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 www.lotusracing.my 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 www.lotusracing.my  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 Speedtv.com 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 http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/

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 blogs.bettor.com
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: