be an outstanding success.
Think about it.