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Troubling comments by Ansar Ali on Pistonheads

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  • Troubling comments by Ansar Ali on Pistonheads

    In a recent interview on the Pistonheads page, Ansar Ali says, among other things:
    "The Seven as it stands will eventually be outlawed as a road car. Britain is now the only country that allows the self-build of the Seven for road registration. But we'll continue to evolve the car until the legislators stop us doing it."
    I find this troubling because I believe the only reason Sevens are allowed into the U.S. at all is because they are available as a self-build, but the comments above indicate that the powers that be at Caterham don't seem to realize it. The availability of the self-build option is also the only reason a Seven qualifies for SPCNS registration ("SB100") in California. I think Ansar Ali needs to find a new source for information on U.S.A. import practices as they relate to Sevens. I e-mailed him and suggested SEMA.
    | | Sean

  • #2
    In a thread on Blatchat a few days ago pertaining to the the Team Lotus acquisition of Caterham, a California Lotus 7 Club member (BBL) corrected Ansar on this point. Ansars's response to him was on the order of "no self builds in the USA that I'm aware of, and if there are, I don't want to know about it". I too am surprised by this disconnect between CC and CUSA, as Ansar seemed to imply a liability-type concern.
    Brad
    2013 Boss 302 Mustang
    2005 SV Roadsport (gone but not forgotten)

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    • #3
      You started too late:

      "Ali realises that everyone's first fear about the new ownership of Caterham will be what happens with the Seven. But while he starts with a word of warning, he's otherwise very positive and reassuring about Caterham's core offering."

      And stopped too soon...

      "But we'll continue to evolve the car until the legislators stop us doing it."

      Further:

      "Being a motorsport devotee, Ali is excited by the notion of the Team Lotus connection allowing Caterham to expand its racing activities into new markets, especially in Southeast Asia. The ultimate purpose of this, of course, is to sell more cars..."

      In other words, turn away from a closed door towards an open one.

      Lastly:

      "The SP/300.R was born out of requests from some customers to move on from the Seven.

      "I'm very excited about this car because it proves that customers are prepared to accept a sibling for the Seven. There's been a lot of interest in the car from the States, and early development figures coming off it are surprising even Lola (the race outfit helping to engineer the SP/300.R)."

      Cool :D
      Chris
      ------------
      A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

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      • #4
        Chris - My concern is that Caterham clearly do not know what is required to get a Seven into the U.S. Should Caterham decide to eliminate the self-build option, no more Sevens coming here (unless 25+ years old, etc.).
        | | Sean

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        • #5
          Well, maybe he doesn't. But, as evidenced by his stating (r.e. the new Lola/Caterham)

          "There's been a lot of interest in the car from the States."

          I think they're looking at markets that the company's products (and capabilities) will fit into, for them and for the markets.

          Some time ago we had the saga of Will vs. Caterham USA. Back then an end run was happening more or less, mostly because CC wanted to sell the cars and Will was buying, by the container full, whether Colorado participated or not.

          Having seen that my guess is that CC likely remains little different today, in as much as if someone brings them a deal they'll likely take it, if there's profit in it. Will did that, under the old regimen at CC, and it worked for a time, til he (Will) blew up. For the record Will should very rightly be credited w/ seeing that the Duratec was the way forward *early* when CC USA had a more, um, shall we say vested interest in a model that was more fully sorted. And he made it happen for some of us. Eventually. :-O

          So it's not impossible that something like that could happen again. My thread search skills, or rather desire, is liquidly diminished this evening (I'm celebrating the sudden and spectacularly satisfying demise of the BIGGEST ASSHOLE EVER! YAY!!! :D) so maybe Magnus will chime in here on how he had figured a way to bring Caterhams here fully built and legalized, unfortunately without effect at the time he did his research.

          I've long held my own opinion on CC USA, in terms of their capacity at developing a market. And I don't mean that disrespectfully. I think it's a matter of resources really, or lack thereof, and nothing more. And perhaps also Murican taste, a thing that has always left me scratching my head in wonder.

          I've been impressed watching this AA guy run CC. I think there's some pretty smart people guiding it along w/ him. I reckon they'll be alright for a while yet.

          Under any circumstances I'm not too bothered. I figure it'll be alright. Has been for over 50 years, and under much more dire circumstances too.

          Now if I could just get my shit together and get that engine in....

          Cheers!
          Chris
          ------------
          A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

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