British Chamber (BCCT), American Chamber (AmCham), Australian Chamber (AustCham), and South African Chamber (SATCC) met with German Chamber (GTCC) at Dicey Reilly’s Pub, with GTCC being hosts for evening.
The promoting group that used to be known as OMP has morphed into something called the Race Factory XOD Challenge and are promoting their race meeting this weekend at Bira Circuit. This is a one day meeting and is on Sunday, May 18.
Many manufacturers forget about what the car buying public wants and make motor cars that the public doesn’t want. This eventually means that the manufacturer has to provide all sorts of ‘sweeteners’ to entice the car buyer. However, Renault in Europe has shown just what the public wants with the reviews of their low-cost Dacia brand.
New Chinese car brand Qoros made a successful Beijing International Motor Show debut with its second production model called the Qoros 3 Hatch, which drove off with a number of awards.
Well, we learned that Hamilton and Rosberg in their Mercedes are still streets ahead of the rest. From the start they pulled away at one second a lap and were never in danger of losing their positions at the head of the field. Hamilton is now top of the World Driver’s Championship and even though it is still early in the season you can expect to see him on top for the rest of the season as well. However, he has to start acting as the best driver and stop publicly complaining to his crew as to how quickly they serviced him, the strategy and anything else he might consider. Perhaps not enough sugar in his coffee?
The race itself was over 66 laps, of which 56 were a procession, despite graining tyres, ERS, KERS, DRS and any other acronym. And the flat drone of the exhaust sends everyone to sleep. Everyone, from Bernie downwards complains. Mercedes is to trial a ‘megaphone’ exhaust (shades of Manx Nortons) which at best will make the drone louder. Perhaps a DVD of last year’s screaming exhaust note and an amplifier played through a dummy exhaust will fix the problem! And that is about as clever as half the FIA fixes for anything!
Tyre life still dominates the racing with Pirelli saying that the fastest way to approach the race was with three stops, starting on the medium, changing to the medium on lap 20, medium again on lap 38, and hard on lap 54. A two-stop strategy could also be possible. In which case: start on the medium, change to medium on lap 22, then change to hard on lap 45. I’m sorry, I couldn’t care less which tyre is being used, I go to see drivers racing each other, not comparing their tyre strategies.
Daniel Ricciardo continues to impress as the ‘best of the rest’ and Vettel (formerly known as The Finger) is becoming increasingly desperate. Even with Red Bull’s spy Helmut Marko firmly on his side of the garage, nothing has been going right for the German. I will stop short of citing ‘karma’, but Mark Webber must be wetting himself with laughter right now. Having said all that, Vettel did drive well and deserved his fourth place, albeit half a minute behind his team mate Ricciardo.
A brilliant start by Bottas in the Williams saw him at the sharp end of the action and his fifth, two seconds behind Vettel, was well deserved.
Alonso was strangely subdued all weekend and spent most of the time trailing Raikkonen, who had managed to stay awake for most of the race until the drone got him. However, Alonso passed Raikkonen in the final stages of the race to the delight of the partisan crowd.
“Lotus” managed to get into the points, courtesy of Grosjean. And his team mate? Maldonado is still a clot and no end of stop-go penalties and nasty demerits on his license will make him less of a clot. His raw talent is demonstrated by crashes into the fences or clobbering other drivers. FIA style disciplining will not change the man. He should not be there. He should not have a “Super” license. It should be revoked. He is a liability.
Force India was there, but we never saw them, likewise McLaren, who were the first of the also-rans. Ron Dennis is not pleased. Expect changes there for 2015.
The next race is Monaco May 25.
In 2014, we are focusing even more strongly on innovative technologies and customer satisfaction.
Through innovation, we continue to develop our brands and drive progress forward in our industry. That is how we secure our own future in an ever changing environment. And that is how we create added value for our customers and shareholders.
Let me give you three examples:
1. The BMW i3: The demand for our innovative electric vehicle is high. In March alone, we sold 1,000 BMW i3 cars worldwide. American customers are particularly open to new types of drive-trains. We expect the majority of BMW i3 cars to be sold in the US. We especially focus on California as a relevant market for electric cars, as it is considered by experts to be a trendsetter for the whole USA. In Japan, the i3 has been available for customers since early April, and China is due to follow later in the year. At our site in Leipzig, production is being ramped up according to schedule - with 100 vehicles produced per day. More than 5,000 BMW i3 cars have been built so far in total. Many of these cars were delivered to our global markets as demonstration and exhibition vehicles. Now, more and more cars are being built to meet customer demand.
2. The BMW i8: As promised, we are going to launch the second member of the BMW i family in June. The BMW i8 is the world’s first plug-in hybrid sports car with the BMW i Life-Drive architecture. It is the first sports car with a three-cylinder drivetrain. And it is the first series car featuring the new laser light technology.
It is currently being tested by international media at our press event in Los Angeles. Carbon fiber is a material with a significant future in our industry, which we will also use in other series models.
3. The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer: This is the first BMW model with front-wheel drive, and is a trailblazer to acquire new customers to the BMW brand. It offers the best technological solution for this very practical and functional car. The Active Tourer will be available as of the fourth quarter.
Last week I asked which manufacturer built the “Rolls Royce of motorcycles” also built a superior car? It was George Brough of Brough Superior.
So to this week. Which auto founder gave automaking away to run supermarkets?
Foodland Supermarket held its annual International Food and Beverage party in the grounds of its car park - but no one was complaining! This event has been a feature of Foodland’s operation for the past few years, and is not only a thank you to the loyal customers, but is also an opportunity for them to sample different international foods, cheeses and wines.
According to official Thailand statistics, a total of 30,024 people throughout the country have contracted Type A H1N1 influenza virus this year and 50 of them have died, according to public health permanent secretary Dr. Narong Sahamethapat.
The newly formed Trade Barter eXchange (TBX) held a networking evening at Shenanigans Jomtien, with MD Steve Graham welcoming everyone and assisting in more than a few business deals during the event.