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: