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 geartinggi.com

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 Motorcycle.com 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.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Birthday tomorrow. Lotus offer a really expensive track car. Type 125

On a personal note. It's my birthday tomorrow. Another year gone. I'm feeling great. Long may it continue.
Lotus racing are offering a hugely expensive track toy for rich clients.
Lotus Type 125 (borrowed pic from Motorauthority.com)

I have no idea if this will be produced in Malaysia where Lotus F1 have their campus in SepangF1 or in Norfolk... two possibilities, the F1 site or Group Lotus could build it under contract in Hethel.

From my perspective, I would like to tap into the F1 technolgy and spread it to people at an affordable rate.
However, it must be remembered that people who can afford to race are either very well connected, wealthy, or very fortunate to be spotted by one of the former.

We aren't talking about throwing down two article of clothing and starting a game.

If you want to race legally, you need a proper track, safety equipment, and in some cases very expensive machinery. However, if you are successful you get well rewarded.

From an educational perspective, you can obviously run driving schools. Most circuits offer this. However, I see much more than this.
Business planning/Marketing/Engineering/ Design/ Legal / Sport psychology... the list goes on.

This brings me to an article in a Malaysian paper The Sun. I quote:

Falling FDI – serious concern but not panic

Instead of selling palm oil and rubber, Malaysia should export plantation management services as well as plant biotechnology products like oil palm clones that are high-yielding, disease-resistant and faster-growing.

Malaysia should also help ease the establishment of schools and universities aimed at providing an Asian-centric education for 21st century Asia. The curriculum should be multilingual with emphasis on the region’s history, geography, economics and sociology. Properly managed with international accreditation, such educational institutions could enhance Malaysia’s appeal in attracting foreign students.

Although Singapore and Thailand already have international educational establishments, these are largely foreign transplants. Similarly, China, India and Indonesia have excellent universities. However, these tertiary institutions may not focus primarily on preparing students for employment in Asia or in a globalised world.

You may ask why a person brought up in England and a USA citizen is pushing for a University in Malaysia. I have worked in Europe and America (obviously). However, when I worked for Group Lotus in Malaysia, This idea was my 'Baby'.
We were encouraged to set up a training establishment by the 'Government'. I was tasked with coming up with a plan.
I put forward a plan to set up on a track. Given the Lotus history as a company, I felt this was a good fit. My immediate management were not supportive.
Call me stubborn, but I still think it is a good idea. Hence this blog. It obviously could be put into practice elsewhere. I don't know of many government owned companies who have potential use of government owned circuits. Lotus had the opportunity. They chose not to go further. That does not mean that I as a person cannot push the idea privately, in the public domain.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tengku Djan should ask to moderate ASLI auto conference

I am back in the UK. The political news is centred around Pakistan. Sadly they have a natural disaster which has left many dead and homeless. The new UK government has annoyed the Pakistani government.
Domestically, the banks are again making huge profits. The new UK government has announced it needs to cut back it's spending. So pensions and the unemployed are under review!
All is not well in the UK

I should point out here I am available for hire!
You can directly contact me here:


It is my intention to attend the Automotive ASLI conference in DECEMBER.
I am confirmed. I will be on the stage twice.
Automotive Conference December 1-2 December PWTC Kuala Lumpur

The conference will have leaders from both Group Lotus and Proton.
I would imagine it will be a wonderful networking opportunity. I don't expect I will get to have an audience with Tun Mahathir, although it would be nice!
I hope to rub shoulders with Dany Bahar and Proton upper management.
It would be nice if Tengku Djan could make an appearance. I feel that his Motorsport background and corporate position, he is head of Proton Motorsport would be appreciated. Maybe he should contact ASLI and ask if he can moderate...
They have someone down to moderate session 7.
The person was my guest last year. He has not confirmed. I think Djan in many ways would be a more rounded moderator.
The unconfirmed speaker is a TV presenter among other things, and as such is an accomplished speaker. Djan has a slightly different background. I worked with Djan at Lotus, and I think he would do a good job.
Djan phone up ASLI and offer your services!
Incidently, I met Djan's dad there last year. He was kind enough to give me Djan's telephone number and took a couple of my leaflets for him.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I am available for Job offers: A new Lotus Seven?

Today, I would like to make it clear I am available for Job offers:
Please feel free to browse my webpage:

You can directly contact me here:
I have a brief CV on the Left filed under About Me:
The web, Autoexpress in particular are reporting on the new Lotus product line.
Pic borrowed from http://www.caradvice.com.au/76816/lotus-to-unveil-four-new-concepts-at-paris-auto-show/

I am now risking the wrath of Lotus!
In my opinion a new Seven is a wonderful idea. A starter racing car suitable for track useage is great.
£60,000 for one is a bit rich!
Colleges offering students driver training would love to be able to offer it to them in vehicles about one third of that price.
If as I suspect you are targetting Middle aged/old wealthy people who can afford to drive their vehicle down to the local breakfast joint and throw their Lotus key fob on the table while they wait to be served... OK.
Marketting wins. (Maybe).
Anyone got Westfields number?