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...