Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dr Mahathir Petronas and Lotus advisor has commented on Lotus product range.

Recently, Lotus have been sending out press releases on the upcoming Paris Motor Show.
The inference is we will see a glimpse of the future product range.
The ex PM of Malaysia is the advisor to Petronas and Lotus. He is hugely influencial.
Before Tony Fernandes embarked upon Air Asia he made sure he got his blessing.

Tun Mahathir ordered the building of SepangF1 circuit.
Petronas sponsor the Malaysian F1. Proton are sponsors of LotusF1 run by Tony Fernandes.

Here are Tun Mahathirs comments on the new product line up from Lotus. This is taken from a recent Chedet entry, entitled:  PROTON'S PROGRESS

5. My next stop was the Lotus factory where the Elise and Evora sports cars were being produced. Lotus had not done well and was losing money. But the new CEO, Dany Bahar has put new life into the management bringing in experienced people from well-known racing teams and sports car producers.

6. New sports cars were being designed and they looked as good as the Ferraris and the Aston Martins. I test drove a turbo-charged Proton Exora, an electric Tesla which Lotus was building for an American company and the Lotus Evora.

7. A lot of Proton engineers were working with Lotus engineers contributing to the development of Lotus cars.

As you probably know I have bugged numerous people with my MUM project. Tun Mahathir is among them!
Unlike Tony, I have not recieved any blessing!

In Paris,I have to assume that we are going to the concept cars that Tun Mahathir descibes "as good as Ferraris and Aton Martins."

I'm flying back to the UK with Tony's Airline on Sunday. I'll miss Tony's LotusF1 team racing in Germany. Hopefully, they will pick up a point or two.

I'm looking forward to seeing my father and the neighbours. I have a board meeting on Friday. It will be nice to have a chat with everyone.

My focus is now on Johor. Any influencial people with access to finance and Tun Mahathir please feel free to contact me!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dany Bahar, CEO and co-owner of Lotus Group, in an interview with auto motor und sport

A German magazine has an online article. An interview with Dany Bahar. They introduce him as the co-owner of Lotus.
Lotus-Chef Dany Bahar im Interview"Spielen bald in der Porsche-Liga mit"

Dany Bahar, Chef und Miteigentümer der Lotus Group, im Interview mit auto motor und sport-Redakteur Jens Dralle über die Ausweitung der Modellpalette mit E-Versionen und die Vervierfachung des Absatzes.  
Miteigentümer = Co-owner  
Dany gives an overview of the 5 year plan for Lotus.
When asked about the present 50/50 split between Cars and engineering, he said he expects that to become 90% cars in the next five years (Middle term).
Derzeit machen Lotus Cars und Engineering je rund 50 Prozent des Umsatzes aus. Wird das so bleiben?
Dany Bahar: Nein, das Verhältnis wird sich deutlich zugunsten der Auto-Sparte verschieben. Mittelfristig rechne ich mit rund 90 Prozent
Absolutely no mention of educational products! My proposal would use hardware (Cars) and engineering for educational purposes. It would complement his plan not compromise it.
Whilst it has been mooted that Dany Bahar was offered a part ownership deal by proton it has since been denied that any such transaction has taken place.

I thought I would add my old Bernama TV interview for those of you who haven't seen it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I am a speaker at ASLI Automotive Conference in December. Lotus to produce IRL Aero Package?

I have been invited to present my MUM proposal.

The conference is in December.
Hopefully, by that time I will have some positive developments to report!

This will coincide with the KL Auto show.
Motorsport and it's influence, educational and otherwise will be on the agenda.

It would be nice if members of Team Lotus made an appearance. I'm not sure about Group lotus. Last year top level Proton management attended. The then Group lotus CEO also made a short appearance.
Hopefully, this year the new CEO Dany Bahar will feature.
Last year Alex Yoong was my guest. I hope he returns this year.

Since last year a new entity Lotus Racing headed by Tony Fernandes has come into existence.
1Malaysia F1Team are a new F1 team presently based in Norfolk. Long term, they will be based in SepangF1, where they are setting up a centre.

I have to ask the question. From a racing perspective Tony Fernandes run the F1 team. Group Lotus run a Lotus branded team in the American IRL series (I used to volunteer at the old CART Belle Isle race).
However, Here is a portion of a recent Autosport article:

The Lotus Group is already involved in the branding of Takuma Sato's KV Racing car.

 Lotus Racing boss Tony Fernandes hinted at an increased role (for Lotus F1 racing) after yesterday's announcement.

"Lotus Racing congratulates the IndyCar Series on this exciting news and supports the revolutionary concept of a standard safety cell with various manufacturers producing aero kits," he said.
"We look forward to seeing more details on this future car strategy, and hopefully, allow our involvement in the series."

 Team Lotus (1malaysiaf1 team) obviously have an aerodynamic team in place, computational and physical (wind tunnel).

A small part of an interesting article from SpeedTV.
Open Source Aero
• It is still frustratingly undefined, but the panel will require aero kits to be made available to whomever wants to buy one. Whether that means HVM Racing can buy the current version of a Ganassi aero kit, or if a Ganassi would get to use the kit for an exclusive period before others could buy it is unknown

Maybe we can expect a few Air AsiaX and 1Malaysia decals on next years IRL car(s)?

The new IRL rules allow for several engine manufacturers. Lotus (both team and group) have agreements with Cosworth. See if anything develops there.

This is my slideshare presentation:

In my personal opinion roadblocks to Motorsport University Malaysia need to be removed.

Today, I booked my ticket back to the UK. I have a father who hasn't seen me for a while. A media company who I have neglected needs a visit.
I enjoy Malaysia and have become friends with the people who run the place where I stay. Very nice people.
My contact with the people I worked with during my time at Lotus has been limited. I have found that work relationships don't necessarily transfer into personal friendships.
I have to say that my continual promotion of the MUM project has more to do with the belief that is a project very worthy of consideration on many levels and not just because I want to work with the people in Lotus ( nothing personal).
My vision, historically has not been looked on favourably by Lotus management. One former Lotus engineering CEO was kind enough to give me several hours of his time a neutral venue away from any negative opinions. Sadly, he could not see a revenue stream, only a noble idea. Perhaps I didn't explain myself properly.
I sincerely hope that any obstacles to this project are identified and seen for what they are. All projects encounter roadblocks. Normally they are removed.
Here is a slideshare version of my webpage. Make up your own mind.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A potential Lotus collabaration? A three wheeler to make you smile.

Today I saw two articles in the Daily Mail.
One showed a car designed by Gordon Murray who designed the McLaren supercar.
Pic from Daily Mail

A small portion of the article:
So when can you buy one? Gordon Murray's design and engineering company, based near Guildford, Surrey, is not a car factory. He will not make T25s, but instead sell the rights to use the manufacturing process, called iStream, plus the design of the car itself, to a manufacturing firm.
He is reluctant to say whom he is talking to, but confirms he's in serious discussions with at least eight car firms.
'I would love, absolutely love, the car to be made in Britain,' he says.
In addition, the basic blueprint can be adapted easily - for a bigger car, a four-seater, a convertible or a van. His design allows the T25 to be sold for £6,000, at a profit. Including taxes. It is quite possible that T25s will be on sale by 2012.

I would hazard a guess that one of the firms he is talking to is in Norfolk... Just a guess.

Secondly, according to the China Car Times Youngman have bought the rights to sell their products under the Lotus brand. I know Lotus supply Engineering services, and they are a customer.  I find it hard to believe that lotus have actually agreed to let them market and sell them as actual Lotus cars.
A short quote from the article:
...originally Youngman were importing CKD kits from the Malaysian firm but later were given carte blanche rights to start designing their own range of cars under the Lotus branding...
Maybe they put a designed by Lotus badge on the back.

The second article made me smile so I thought I would share the accompanying video with you.

No news on MUM. The vision is waiting patiently before becoming reality.