Caterham Group has today officially been confirmed as the parent company name for the range of automotive, motor racing, technology and innovation companies that sit within a single group business under the stewardship of Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat.
Caterham Group Chairman Tony Fernandes gives his overview of the organisational structure in an exclusive first look at how the future Caterham Group strategy is being activated: “We have been talking for some time now about our plans for Caterham in all its guises, from the road car company to Formula 1 and GP2, and in the technology, design and innovation fields. Now, with the announcement we made last week about the rebranding in Formula One to Caterham F1 Team for 2012 and beyond, we are in a position to give a much more in-depth explanation of how the Caterham Group is taking shape.
“Under Riad’s guidance, there are currently four main areas of the business, and we will be adding more in the future. I will go into more detail about each arm of the Group, but in simple terms we have Caterham Cars, Caterham F1 Team and other motor racing investments including our GP2 team Caterham Racing, Caterham Technology and Innovation (CTI) and Caterham Composites. The range of businesses interests we have gives us a very strong foothold in a number of growth sectors, staffed with teams of people with a strong mix of experience, youth, creativity and passion. In short, we have all the right ingredients in place to do some incredibly exciting things in markets that are ripe for innovation and new ideas.
“I will start with Caterham Cars, under which all our road car interests sit with Ansar Ali as CEO. This has been such a busy year that it feels like we made the announcement we had purchased the car company a long time ago, but in fact it was only a few months back, and since then the team in Dartford and in Surrey have been very hard at work maintaining the growth of the existing line-up and working on an ambitious new product range that will see the first car launched in 2014. Alongside that they have also been focusing on establishing new markets for Caterham Cars, and the recent announcement about Caterham Cars India is the first fruit of that project. They are now looking at similar ventures in the Middle-East and across Asia and the level of interest they are generating bodes extremely well for that area of our business.
“Caterham F1 Team is the new and permanent incarnation of our Formula One investment. On and off track we continue to invest in people, infrastructure and technology and 2012 is a critical year in our development. Underneath the F1 team sits Caterham Racing, the new name for our GP2 team, and then we have our driver development programme that encompasses various motor racing formulae from karting, GP3, World Series by Renault and right up to F1 – a staircase of talent that gives opportunities for drivers, engineers, mechanics and all the associated skill-sets across the motorsport industry the chance to learn, develop and reach the top. This is also complimented by the various Caterham Cars racing series, currently with approximately 700 cars competing in series around the world and now given a new impetus by the direct links to the F1 team and all our associated motor racing interests.
“Then we have CTI – Caterham Technology and Innovation. We launched CTI in September and they are working closely with Caterham Cars on the development of a completely new line of accessible and affordable sportscars inspired by the lightweight, minimalist philosophy of the Seven, as well as drawing on the advanced technologies and materials from the Group’s Formula One and Caterham Racing GP2 motorsport operations. In addition to the next generation of Caterham Cars, CTI will undertake advanced projects for external companies operating within the automotive and aerospace sectors, including a current project looking at a radical new in-flight entertainment system.”
“Completing the Group is the newly formed business Caterham Composites. Mike Gascoyne will combine his role as CTO of Caterham F1 Team with that of CEO of Caterham Composites and will head up a company specialising in the composites industry. They are already working on projects across the aerospace, nautical, motorsport and roadcar industries and will work closely with all our associated companies to provide their market-leading experience in the composites field to complete the Group’s interests.
“With those four arms in place, and more to be announced in due course, we have a dynamic group of businesses already working together that gives a clear vision of what our long-term strategy is in their respective fields, and as one entity under Caterham Group. The group will be based across a number of centres of excellence – Caterham Cars, Caterham F1 Team and our motorsport interests will be based in one location that we are close to announcing, and our technology and composites interests will be based in Norfolk. With those plans now complete we have the foundations in place for long-term growth and success, and now we are in complete control of our own destiny. We have a very exciting future ahead of us and are all looking forward to seeing the rewards of our hard work pay off for many years to come.”