Has Mike Gascoyne taken his leave of Caterham?

Mike-Gascoyne-Caterham

If we’d asked twelve months ago who you knew of at Caterham, most people would probably have answered Ansar Ali, Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoyne.

Ansar was the CEO, who brokered the deal for Caterham to be acquired by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes.   Fernandes, the owner of QPR Football team, founder of low-cost Malaysian airline AirAsia and Team Principal of Caterham F1.   While Gascoyne is the man who built Team Lotus from scratch in 2010 (now Caterham F1), went on to become Group CTO of Caterham Group and then CEO of Caterham Technology and Caterham Composites.

Caterham Cars CEO, Ansar Ali, stepped down in June 2012 due to personal differences with Fernandes, while Gascoyne’s presence diminishes further it seems with every month.

Gascoyne’s name is no longer listed on any of Caterham’s web sites, while yesterday he announced the launch of his new website for MGI – an engineering consultancy (Mike Gascoyne International) that was incorporated in 2001, but whom he will now be writing a regular blog for.

His partner, Silvia Schaumloeffel – who set up the Marketing and Communications team for Caterham F1, becoming the team’s Head of Marketing and Communications – has now joined MGI full time.

The questions raised by these changes tee-up nicely for our next ‘Great and The British’ feature, where we have so far looked at Radical, Lotus and Ginetta.

And while many Caterham enthusiasts relished the notion of a Gascoyne-developed road car, this now seems unlikely, especially since Gascoyne begins a solo trans-Atlantic sailing crossing, from Europe to the West Indies in November 2012.

Fans of Caterham have already raised their concerns over where the company is going, and who’s steering the ship (excuse the pun) – where do Renault fit in these plans? (with the Alpine A110-50 concept) And will Caterham develop as a premium brand or turn to compete in the mass-market against Proton?

We’ll report back once we’ve gathered some answers, but we’re encouraged by Fernandes recent tweet “Watch what Caterham is doing soon. Could have been and should have been Lotus. What a waste.”

Let’s hope so.

  • John Harvey

    It is not just “Fans of Caterham” who ” have already raised their concerns over where the company is going”.
    It has seriously upset residents in the toiwn of that name where it has operated ever since the brand was created.
    Earlier this year, a representative of the firm announced that it would have to leave if planning permission for redevelopment of its local premises were granted. The community rallied to its support including attending the planning committee meeting en masse. But when we got there we found that no-one from Caterham Cars had bothered to turn up.
    No explanation (or thanks to local supporters) has ever been forthcoming and the suspicion exists that the company was just trying to create an image of having been pushed out rather than leaving voluntarily for its own reasons.