2015 started in the same busy way that 2014 ended for the team here at Gordon Murray Design. The company continues to expand in order to prepare us for all of the iStream® projects that we have undertaken and we approach our 8th Anniversary with a team headcount of 100 employees - our recruitment drive is still at the throttle!
2014 saw the final sign-off of all the elements of our iStream® manufacturing process, including prove out of the financial and investment benefits and the full industrialisation of the manufacturing system.
For me personally, the most exciting part of the prove out is the size of the leap forward with iStream®, relative to stamped steel or aluminium construction. When I first thought about using structural composites in high volume automotive manufacturing some 16 years ago, I would have been satisfied to think that we would achieve a significant step forward in light-weighting technology, but the results achieved by the team last year have been way beyond all my expectations. Not only has iStream® proved to be the only light-weighting automotive technology which is available at a lower cost, relative to all other technologies, but it has also proved to be a game changer in the areas of vehicle safety, durability and corrosion resistance, setting new standards in the automotive industry.
Our mission now is to deliver these benefits to the end user as soon as possible. This year we hope to have customer announcements regarding at least two iStream® vehicles with a view to setting production target dates.
Shell, one of our technical partners, have recently announced ‘Project M’ which is an exciting programme that has been designed to see just how far we can go with internal combustion vehicle total efficiency. The project re-forms the highly successful partnership of Shell, Gordon Murray Design and Osamu Goto (Geo Technologies) and we are taking a look into every aspect of vehicle efficiency with a highly detailed co-engineering programme. The vehicle build is due to commence very soon and Shell are planning a launch in the not too distant future.
Another exciting development is the recent TVR press release.We see this as a great partnership between 3 exciting British brands and also an opportunity for us to demonstrate that our iStream® manufacturing system, although designed for high volume, is capable of down scaling to the volume levels required for hand crafted sports cars.
It continues to be a pleasure for me to work with the great management team and our highly skilled workforce here at Gordon Murray Design and 2015 will be the year that all of the teams hard work comes to fruition.