Emissions Reduction – the Challenges for Engineers – Part 2

We tend to take it for granted that cars just get steadily greener, consuming less fuel and emitting lower pollutant levels with each new generation. But engineers haven’t got magic wands. How do they keep making improvements, year after year? In a short series of articles, I’ll look at the technical challenges associated with catalysts, stop-start systems, engine downsizing and other CO2 reduction measures. Stop-Start…Read more

Emissions Reduction – the Challenges for Engineers – Part 1

We tend to take it for granted that cars just get steadily greener, consuming less fuel and emitting lower pollutant levels with each new generation. But engineers haven’t got magic wands. How do they keep making improvements, year after year? In a short series of articles, I’ll look at the technical challenges associated with catalysts, stop-start systems, engine downsizing and other CO2 reduction measures. Catalysts…Read more

Vehicle Complexity – Who Needs It?

I can remember when cars were scrapped because their bodywork was rotten. Sometimes it took just 10 years from new, which meant that often the rest of the car was still working fine. So isn’t it ironic that now we have bodyshells that last for 20 years and more, we still scrap some cars much sooner because they’ve become uneconomic to repair. How did this…Read more

The Exhibition Survival Guide: Part 2

Here we continue our series of advice to help you maximise the benefit of any show whilst simultaneously surviving the ordeal. 4) Convert conversations into connections If a visitor has paused to look at an exhibit or graphic element of the booth, your second challenge is to convert this into a willing conversation where they learn more about your business and brand. The key term…Read more

The Value of Branding to Engineering Consultancies

The old joke about consultants is that they charge to tell you the time, then ask to borrow your watch. Whoever came up with that had clearly been the victim of poor contract negotiation. I’ve experienced engineering consultancies of all sizes in the automotive world, from the inside and as a customer. Despite the joke, they generally provide keenly competitive pricing in what can be…Read more

Read Me – The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Our approach to PR is absolutely rooted in classical marketing and there is no better way to understand the key principals then to spend an hour or so with this book. "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" was first published in 1993 and should be on the bookshelf of anybody wishing to better understand the commercial world in which we live. The authors, Al Ries…Read more

Market Inefficiencies – A £200k XK150S

At the recent Silverstone Classic auction a LHD 1958 Jaguar XK150S Roadster sold for £201,250, comfortably exceeding the estimate of £175k-£195k. The XK150 is a desirable car, and the S with its triple carburettors, straight port head, three-part clutch and light-weight flywheel is the one to have, but a very good example sold for £78,400 at Brooklands in May 2012. So, what does an extra…Read more

The Exhibition Survival Guide: Part 1

Public shows are one of the most effective methods to get your organisation together with a wide range of customers, purchasing teams and decision makers. They build your brand in a hugely efficient way by promoting it in a location with the optimum concentration of correctly targeted customers and industry media. They do however represent a substantial financial commitment for any company so it's essential…Read more

Detroit’s Warning to the Automotive Industry

Detroit is no stranger to stirring up the automotive industry, and this is no less true during its steady decline than it was in the thriving ‘50s. Gone are the decadent days of booming industry, 1.8 million population and a central axis for global car production, 2013 sees a city in decay: deserted districts, bankruptcy and an estimated $19 billion debt. The announcement that Motor…Read more

A Partnership Begins in Spa

On Thursday morning I shall board the Eurotunnel to Calais and drive the three-or-so hours through northern France and Belgium to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the heart of the Ardennes. This trip is the result of the work that we have been putting in for the past four months to broker an exploratory technical partnership between one of our clients and a leading GT team.…Read more