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Old 06-08-2007
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Exclamation Entrevista a Gil Losi jr !

Aqui esta la entrevista a Gil Losi jr donde el explica lo que le paso con horizon, que si ya no lo estaban dejando trabajar y tomar desiciones con la compaŮia como el quisiera y productos que el no quieria con el nombre de team losi :



Xtreme RC Cars magazine have a nice interview of Gil Losi Jr. speaking about his move from Team Losi to Kyosho America.

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Derek Buono: Weíre going to cut to the chase and get right into the questions that everybody is asking. What? How? Why?
Gil Losi Jr.: Horizon is a very well run company and I donít want to slam them for doing anything thatís ďbad business,Ē but in a way, it was too much business for me and not enough passion. I had to answer to a corporate world where so many of the functions were starting to be done from ChampaignóHorizonís main officeóand not California, and I really had no voice to participate. Decisions were being made that really affected my reputation and my passion for the industry. Iím not going to say that they were the wrong decisions, but they were decisions I really didnít agree with. Then when my Dad retired, they brought in new management, and since then, they are on their second set of new management. Every transition took another bite out of what we were and the things we did well. The focus of Horizon has dramatically moved away from what I was passionate about. Not in a bad way, but it was harder for me. It was hard because of the affect it had on my perception of the industry and the people that were at Losi forever. I was actually fighting depression for about a year and half over it, and it was kind of miserable. Iíd look around and think that what they were doing wasnít stupid, so why was I miserable?

Derek: Do you think it was a cultural difference?
Gil Jr.: Yeah, I think it was a cultural difference, and I thank them. I learned a lot from working with them. They are very good business people, and they make decisions for sound reasons. Itís not like they are going to go out and kill Team Losi. I was having a hard time. It was the first time I wasnít enjoying this hobby. For me, as a person, I decided it was time to go out and find my passion again. I wasnít actively looking, I was at a race discussing it with Joel Johnson one day and he was saying how theyíd like to create a design group in the US for Kyosho, and they were actively discussing it. At the time, they werenít ready to do anything. So I left by saying that if things continued the way they were, and I couldnít come to grips with Horizon, I was interested. And thatís how it started. I went through a couple more projects at Horizon and the way things went, I felt that the security of working at Horizon wasnít worth it to me, so I decided to take a chance and go out and work with a group that was passionate about racing and racing products. If I could get back into a group like Joel and Steve in the US, along with the team in Japanóthe really passionate racing peopleóit would become more of a home to me than what Losi had become.

Derek: How important do you think racing is in driving the RC market? It seems that the big names in the industry that have a large racing background, like Team Losi, seem to have switched focus away from racing a bit.
Gil Jr.: Everything goes through cycles, and racing went through such a wonderful period in the 90s that you have a lot of good racers, lots of people who are capable of doing product development, capable of winning with products that are copies of good racing products. Currently, we have a type of inequity in RC product manufacturing. Right now you have Chinese companiesófirst it was Taiwaneseóthat can basically just go out and copy a product and build it for so substantially cheaper than what a Japanese or American company can do. They have so much profi t built in that they can just walk in and pay drivers a lot of money. And with the cost of drivers, when youíre manufacturing in a Tier 1 country like Japan, Europe, and the US, itís very difficult to match the money a Chinese company pays. They arenít developing the products, and their cost to manufacture them could be half or a quarter of what it is for us. It has made it difficult for the high-end companies that traditionally compete to make enough money to support the racers and the races. Thatís what youíre seeing right now. How do you compete with people when you put a lot of money into development and you canít protect it and make money off it?

Derek: How long before we start seeing some ďLosiĒ influence on Kyosho products?
Gil Jr.: I hope you see the influence very quickly, as far as the support. We have a great young team with a lot of talent. They just need some help in creating the right team environment and the right testing programs to work the existing products. The current line, for the most part, is very good. Itís just that bringing them to the US and adapting them to the US styles of racing hasnít been done correctly yet.

Derek: What is the first project you want to start working on?
Gil Jr.: Getting to know the team. Helping Ryan Lutz with leadership skills and testing. Iíve worked with Ryan and Cody King the past few weeks, running 1/8-scale and learning the product line. They have always been up to speed, but weíre getting them more involved in planning main event strategies, setups that give them an advantageÖ that sort of stuff.



Derek: Are we going to see features that many of us consider ďLosiĒ on Kyosho products, or are you going to have to try harder to set your new projects apart?
Gil Jr.: Iím not going to reinvent myself. My core beliefs will be in anything I work on. Part of my core beliefs is looking to explore design flaws in current products. Get out and work with them, fi nd the weak points and improve on them. Sometimes that means wholesale changes and other times itís small detail changes. Thatís something that we have to look at product by product. For example, is it a category we can reinvent, like some people think of me, or can we take something thatís current and make it better.

Derek: Is it strange for you not to see your name on projects or boxes, stranger to see product with your name that youíre not involved with, or that the only Losi family member still working at Horizon is your mom, Janet?
Gil Jr.: Well, sheíll be gone from Losi by the time people read this, so the Losi family will be completely gone. Itís very difficult for me to be away from Team Losi because thatís my family. Thatís been really hard. There was one point where I could barely pick myself up off the floor because I was so freaked out by everything, but at the same time I wasnít going forward anymore in my own development and I had to do something for me. I like to think of Team Losi now as a division of Horizon, and itís not the Team Losi I knew. I can live with seeing my name on the product, but itís hard to go to the track and not work with Adam Drake or Todd Hodge.

Derek: Is that what youíre going to miss the mostÖ the relationships?
Gil Jr.: Definitely. I was involved with hiring, teaching, and training most of the people, there, and they are all great people. The fi rst engineer we ever hiredóClarence Smith is still there. Heís really one of the most important teachers I left behind, along with Brandon and everybody else. Thatís really the hardest part.

Derek: What are you most excited about Kyosho?
Gil Jr.: The opportunity. Itís a great company with a lot of history, a lot of passion. Yet at the same time, the US division is small, has a ton of growth potential, and doesnít have so many layers of management that you canít have a voice and work with them. Itís being a part of the entire direction of Kyosho America. Itís much easier to develop products for a company when youíre talking with the marketing department. Youíre talking with the management. You know fundamentally the target impact you want for the product. Itís not just one product standing alone; you know how that product is going to affect the entire company. It brings a lot more passion to the product for me.

Derek: What is your take on the state of the industry? Youíre a racing man, and one who has tried very hard to stay true to that. Is it hard to have that mentality in todayís RC market, and what are your thoughts on all the racing companies right now?
Gil Jr.: I donít want to speak for the other companies so Iíll speak for myself. Itís the hobby Iím passionate about. I love to see people out building, racing, fl ying. When you see people out buying products, using them and putting them in their closets, to me thatís still a toy. When you see people out there using them, modifying them, tweaking them, building and learning, they are learning more than just driving, theyíre learning disciplines and mechanics. There are so many lessons to be learned. And thatís what Iím more passionate about than racing. The racing is a fun, cool place to go measure what youíve learned. You get the competitive side, and thatís fun and exciting. But to go home at night, learn about it and figure stuff out Ö I want to see kids still get that.

Derek: What is your take on all the pro kits coming preassembled? It seems like thereís a movement in that direction, which you are a part of.
Gil Jr.: I donít know, yet. You do what you have to do. People definitely have less time than they did 10 years ago, and itís harder to make ends meet. People want instant gratification. Me, personally, I want to build them and would never want to buy something prebuilt. I still enjoy sitting down and building competitorsí products and seeing what they have done and looking for new ideas. Itís a lot of fun for me. I still respect the fact that some people just want to go to the track and enjoy the driving part. I hope that the driving part leads them to the building part that I think is such a joy.

All text and pictures by Derek Buono from Xtreme RC Mag.
Source: Xtreme RC
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Old 06-08-2007
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losi

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Old 06-09-2007
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Great things are in the kitchen at Kyosho.Good move for Him.I wish him good luck.Im remenber Gil when he was young with his dad.Sorry to hear that Team Losi is loosing their passion.Passion is everything in this hobbie.
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