The British Motor Museum at Gaydon was once again the venue for the FELLOWSHIP’s Annual Midlands Lunch.
Chairman Brian Childs extended a warm welcome to Fellows and their guests. In particular, he thanked the event organiser Julie Jennings for her hard work in ensuring that the event was such a great event with so many Fellows and their guests attending.
Brian Childs also extended a warm welcome to the ladies present as well as the retired Jaguar employees and Austin Ex-Apprentices who were present in considerable numbers.
After lunch Brian introduced our guest speaker, Bob Dover who is a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, and a former Vice-President of the Ford Motor Company. Prior to this he held the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Aston Martin.
Bob opened by saying how pleased he was to be returning to Gaydon after his time spent bringing the Jaguar & Land Rover brands together. He also spoke about his involvement with the renaissance of Aston Martin and went on to talk about his current role as Chairman of the Advanced Propulsion Centre.
He then spent time sharing his thoughts in today’s industry challenges.
Electrification he explained only covered 1% of the market despite all the media hype. He talked about the practicality of recharging electric vehicles with 43% of European households having no off-street parking. In his view, they are currently suitable for a short commute but not for longer distances.
Diesel Powered Cars. Euro6 emissions are 90% better than euro 2 / 3 emissions and particulates are resolved with DPF’s. He emphasied that we need diesel for long-haul freight, not steam or hydrogen power, and to meet our CO2 reductions
Autonomous Cars, and trucks are making rapid progress with the new Audi A8 the first to reach level 3 automation. However, he pointed out that they are only being designed for a rules based driving environment, not the developing world!
Connected Cars, for example those that find a parking space, avoid traffic etc. are starting to become available now in controlled environments, probably starting with robot taxis
Bob concluded his speech by touching on the work of the Advanced Propulsion Centre. He explained that they have a mission to invest one billion pounds into innovative power train projects which create or maintain UK jobs, reduce CO2 emissions and anchor manufacturing here in the UK for the next generation of vehicles.
Past President Tony Ball then responded to toast to the Fellowship that Bob Dover had proposed in his own inimitable way and thanked him for such an interesting and informative speech.
Finally, an action-packed game of Heads & Tails raised £1,295 for the Fellowship’s charity fund.