demand for us to come up with a flexible package of support, providing specific expertise when it is required within that period." With an experienced team of 15 full- time employees, made up of designers, Alias modellers and CGI visualisers, Drive is in a strong position to provide this flexible package. Where quality, experience, and value are of utmost importance, Drive is able to support its clients throughout the design process, completing projects in its own studio or supporting their in- house teams. It is not only the manufacturers that have had to adapt to the changing industry, but the consultancies too. As Longmore is constantly reviewing the business plan, and monitoring where Drive should be in the future, " It's important not to let the current market conditions sidetrack the vision you have for taking your business forward," he advises. " But you have to continually adapt to provide value for your clients in these challenging times. For Longmore, Drive's key asset is its staff and he feels that part of his role as MD is to ensure that they have a good working environment, are equipped with the right tools, and personally are able to excel at what they do. He believes in training staff to provide the best possible services to clients, and now is no exception. For example, all the designers go on to take a middle management course. The course not only develops them as better designers and modellers,
but also improves their business understanding, client communication and management of client accounts. " There are usually various grants available for staff training, making it an obvious and valuable investment for Drive," says Longmore. Much of the work that Drive does remains hidden behind closed doors, as client confidentiality reduces exposure for Drive's contribution but with the increase of smaller niche vehicle manufacturers, especially electric and hybrid models, it is timely that a project Drive can talk about is the Lightning GT electric vehicle. Being a small company, Lightning has limited resources, which required Drive to manage the design development stages and use its experience to help steer Lightning through the process. Working from Drive's studio, the first four- week deadline was to develop Lightning designer Dan Durrant's initial sketches into an Alias model suitable for CNC milling a 40% scale model. Following a review of the model, Drive then started refining the surfaces, and producing a digital model that incorporated more of the engineering conditions, addressing manufacturing requirements at the same time. From scale model to data release took just two months, the quick time relying heavily on the experience of the Drive team. The short timescale was achieved by missing out the step of developing a full- size clay model. This measure demonstrated everyone's confidence that what they saw on screen was what they would be produced in reality. The interior was signed off in a similar way, but with no physical model before the interior was seen for the first time in the show car. Drive delivered a full service - packaging and production feasibility, form resolution and marketing visuals for web and print " Drive is able to support its clients by completing projects in its own studio, or by supporting in- house teams"