A Caterham spokesperson once asked if I had an agenda, referring to my reporting of matters concerning the marque. I told him I did.
When people’s livelihoods are at stake, I think it’s right to ask difficult questions, and likewise provide truthful answers. I suspect this is where Caterham’s current management and I disagree.
Yesterday, we understand further redundancies were made within Caterham Group (at Caterham Technology and Innovation), while there are threats of this now spreading to Caterham Cars in Dartford.
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To be absolutely clear, this is not as a consequence of Caterham’s disastrous failure in Formula One (where the entire team faces a bleak and uncertain future). Neither is it due to any particular adverse event impacting on the day-to-day business of building and selling sports cars. As far as I can see, the order book is healthy and the Seven still stands proud as a testament to simple yet great British engineering.
So my guess is that Caterham’s chairman Tony Fernandes has finally realised that the Caterham brand (that he so heavily relied on to access industry partnerships) is now so badly damaged that he has little option other than to ‘abandon ship’ before his failures impacts on his core businesses, Air Asia and Tune Group.
Hurried glances across dusty ledgers will tell him what ‘housekeeping’ needs to be performed, and in Caterham’s case, this will most likely result in many of those who were led to believe in ‘the dream’ waking to find that the life rafts have already sailed, and that just like J Bruce Ismay before him, Fernandes is now heading swiftly eastwards, back to dry land.