Friday, January 28, 2011 Interview today. Herry co founder of backpacking asia interviewed.

I have been asked to do an interview with today (Malaysia). The interview will take place today between 5pm and 7pm.

It is not MUM related.
The TV team are here to look at Red Palm. Red Palm is an award winning hostel in KL.
I can't embed the interview, as it has not taken place!
I am back in the UK next week. Among other things I have to be available for a board meeting at a Media workshop I am involved in.
As for the MUM project. I have not been contacted as yet by any of the powers that be...
An update: I was not interviewed. Herry, co founder of was filmed. Herry and the other founder Tilo filmed and edited my webpage video.
Info needed to access video:
1st Column: 3 letters that describe your Mother
2nd Column: Four numbers that describe perfect vision.
They are both younger and better looking than me!
Sofie, the owner of the hostel is a very special person, I genuinely feel the video team made an error in not filming an interview with her. I'm not calling the shots.
I will embed the video in any event when it comes online.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Southampton University to open a campus in Johor. Lotus v Lotus carries on (YAWN). Albert Lam on his vision for electric cars.

Today I read that Southampton University are opening a campus in Johor:
This is from the NST (New Strait Times)

KUALA LUMPUR: The University of Southampton, world renowned for its engineering programme, will open its first overseas campus in Johor next year. The University of Southampton Malaysia Campus (USMC) will be sited at Iskandar Malaysia's EduCity in Nusajaya, Johor, and its first intake will comprise of 60 students.
They can choose any of its undergraduate and postgraduate courses in electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineering...

Khaled (Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin) said with 403 private colleges, 20 public universities, 45 private universities and 15 foreign branch campuses, Malaysia had great potential to tap into the education need of the region...
"We aim to recruit an additional 150,000 foreign students by 2015," he said, adding there would be no ratio for local and international students for private universities.

It would seem that Johor is crying out for educational partners. It has an FIA approved track that needs redevelopment.
I can certainly see a synergy here.

Meanwhile the Lotus v Lotus saga drags on.BBC

Malaysia has three F1 teams it sponsors or owns. What a crying shame they can't all just funnel their energy and technology through a University.

I found this CNBC interview with Albert lam online. I spoke to Albert several years ago in the Hilton, Brickfields Malaysia. It was a neutral venue, where I could converse with him without any outside interruptions (as in all companies, there are some very ambitious individuals working for Lotus).
Albert as CEO of Lotus engineering at the time. "Show me the revenue stream" was his mantra.
He did give me a couple of hours of his time, which was good of him.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An interesting property for sale. A potential Campus?

Today, I saw an interesting article in Autosport...
Buy your own test track!

The test track, previously owned by Honda is available for $2,742,000 ($6,000 per acre). For sale by:
Cantil Properties.

It is 120 miles from Los Angeles. Lotus seem to have a fixation with California, so I have  to put this forward as a potential American campus for the virtual university plan.

The site is just outside of California city.

Click this link to view a flash presentation.

In order to dovetail with the group Lotus vision of having a global presence in Europe (Hethel) Asia (Malaysia-Johor) and North America (Michigan/California). It would be appropriate to have some physical campuses to compliment the Virtual university.

Apart from being in California, the site is purpose built for vehicle testing. It would cost a fortune to replicate from scratch.
The Hyundia-Kia officials and the California City mayor cut the ribbon on the automaker's new $60 Million North American auto test center. This brand new 4,300 acre Hyundia-Kia facility includes a 30,000 square foot office complex and vehicles are tested on a variety of surfaces including a 6.4 mile oval track, a 2.75 mile winding track, and a 3.3 mile hill road. A two million square feet vehicle dynamics area is also included.
Honda also operates a 3,800 acre test facility just North of California City. This facility includes a 7.5 mile oval track, a 4.5 mile winding course, and four courses to test motorcycles & ATV's.[(Presently for sale at $2,742,000) you can spend $10 million on additional development/upgrades and still be only at 20% of Hyundai's outlay].

Just a thought.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bob Lutz was being optimistic at 60% chance of success. Lets make it 90%

 A happy and healthy New Year to everyone.

In a recent Telegraph interview Dany Bahar was interviewed on the future of Lotus

Bahar wants the engineering side to create at least one third of the company’s profits in future, with the other two thirds coming from building 6,000-7,000 road cars a year.
“In future we will be fighting in every sports car sector,” he says.

I'm not an accountant. So I have kept this real simple.

7000 units x 100,000 plus pounds average saleable value per vehicle  =  800,000,000 Pounds total 

So using these figures,Lotus can expect to achieve a total revenue of 0.8 Billion pounds per year on car sales

Assuming Lotus covers its R&D costs by 2015 and achieves a profit margin of 25% per car. Lotus can expect approx 0.2 Billion pounds profit per year...Add 0.1 Billion profit from Engineering services.

 Compare this to Phoenix (virtual) University figures for 2010.
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%.

So the present Lotus plan has a potential of  generating revenue of 1.2 billion pounds per year.

The University idea has a potential revenueof ($4.9billion)3.1 billion pounds using official  Phoenix figures as a benchmark.

I don't envisage the University having a 25% profit margin. I would hope however, over time, to have 1 million customers as opposed to the half a million that Phoenix has presently.

I would expect a truly global customer base.

Assuming an eventual customer base of 1 million students globally a 6 billion pound revenue stream would be possible:

Using a 10% profit margin for the University:

Yearly Profit for Virtual University: 600 Million pounds

Using a 25% profit margin for the present Lotus plan:

Yearly Profit for present Lotus plan: 300 Million pounds

The present plan only represents the tip of the iceberg... Look deeper

In my humble opinion adding a virtual University to the plan raises the chances of success from an optimistic 60% (Bob Lutz) to a realistic 90%.

BTW: The British OU celebrates its 40th birthday on the 3rd January. Congratulations!