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Meet Damon Jones of Engineered By Damon in East Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Damon Jones.

Damon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from Birmingham University in England back in 2001 with a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) Hons Degree in Manufacturing Engineering. After I graduated, I set out to explore the automotive world gaining experience and building up knowledge of the industry I love.

Between 2001-2016, I worked for MG-Rover, Aston Martin and McLaren Automotive in England within their respective Manufacturing Operations Departments. I eventually resigned from my position as Manager of Operations Engineering at McLaren Automotive in July 2016 to take up my next challenge.

I moved to Los Angeles, California, in July 2016 to become Director of Operations for Singer Vehicle Design who rebuild and restore the Porsche 911. After initial success, I was promoted to Vice President of Operations in December 2017. With increased responsibility and success, I was made responsible for managing and supervising all of the work associated with the vehicle restoration from the arrival of the customer’s donor car to final shipment to its customer.

Fast forward to this year, I founded ‘Engineered by Damon’, an Engineering Consultancy & Design Atelier based in Los Angeles, California.

I was not sorry when I left my last job. I loved my job and got so much satisfaction from succeeding at work and helping develop the company I worked at. However, I always knew I had so much more to offer and people kept telling me I should put my ideas into a business and achieve my true potential. My aim was to create something unique from scratch the right way, utilizing my broad experience and learning, cherry-picking the good parts and avoiding using the bad. I now get to work with multiple companies rather than just working for one company. I learn more from a broader range of people and experiences and I get to help people and companies grow with my business. I get to further my own reputation in the industry and earn name recognition. I am now able to develop my personal brand and a lifestyle and tie it into my business.

Has it been a smooth road?
Joining a new company is a challenge in itself but include moving to the other side of the world on your own, having to find a new home, make new friends, learn your way around, build a brand new credit file from scratch, and direct a brand new team at work etc make it a much bigger challenge! But I like a challenge and don’t forget I did move to Los Angeles, California which I do not regret one tiny bit! LA is described as ‘the land of opportunity’, where one could achieve anything they put their mind to, no matter who they are – “the American dream”. I’d like to use this opportunity to thank everybody who has supported me in LA during my journey over the last three years. With special thanks to my fiancé (who I met in LA) and my great friends and industry contacts. I couldn’t have done it without you!

However, the real hard work has just begun. I never underestimated how difficult it was going to be to set up a new company in an already competitive industry where larger companies have much larger budgets and investment supporting their futures. That said the car industry is small and it’s been really great to see how much the small and medium-sized businesses are turning to each other for help. We ourselves are a multidisciplinary team, with a broad network and extensive experience and I was really proud of how successful our launch was, and blushed on many occasions upon receiving messages from some very successful supercar car companies and former colleagues in my industry requesting to use my company’s services.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Engineered By Damon – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I founded ‘Engineered by Damon’ with the vision to support, grow and develop companies utilizing our vast expertise and experience which we have accumulated over the last nineteen years working for some of the world’s leading automotive companies in the industry. We are now working with a range of companies from fresh new startups, to established companies by helping them to develop their strategies, supporting and ramping up production, helping to introduce class leading exciting quality products to the market place in a timely manner.

We have started to explore the field of high quality, bespoke limited run projects in collaboration with other companies in our industry as well as our own stand-alone ventures in the not too distant future.

Our work currently extends across a range of many market sectors – Supercar, Classic Car, Motorsport and Motorcycle, with plans to expand into new sectors in the future. As a progressive company, we are happy to consider working on any project even if it doesn’t sit within the remit of one of these sectors and would rise to the challenge. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have personally become an avid fan of the local mid-century modern architecture and do have aspirations of one-day designing and manufacturing some period correct furniture of my own….

Our wide range of services can be seen on our website: https://www.engineeredbydamon.com/#services

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Likes:
The Sun and local beaches!
Cultural diversity – LA is one big melting pot of citizens from different backgrounds. As a result, you get to meet many different people and cultures and taste different types of food from all around the world in one city.
Freedom – In LA, you can be you. You can wear what you want, and be whoever you want!
Opportunity – LA provides much opportunity to pursue almost any field and be very successful.
Mid Century Modern Architecture.
Great driving roads on my doorstep.
History everywhere you turn.

Dislikes:
Traffic!
Cost – LA is one of the most expensive places to live.
LA has the highest tax rate in the nation!
It upsets me to drive past so many homeless people every day on the streets of LA.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years? Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc?
As I am sure you have already noticed technology is significantly advancing for vehicles. In the next 5-10 years we are likely to see an increasing amount of electric vehicles on the road. The Hydrogen powered vehicle technology is also making giant strides forwards. There is also likely to be more autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing. New vehicles will be split between largely no frills, plug-in electric A-B cars and more customized and limited run vehicles for those of us who still want to drive!

There will be less buttons and knobs and I think you’ll talk to your car in the same way you talk to Alexa today!

In the US alone, a total 157,181 plug-in cars were sold nationwide in 2016, sales rose to 199,818 in 2017, and achieved a record sales volume of 361,307 units in 2018. In 2019, we expect more than 500,000 to be added with ease. The plug-in segment had a market share of 1.13% in 2017, up from 0.90% in 2016, and rose to 2.1% in 2018. Sales in 2018 were led by the Tesla Model 3 with an estimated 139,782 units delivered, the first time a plug-in car sold more than 100 thousand units in a single year! (Inside EVs, Mark Twain 2019)

As battery range continues to develop and improve I expect this number to grow year on year. Mercedes has already announced that at least 25% of all the cars it sells in 2025 will be either pure electric or plug-in hybrids!

Fast forwarding to 2030 I think the car industry workforce will look very different. Due to the increased number of these type of new vehicles being assembled we will become way more automated. As a result of this the size of the workforce on assembly lines and in body and paint shops will be reduced significantly and we will need very different skills to the ones we need today. Data management engineers, Software engineers and maintenance service providers will be required to manage this increased amount of automation and to meet volume demand.

I am a big supporter of the EV revolution. A BMW i3 Rex was actually the first car I bought when I arrived in LA. But people like me will always want to drive and I don’t mean just drive to Trader Joes or A to B, but I mean drive, drive! Every day it feels like renderings of another new, high-end resto mod vehicle from our past are released. When you consider the news that the sale of diesel and gas vehicles will be outlawed in the UK in 2040 and Paris will ban all non electric cars from 2030 I think this is why more companies are and will start capitalizing on the new ruling and invest in the past more and more. As a company many of our own projects and collaborations with all companies will focus on this type of vehicle but not lose sight of the direction the industry and marketplace is moving to. We are holding on to the past for as long as we can without losing the present.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mo Satar, Rob Fenn

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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