Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to one and all!
I have had a very busy end to the year.
Jimmy and Mila visited from Malaysia. We did Bath, Stonehenge and London.

Then off to Leipzig to Tilo's Hochzeit, which was great fun!

Hopefully, Jimmy will annoy the powers that be in Malaysia, and tell them to check out ,my webpage.

This year things will start to move in the right direction.

I'm sure if the people at Proton actually take the time to study the proposal, they will integrate it into their new 5 year plan. It makes sense.

Today, The charity book is free to download.
All the royalty payments go directly to charity.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lotus Engineering Malaysia closed. I'll stay on track.

I am out of the loop in Group Lotus. Today I heard that Lotus Engineering Malaysia was closed when DRB-Hicom took over. The expats were let go. The Malaysian employees were redeployed.
Some have been there for years and have love interests in Malaysia, others will be working abroad somewhere. A few will be taking a rest and counting their money!
Oh well, life goes on.
Me, I am looking forward to the day that my proposal gets accepted. The expats in Group Lotus were not proactive in helping me get it off the ground, so for me nothing has changed. Without wishing to sound rude, it might be better. No-one saying we can't because...
Here in the UK we are being warned of flooding with travel advisories.
I am expecting Jimmy and Mila tomorrow morning. Jimmy works in Proton Malaysia. I was hoping to take them on a little road trip. Lets see what happens!
Back to my project. None of the people I contact about it are with Group Lotus.
I normally contact Genii or DRB-Hicom/Proton people.
Genii were kind enough to get me in touch with Sir Jackie Stewart.
DRB-Hicom and Proton people tend not to answer their emails!
I have presented at ASLI Asian Strategic Leadership Conference (Automotive)
So everyone knows!
Dr Mahathir Proton and Petronas adviser with me at ASLI 2010
Me with the ex CEO of Proton and the Big boss at SepangF1 circuit.
I gave an overview of the Motorsport University concept. I also introduced and moderated several sessions. Many thanks to ASLI for the opportunity. Particularly Kenanga the conference organiser.
The previous year Alex Yoong was my guest at the conference. Among other things, Alex works for Caterham now. He is something of a celebrity in Malaysia.
So corporate Malaysia knows of my plans.
Ideally, Group Lotus and Lotus F1 would partner, along with Caterham and Petronas.
Getting educational partners will not be difficult. They want to be paid, so funding needs to be provided. I know that is obvious.
Next year, I am hoping for great things.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Barriers to my vision. Christmas is upon us.

Barriers to My Vision

Contract design is a closed shop. Generally when looking for any employment contacts are the best way.

These contacts can either be enablers or Barriers.
None of us like barriers. It's how you deal with them that counts!
Whether it be in the school yard or the office people tend to follow the leader.

I'm a leader. I have a vision. I am more than happy to execute the plan.

Once this ball starts rolling there will be people following it.

I must say that before DRB-Hicom/Petronas sign up for the proposal, they should sit the Senior people in Group Lotus down and ask them if they will work with me. If not why not?
Christmas is upon us! My friend Jimmy and his wife Mila are visiting over Christmas.
In March 2002 Jimmy, Mila and my Dad all went to Redang for a short break.
Redang is a small resort Island off the coast of Malaysia.
They sent me a few pictures.TOP Picture.
Me + unknown blonde + Mila + my dad.
It will be a lot colder in the UK!

I have gone a lot more grey and put on a few pounds since.

Never mind. Life is good, and I'm back in the gym, so slowly I'll lose a few pounds. Not that I'll ever be a slim Jim!

I hope Jimmy and Mila enjoy the UK as much as I enjoyed Malaysia.

As this is a work blog, I suppose I should mention that Jimmy works for Proton. At the time these were taken I was working for Lotus on the Gen 2. On the Gen2 I was a release engineer, later I wrote the draft for the MUM proposal.

Later still the proposal and its author were booted out!

One of the most stupid things Lotus have ever done!

Just so you know. Amazon are doubling the money they put into KDP select. My charity book is available for free download on Christmas day. I would guess that over $2 will go to charity for each download. Spread the word!
To view the story behind the book and access links to Amazon click here


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thanks Tilo. No endorsement for MUM. DRB-Hicom sign technology agreement.

I received a very nice letter from Sir Jackie Stewart.
Sir Jackie was heavily involved with Cranfield when I first made this proposal to Lotus as part of my 5 year plan for training.
He wished me luck. However, no endorsement was forthcoming.
You may or may not know that Sir Jackie is an Ambassador for the Lotus F1 team.
The Lotus F1 team is owned GENII and is seperate from Group Lotus/Proton/DRB-Hicom.

Many of the Malaysian papers ran stories on the Petronas DRB-Hicom signing ceremony.
DRB-Hicom/Proton bought the engine technology and intellectual rights to all Petronas developed powertrains.
This picture was run by the Malay Mail.

There are 3 people in this picture whom I have contacted about MUM.
The central figure, Dr Mahathir is adviser to both Petronas and Proton. I have met him personally, albeit only for a moment.

I wrote to him 2 days ago asking him to advise both Petronas and DRB-Hicom to support me in making MUM a reality.
Sadly, no reply as yet.

I'm looking forward to having my old Proton friend Jimmy and his wife visit me in the UK over Christmas. Then a quick trip to Leipzig to wish my Friend Tilo and his new Wife Curtney all the best at their Hochzeit.
Curtney and Tilo are on the left. The hostel Red Palm gave them an unofficial Hochzeit shortly after they got wed.
Very nice people.
I get to wear my shiny green turquoise suit. Turquoise, black and white are to be the theme colours.
Tilo, who once played in Leipzigs top punk band 50/50 (thats what his Mum told me...) is working on an acoustic piece for the occasion. I look forward to hearing it!
Currently, 50/50 have a record company. This I assume will be run from the lead singer's (Sash) home.
I'm only in Leipzig for two days. So I'm not sure if I'll get to see it. Good luck in the venture in any event.
I must say Tilo has been very helpful with my webpage, and any IT problems I have had, and continue to have!
Tilo and his Dad did the cover and graphics for my Charity book.

Tilo has a link to the book on his Media webpage SAMASAMA. All royalty payments go directly to charity. Tilo and his father worked totally for free on this project.
Many thanks to Tilo and Claus for all their help.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Astrology and intuition. Singaporean to build new Johor Circuit!

December has arrived. I am still waiting for MUM to get approval/funding.
As well as the New Proton and Lotus business plan from DRB-Hicom.
It amazes me that a project with so much potential is taking so long to materialise!
Never mind!
Its written in the stars!
Yes! According to my Astrolgy friend Linda, success is just around the corner!
Linda has a radio show in America. She is an Astrologer.
The radio spot was to promote my Charity project.
She did however say the Motorsport project would be a success. She felt that the California campus would be the first to start.
Intuitively, I knew that this would be a great success as soon as I proposed it to Group Lotus years ago.
Sadly, my vision was not shared by my immediate bosses.
Today, is supposedly the biggest online buying day of the year. Please go to Amazon and buy the book. All royalty payments go to charity. The physical book is much better than the download IMO.

I am having guests over from Malaysia for Christmas. I'm enjoying making out an itinerary. If it doesn't snow, I'm hoping to take them to Bath and Stonehenge directly from Heathrow airport.
Then a couple of days in London. A trip to Portobello Market, followed by a Carol concert in the Royal Albert Hall.
Next day a trip to Chelsea FC for a quick Tour.
After that maybe some shopping.
Later in the month I'm off to my friend Tilo's wedding reception in Germany. Tilo helped me with the book graphics and cover, his dad Claus did the art work.

I read today that a Singaporean Peter Lim is going to build a new circuit in Johor, in partnership with the Malaysian Investment arm Khazanah.

Peter Lim is apparently a shareholder in McLaren.
He is a billionaire, and a Motorsport fan.
He could and should adopt my plan.

This will absolutely kill off Johor's other circuit. Pasir Gudang. This circuit is in my plans. It could converted to a great Motorsport University. Then it would survive and prosper.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Would Jackie Stewart endorse my proposal?

Recently I wrote about endorsements on Linkedin. Endorsements genuinely made, and publicly made can be invaluable. More of that later.
This month, I have also made a blog entry on when I made a presentation to the former CEO of Lotus Engineering, Albert Lam.
Albert gave me two hours of his time. He was immaculately dressed and very professional and polite.
However, he could not see a revenue stream. He only saw a noble idea.
No endorsement there.
Albert has gone on to get funding for his own project.
Detroit Electric
This company will buy bodies from Proton and add an electric powertrain.
I haven't seen any for sale.
CODA electric cars do a similar thing.
They do have cars for sale.
You can buy one for just under $30,000 USA after government incentives.

GM are showcasing their new all Electric car SPARK
This will cost about $25,000 after government incentives.

Electric vehicles are now being produced by mainstream OEM's.
It will be interesting to see how the small niche manufacturers compete in what is now a main stream marketplace.

When I first proposed training people using Motorsport as a tool, very few academic institutions were doing so. Cranfield were running Motorsport management courses.
That was it (I think)

Now it is common. Google Motorsport course/education etc and you'll get plent of results..

The UK, America and Malaysia have private Universities.

There is obviously demand for Motorsport (and Football) based studies.

Below the picture is a link to a Football based education initiative.

I think I need a White Knight. Someone with a higher profile than me to stand up and say, "You know this initiative makes sense."
The gentlemen on this video are all high profile.Alastair Campbell in particular is a regular on UK TV.
 It says a lot about the proposal.People take notice. TV crews turn up.
It's a shame someone like Jackie Stewart doesn't throw his weight behind MUM.
As I write, I'm looking at a picture of him signing my T shirt at the Belle Isle race in 1996.
Presently he is an Ambassador for GENII owners of Lotus F1.

I wrote a blog entry a couple of years ago:
The UK open University seem to have taken to the virtual World,
like Ducks to water!

Open University claims record iTunes downloads
The article is very interesting:
The global figure for downloads from iTunes U has reached 250 million.
"The way people want to learn is changing," says Open University vice-chancellor, Martin Bean.

The Open University, once parodied for its late-night television shows, is now pioneering the use of the internet to reach its students.
Chart toppers

It began putting material on Apple's iTunes U service in June 2008 - and in two years has had 20 million items downloaded.
"There is a real worldwide hunger for learning," he says.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Group Lotus Under Review. Innocence lost in the ice cream to download.

Today I read in the EDGE online.
DRB seriously considering options on Lotus.
DRB issued a statement saying Lotus is not for sale.

At the EGM DRB were asked why they are selling profitable parts of the company, while keeping Lotus.
Not suprising considering all the money Lotus have lost.

Still, I hope they keep it, and invest more into it. I'm sure that it can be a success.

My MUM proposal would be a game changer.

On a lighter note. The month is coming to an end. My charity book,
Innocence Lost in the ice cream forest is free to download on Amazon, at the beginning of December and again on Christmas day.
Each free download normally pays over $2 to the charity ROKPA.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving. New job opportunity. Italian Job

I hope my Americn friends enjoyed Thanksgiving. One of them Herbie, an old and loyal friend from my GM days spent this week in hospital. I wish him well.
Recently, I was contacted by Matchtech. They have a lead Engineer job in Swindon for Mini.
I told the recruiter I would put it on my blog.
Sounds like good money. Apply. I can handle the competition!

Some years ago, I bought the script to 'The Italian Job' It was an early type written version with a note for the previous buyer, from the script writer. It cost a grand £1000 which went to charity.
This is probably the film most remembered for Mini's flying around Turin, and is iconic in many ways.

I still own the script.

Monday, November 19, 2012

DRB-Hicom formulate the way forward. How about MUM?

Since I have been promoting my Motorsport University idea, I have annoyed many people!
So far unsuccessfully!
I have been in contact with many of the people in this picture.
 Lotus/Proton/DRB-Hicom have the resources to implement the Motorsport University project utilising ICAM
DRB Hicom signing an educational MOU with John Moores Liverpool University and DRB-Hicoms own University ICAM. 
Both Petronas and DRB-Hicom have private Universities. 

DRB-Hicom has enough production cars in it's stable Lotus/Westfield/Proton Satria to cover the car side.
DRB-Hicom and Petronas have Universities under their umbrella.
Buy the Californian campus. Use that to introduce the brands to America.
Malaysia has a potential campus in Johor. Lotus has plenty of space it can utilise in Norfolk.

From a sports point of view perhaps Norwich football club might want to get involved.

LA Galaxy might be open to this as well. Motorsport and football seem open to collabortions.

Chelsea and Sauber have recently joined forces.

Obviously, Caterham could do all this also, adding QPR to the mix.

Check out this video. CLICK HERE
 Not everyone views this kind of thing as nonsense.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Business ideas. Funding and salesmanship.

As you know I have a business idea. I have been promoting it without success for ten years.
An educational establishment. Motorsport based. Aim to serve One Million students globally.
In America the leading virtual Uni Phoenix has about 1/2 million clients.
The 1/2 million figure realistically eqates to 1/4 million full time. People can take modules over a long period.
So one million clients paying £6000 divided by 2 = £3000 spend per year per pupil.
Keeping things very simple. If one has a 10% profit margin.
£300 (10%) x 1,000,000 = £300,000,000 profit.

Keeping things realistic. Lets say an average of £100 profit per student over an academic year.

One million clients/students = £100,000,000 profit per year.

No-one seems to find that interesting.

When I met Albert Lam the then CEO of Lotus Engineering, he did not see a revenue stream. Just a noble idea.
I am obviously a poor salesman.

Albert Lam has started his own initiative.
Buy a new vehicle minus its engine and transmission.
Turn it into an EV.
Sell the vehicle under your own brand.

Another company CODA is doing the same.

I can't see why established  players sell to these guys. I suppose you have no risk.
Give them old bodies. If people buy, do it yourself. Use new EV styled bodies, and enter a tried and tested market.

Anything that has EV in it seems capable of attracting investment.

Maybe, I should call my proposal Green Automotive Studies. I prefer MUM.

The California site can be coverted to a solar farm. We could be electricity self sufficient.

Oh well, when God made time, he made plenty of it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recruitment and the rat race! Learn from it!

Recently, I attended a day long interview for car sales people.
They had one test. Go into a room and argue what you would take with if you were in a plane crash in the desert.
Sitting in a room full of strangers I was confronted with the corporate version of he who shouts loudest wins.
Interesting. I haven't seen that for a while. Don't miss it either.
Some people refer to it as the rat race.

Survival of the fittest, nice guys come last...(not always true) etc.

I guess its a testerone thing. Racing and competing is something we as a species are into.
Talking of which...
Automotive racing is now being adopted by more and more Universities.

When I worked in Malaysia I lived beside Monash University.

Here is their latest video. I assume this is the Australian campus.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Tengku Djan to race Westfields this weekend

Tengku Djan races a Westfield this weekend.
Prince of Drift webpage

DRB-Hicom (Proton) have an agreement with Westfields owners Potenza.
Djan is head of R3 the Proton motorsport arm.
I think these cars would be great for students. They are kits so you can actually build them.
Race them. Customise them etc.

I have annoyed Djan about MUM for years!

As Proton and Lotus are in terrible shape, perhaps it is time to look at all possible revenue streams.
MUM is a for profit proposal.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween.Blow away the cobwebs.

Recently a friend of mine informed me that he had a booked a trip with his wife to the UK.
Jimmy works for Proton and his wife Mila works for Perodua. They live and work in Malaysia.
Just five minutes walk from my house is a car dealer. Both Proton and Perodua are models are for sale.

They are staying with me over the Christmas period.

I popped in to the showroom. They had a Proton Savvy. It was new and on offer. The Decklid was open. There were cobwebs in the rear luggage area!

It was Halloween yesterday. Maybe they were just trying to tempt some Hollywood type buyers.

I don't have sales figure for Proton products in the UK. I would hazard a guess they are low.

Lotus has sold about 800+ cars this year world wide. About 120 in the UK.

The car side of Lotus and Proton are struggling.

I hope the newly inked agreement with Honda helps with product development.

I recently wrote to the Malaysian Auto Institute and sent them some suggestions for the upcoming National Automotive Policy. They are open to suggestions, and welcomed my input.

I certainly hope they contacted DRB-Hicom and discussed my educational strategy. Obviously, I would love them to implement my MUM strategy.

It will work. Trust me!

Coincidentally, my plan would use the old Honda test track in California as a campus!

In the spirit of Halloween here is my radio interview with my Astrologer friend Linda.
She seems to this that MUM could certainly be a West coast thing.

Additionally, she kindly helped me promote my book:
 Innocence lost in the ice cream forest
Very kind of Linda Many thanks.
All royalty payments go to charity. ROKPA.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Charity Book, and Jobs (Matchtech)

Today, I received an email from Matchtech. or call 01489 898239 if you would be interested.
Looks like Aston Martin are looking body and chassis people.
I sent Peter my CV. I don't match all the criteria. I told Peter I would mention the jobs on my blog.

More importantly, My charity book is free to download on the 1st and 2nd of November.
I hope the Honda Proton partnership produces the goods.

When Mitsubishi were Protons partner it was a waste of time from a technological point of view.

It will be interesting to see if DRB-Hicom buy the old Honda test centre.

See my webpage for details.

Jimmy from Proton styling is coming to the UK this Christmas. I hope he stays with me for a few days.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

DRB-Hicom LotusF1 rumours

I read in Skiddmark that there is a rumour that DRB-Hicom are interested in buying LotusF1.

Taken from article:
Rumours emerged in the past few days that Gerard Lopez’s Genii Capital, owners of Lotus F1, may be in talks to sell the team.
It’s merely a rumour at the moment, but Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle confirmed it during a broadcast from the Indian GP this morning, suggesting that DRB-Hicom owned Proton might be in the running.

As I have set up my proposal around Lotus this of interest to me. I see synergies here between education and Motorsport.

If DRB-Hicom are thinking along the same lines as me... Good, very good!

I have just watched the SKY re-run of qualifying and during qualification 1 between 19 and 18 minutes Mark Brundle did talk about this strong rumour going around the paddock.

Things appear to be falling into place. Or maybe just wishful thinking on my part.

Thinking out aloud

In Malaysia Petronas are the year on year cash cow. They have been shareholders in Proton, are  in negotiations with Proton to use their E01e (Yamaha based) engine in their cars.
Petronas are sponsors of MercedesF1 and Yamaha MotoGP. They used to own Foggy Petronas.

Whether they want to be both owners and sponsors of an F1 team I don't know. They could afford it. They have a working relationship with Group Lotus through DRB-Hicom.

I just made this up... so its only conjecture! I'm not an insider.

Time will tell...

Friday, October 26, 2012

West Wing Workers weekly.

Fords announced it is closing down its Southampton Plant. The Ford Transit will be produces in another plant, in another country I assume.
I worked in Trafford House for Fords Truck Division.
Sadly, Fords sold off its Truck division, and Transit design was done in Dunton Tech Centre, Essex.

It was a fun time in Trafford House. The Detail area produced a magazine.
Dickie Clark produced most of the art work. It was very funny and topical.
I generally appeared in most editions. The articles were generally very well received..
I can laugh at myself. Management turned a blind eye. They enjoyed it as much as the so called WORKERS.
Happy days. I wish I had some of the issues as I'd love to share them online.
Someone, somewhere has some. Hopefully, they can be uploaded one day.

Fords were a good company to work for. Happy days

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book sales, Germany and Malaysia, Linkedin, 2013 NAP

I have a charity book which is printed by Createspace and is available on Kindle.
All money goes to charity Rokpa.
It is free to download on the 1st of the month.
To read the story behind the story go to:

I have a friend, Jimmy and his wife Mila, coming over from Malaysia over Christmas, and after Christmas I will pop over to Germany for wedding celebration in Leipzig, for Tilo and Curtney.

So, should I get this project off the ground, I'll need to fly back to Europe end of December.

I'm getting a few people I haven't heard from for a while trying to connect via Linkedin. They have hundreds of connections, so I don't think they partcularly want to connect with me!

Its a useful tool for seeing where people are working.

I contacted the Malaysian Institute Automotive regard their upcoming National Auto Policy.
They were polite and encouraged me to give them as much info about my thoughts and project as possible.

As always I am optimistic and patient!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Petronas and Group Lotus educational partners.

I was browsing the web. I found an old Lotus Engineering article.

The article was written in 2001. At this time the University of Petronas had an agreement with Lotus.

UTP and LotusIn a related developed Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Lotus have joined forces in an industrial partnership that will spearhead a new technology transfer relationship between the two organisations.

The partnership between UTP (one of the leading academic and technology institutions in the ASEAN region) and Lotus, will include the following:

- Joint research programmes such as Advanced combustion, Optical diagnostics and Active valvetrain;
- Industrial placements at Lotus for UTP students and staff;
- Technical papers, presentations and journal publications;
- Advanced engineering lecture programme by Lotus;

"By pooling resources from Lotus and UTP, we have a great opportunity to stretch the boundaries of research for the car of the future. I can see the scope within these two skilled teams to research into safer, more efficient and more advanced vehicles to take the car not just 5 years ahead but well into the next decade and beyond," said Mr Wood.

Mr Wood is in Malaysia as part of a team visiting local universities and presenting the ‘Lotus Engineering Roadshow’. The event was also presented at Proton’s premises in Shah Alam today and attended by Lord Sainsbury, the British Minister of Science & Technology, who also took the opportunity to visit the factory.

Picture copied from article:
Simon Wood on left, Lord Sainsbury and Tengku Mahaleel (Proton CEO at the time).

Proton CEO, Tengku Datuk Mahaleel showing the British minister the CAMPRO engine. On the left is Group Lotus' Simon Wood

I visited UTP some years ago and met with it's CEO. I didn't know that there was official co-operation between Lotus and Petronas.

Petronas and DRB-Hicom both have private Universities. Petronas have a huge Motorsport budget.

They could make my vision a reality.  I hope they do!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Endorsements... are they worth anything?

I am not a big Facebook or Linkedin user. Maybe I should be...
Recently I received some unsolicited but positive endorsements on Linkedin.
The people who did this are all friends with Linda. My astrologer friend. I kind of worked with Linda on her astrology show as a guest.
You can call into Linda's show on Thursday's

My buddy Tilo made an audio file of the interview.
If you listen to the file, it is obvious that Linda and me are pals.
She endorsed my Linkedin page. She highlighted my project management skills.

I have to say, the fact that she liked me, probably coloured that endorsement. Linda hasn't actually worked with me professionally.

All the same it was nice of her to do it.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Cambodian car project. I have worked with the CEO. We are not friends.Probably never will be.

An endorsement from this person would be negative.

That would not worry me. I would carry that as a badge of honour.

The thing is... If all endosements on Linkedin are going to be friends slapping friends on the back how much worth will they have?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cambodian National Car project.

Proton in Malaysia are the National Car company of Malaysia.
It appears that Cambodia have embarked on a similar project.
In order to achieve that aim they have set up agreements with BIW holdings Ltd
and ACICA the Cambodean automotive entity.

Cambodian National Car Project signing ceremony.

ACICA have added a name I know to their Board of Directors.

The bearded man on the end,
 used to work in Malaysia for Lotus Engineering.

I have absolutely no comment to make on this.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Caterham not Group Lotus to produce Renault sports car?

Group Lotus were rumoured to have a contract with Renault to partner in the design of the new Renault Alpine.
Reports today say that Caterham, who are a Renault customer in F1, and who appointed a Renault executive, Cyril Abiteboul, as their new F1 CEO recently, will be signing the partnership deal.
Joe Saward, a Caterham cars Director and journalist recently wrote an article:
Who is Cyril Abiteboul?
Apparently, Caterham will also produce a new car from the same Renault platform!

So the first new Caterham car under Tony Fernandes will be based on this cars platform.

Group Lotus must be very p'd.

I have in the past been in contact with Caterham over my proposal. At the time I didn't know it! I spent a couple of days with Alex Yoong at the ASLI Automotive conference 2009.

Soon after Alex took up a position with Tony Fernandes as the trainer/talent spotter for Lotus now Caterham F1.

He still has contact to Group Lotus heirarchy through DRB-Hicom.
Maybe it's not too late for Caterham and Lotus to work together. Who knows! (I don't)

As far as my MUM proposal is concerned I would be happy to work with DRB-Hicom, Caterham or Petronas if we are talking about Malaysian companies.

Obviously, I don't have any negative history with any of these entities.

Exciting times!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Be generous please! Free download equates to a $2 contribution to charity.

The end of the month is nearly upon us. The trees are changing colour. October is nearly here!
My charity book 'Innocence lost in the ice cream forest' is free to download on the first day or two of October.
Each free download generates a $2 donation to the charity

The book is about a young lad who decides he has to learn things the hard way.

A bit like me!

Click to hear the Radio interview I had to promote the book. (20 minutes)

Better still click here to read the story behind the story and buy the book!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lotus. Ten Years and counting!

I have just checked my email account. Ten years ago this week I was working in Lotus. I had been laid off and was working my notice period.
My job title:Training & Resource Engineer
I had a job offer from EDAG to join them as (the whole) Vehicle Integration Manager on a Chrysler program.

Time flies!

Overall, I did not enjoy working at Lotus. So why am I so keen to get them to implement my MUM proposal?

Many would say its because I'm stupid! They are entitled to their opinion.

I would say its because I believe that it will be a huge success. Huge success and (Group) Lotus are not terms oft used in a single sentence!

Training as a business is not a core part of Group Lotus. My ideas, were a little different from the mainstream.

Recently, Proton were bought by DRB-Hicom. DRB-Hicom therefore own Group Lotus.

DRB-Hicom own a private University. Education is a core business for them.

I have written to them, asking to leverage their University know how with Proton and Group Lotus.

Together, they can set up institutions globally.

ICAM being the OEM and Proton and Lotus being tier one suppliers.

Perhaps DRB-Hicom are a little more education friendly than Group Lotus.

Lucky I'm patient!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

China, not so cheap.General Motors new proving grounds.

General Motors are to open a new proving ground in China.

The No. 1 US automaker and its joint venture partners, including SAIC Motor, invested about $252.5 million to build what GM China President Kevin Wale called the country's largest proving ground.

GM invests $1.5 billion annually in China. The 1,400-acre (560-hectare) facility was opened in Guangde County, Anhui province, and will employ about 100 people

1,400-acres for $252.5 million = 5.54 acres per $1 million (General Motors proving grounds China)

4255-acres for $3 million = 1418 acres per $1 million (Old Honda proving grounds California picture below)

This equates to 255 times the cost of my proposed site.

China is far more expensive than America to set up.

It must be said that GM have a complete ready for purpose facility. The proposed site in America may require some updates and customisation.

Despite that, the California campus is still in my opinion, very good value. A similar proving grounds in the same are of America cost $60 million to set up (Hyundai).

Monday, September 10, 2012

Original Lotus factory now a Museum. Wheeled panels vs Plastic

Today, I saw an ebay advert for an old Lotus.

It had a picture of it Chassis and Engine number.

This vehicle was an early Lotus. Built in London. The site has subject of planning permission.

Reference No

: HGY/2006/0203


: Hornsey

Date received

: 25/01/2006 Last amended date:

Drawing number of plans

: 1, 2, 3, 3A, 3B, 4 - 23 incl.


: 7 Tottenham Lane, N8


: Change of use from industrial unit to museum and education centre.

Existing Use

: Builders Yard

Proposed Use

: Museum and Education Centre

: Mr John Scott-Davies

We now have:

In an earlier post, I mentioned that during my apprenticeship with Fords UK I worked on an English wheel
with a very competent panel man named Marvin Ford.We made proto type panels in Aveley. Sadly, that work is now done in Germany.

Previously, Marvin used to work in panel shop that made panels for Lotus on a job and knock basis. Piecework.
I got on great with Marvin. He was a super nice man.

Marvin told me, the panels were formed on the Wheel and laid on eggshell templates.The aluminium Panels were oxy acetelyne welded, often panels were not painted, just clear laquered. No filler or metal finishing!

Here is a picture of an egg shell frame, from a W194 restoration project, borrowed from

I would hazard a guess that when Lotus relocated to Norfolk, the skillset required to produce wheeled panels was lost, hence fibreglass panels on later models. Just conjecture on my part.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Telegraph Business competition.

I entered the daily Telegraph business competition.
200 words or less. Goals and objectives for the next 12 months...
Here is my entry!
I am the primary person on my project.

Here are my webpages.

I have seen that private Universities operate in Malaysia, USA and recently the UK.

I have a global vision for a Motorsport based University. BPP own Phoenix University in the USA.  In 2010 they had about ½ million clients and a revenue of $5 billion. They had a profit margin of over 10%.

In my first year I would like to purchase a large property in California.

My preferred partner would be DRB-Hicom who own Group Lotus in the UK and a private University ICAM in Malaysia.

Group Lotus are incorporated in the USA Malaysia and the UK.

I would like to offer courses in North America, followed in the midterm by Asia and Europe.

My short term goal would be to set up in California. This would cost $3 million to buy the circuit, a further investment in Classrooms/infrastructure etc . This would probably run into millions…

In one year I would have spent in excess of $10 million.

Short term goal: Set up in California:  Long term goal: One million students worldwide.

Leveraging Motorsport dollars into education makes sense.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Go Alex (Zanardi)!!

Alex Zanardi races today.

He races in Brands Hatch, a race circuit close to me!
I'll watch it on TV. The paralympics have been great. In many
ways on a par with the able bodied Olympics.
Society is changing its attitude to people with disabilities.
Alex and many others have contributed to that.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Volkswagen and Proton to collaborate?

Some things take a long time to happen.
Wolfsburg, 26th October 2004 these gents signed a MOU between Proton and Volkswagen.
Two have left their posts. Tengku Mahaleel and Bernd Pischetsrieder have left Proton and Volkswagen. Dr. Mahathir remains the Advisor to Proton.
At the end of 2011 DRB-Hicom sign an MOU with Volkswagen.

DRB-Hicom are puting about 1 Billion Ringgit into Protons production facility.
IPOH - The stalled Proton City project in Tanjung Malim is set to be re-ignited after it came to a standstill 15 years ago, said Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
DRB-Hicom has briefed the state government on plans to reactivate the project on a 1,618.7ha piece of land there, he said.
"The company has come up with a new and comprehensive plan and hopes to set up the automotive city within five years, or even by 2015," he told reporters after the state executive council meeting here yesterday.
"It plans to invest RM1bil and make Tanjung Malim the main Proton car manufacturing centre," he added.
"This is a big plan and it will be a major landmark in Tanjung Malim."

DRB-Hicom obviously see the plant being fully utilised. Good. By whom? Proton, according to the article. For Proton to fully utilise the proposed plant it would have to sell 4 or 5 times as many cars as at present.

They must have some excellent products coming through their R&D portfolio, or they have a plan to share platforms with a best selling brand.

Just conjecture on my part.

Many years ago I worked as a contract designer in Spain. VW had become partners with SEAT. SEAT had previously been state owned and made old versions of FIAT cars.
Martorell was and is the SEAT technical centre. Obviously, they use a lot of VW carry over parts. I don't know if they still use German based contract design offices.

Proton has it's own Tech Centre, as has Lotus. Maybe they can look forward to having a VW management team guiding them in the near future.