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.

Saturday, September 1, 2012