View Full Version : vision for Britain
21st Jul 2010, 20:05
At last we have someone speaking sense, now let's get on with it.
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Sounds like he's wrapping his niche company and pet projects in the Union Jack, angling for the Brit public to help fund R&D at McLaren so they can compete with Ferrari and those other industrial giants. Who knows, they may even sell 20 units a year to the 0.00001% people who can afford them, thereby revitalizing the entire UK economy since the technologies they develop will trickle down into other, larger segments of the British automobile industry at Ariel, Morgan, and TVR.
Yeah, that'll work. :rolleyes:
21st Jul 2010, 21:41
Really? Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lotus may also be interested let alone the couple of dozen smaller manufacturers like Noble.
One of Britain's largest exports of core skills is in automative engineering - personally, I'd like to see those skills back here, wouldn't you?
Whilst many F1 teams may apparently be foreign-owned, many of the engineering experts that got them were they are, are British, like Adrian Newey.
21st Jul 2010, 23:36
Totally agree yakker .. the bloke deserves a knighthood for all he has achieved with the McLaren group of companies.
Sadly there are always those who instantly jump in with negative comments and who try to put down anything good about this country. Those comments are usually based on nothing more than ignorance and ill-judged prejudice so, annoying though they are, they are best ignored. Especially when those people don't actually live in the UK.
Two pages which might be of interest to such doubters:
McLaren F1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLaren_F1) A rather interesting history of what is still the fastest normally-aspirated production car in the world
Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLaren_Mercedes_SLR) A car which sold rather more than 20 units a year !!
And a small anecdote from myself..
A few years ago I lived near to Woking and frequently met up with a number of people who worked directly or indirectly for McLaren. One guy ran his own transport company and worked for various F1 teams transporting certain things from the UK to overseas tracks when they were testing, and then doing various things on-site for them.
He said that when working for most of the teams he was at the mercy of circumstance. If he was in the paddock at lunchtime he would get fed in their motorhome, eating as much as he liked to the point of complete pig-out if he wanted. But if he was on the other side of the circuit at lunchtime then it was just tough and he would go without.
With McLaren it was a different story - yes, in the paddock motorhome he would get fed adequately but he said that 'portion control' was the order of the day 'because they wanted you to be fully awake and on the ball in the afternoon'.
And if he was on the other side of the circuit? Then the 'soup lady' would come and find him, and every other McLaren worker too, to ensure that if nothing else they got soup and a roll 'because they wanted you to be fully awake and on the ball in the afternoon'.
Control freakery?? Or a very sensible company thinking about, and acting on, the effects of people eating too much or not at all when those people are dealing with expensive machinery and potentially dangerous situations ??
Back to the OP. There are far too few leaders of UK industries speaking out in support of UK manufacturing let alone doing something about it as McLaren patently are. More power to their elbow !!
21st Jul 2010, 23:37
In the 1960s I was studying engineering at university and had decided to change from becoming a civil engineer to being a mechanical engineer involved with vehicles (sports racing cars were my aim).
I had already spent a long summer vacation working on a dam construction site (and wasn't impressed by the conditions that I would face after qualification) and another vacation working as a student placement with Vickers Armstrongs (tank builders) who had been considerate enough to put me through their craft apprentice training school where I learned basic bench manufacturing and machine shop techniques.
I applied to Aston Martin for a placement, but they only offered me a place at their David Brown tractor gearbox manufacturing facility - not exactly what I had in mind.
After university, I joined a major mainstream vehicle manufacturer as a graduate recruit, starting in the chassis design drawing office as a draughtsman before progressing to the experimental vehicle department as a vehicle test engineer and then became involved in designing the new test track facility before progressing as senior engineer to design vehicle systems. The latter including representing the industry on legislative committees, determining the regulations applied during type-approval testing.
I don't regret what I achieved, however, it wasn't exactly what I had had in mind - run-of-the-mill instead of prestige vehicles - rather like wanting to be a pastrychef and ending up making sliced bread.
22nd Jul 2010, 08:03
AMF I do not understand your post. He was talking about what the UK could achieve, not McLaren. Ron Dennis has achieved a huge amount, CEO of a successful and still growing company, not bad for someone who started as a mechanic.
But his ideas are to get other companies moving, and NOT just automotive, seem good to me. Maybe you should read it again.
22nd Jul 2010, 08:08
AMF I do not understand your post
I do. Something is bothering Mr. AMF based on what has emanated from that particular keyboard recently. Maybe best to take it outside huh?
22nd Jul 2010, 11:49
Indeed, this particular gentleman despises Britain and all thing British both past, present and future. Best to ignore him really.
22nd Jul 2010, 12:27