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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 November 2014
SATURDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2014 3 AUSTRALIA Hatzimihail invests $35 million into Aussie supercar Manufacturing receives major boost with multimillion dollar investment JOHN PYRROS Tycoon Alex Hatzimihail has given Australia's automotive industry a much needed boost with an investment that ensures cars will continue to be built on Australian shores beyond 2017. With announcements over the past 18 months that locally built Ford, Holden and Toyota vehicles will cease production by 2017, the venture into JOSS supercar has kept the local flame burning, with its sole model, the JP1, due for release that same year. Founded by Melburnian Matthew Thomas, JOSS was bound for overseas investment before 39-year-old Hatzimihail made it one of his many multi-million dollar assets, he told Neos Kosmos. "Matthew raised a million bucks to make his first race car and then he tried to raise another half a million dollars, but he didn't succeed and in the past four years I wanted to open my own automobile company. One of my investigators called me a few months ago and said 'Alex, there's a company in Melbourne called JOSS supercar'. So I contacted Matthew immediately and he said he had an overseas buyer for $35 million. Walk in, walk out." But Hatzimihail pledged the $35 million and took a 60 per cent stake in the company, leaving 40 per cent to Thomas along with the design responsibilities. "We can't let the last automobile manufacturer in Australia leave. And over a week I convinced him, I'm a person who makes offers people can't refuse." The supercar will be designed in Melbourne, manufactured in Brisbane, with its interior design and seating produced in Hatzimihail's native Alice Springs. With his eyes on the international market, he says his JOSS supercar JP1 car will "do zero to 100 in 2.6 seconds", be built completely from carbon fibre, weighing 950 kilograms, and powered by a V8 twin-turbo 5.5 litre engine purchased "from one of the biggest automobile companies in Germany", to be disclosed next month. Despite the rising cost of manufacturing which has led most Australian and international companies away from local production lines, he says this type of investment pays for itself. "Manufacturing is very expensive if it was just a normal vehicle, but because it is a luxury vehicle and because most of our clientele comes from overseas, when it comes to luxury vehicles it doesn't matter what the labour cost is because we're only building 30 to 50 vehicles a year." His company, the Hatzimi- hail Group, has stakes in a number of technological portfolios, including EFL Tech, American based Oryon Technologies, as well as companies in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. His parents herald from Kos and he says he is actively training his three children George (8), Eva (5), and Sophia (3) to follow in the family entrepreneurial tradition. A huge loss for an even bigger gain Jordan Tirekidis has made headlines across the country as Australia’s biggest loser, breaking the national record A weight loss success story, Mr Tirekidis lost a whopping 203 kilos without the use of surgery, dropping from 310 kilos to 107 kilos in two and a half years. After seeking medical advice, the 47-year-old realised he needed to take drastic steps to control the severity of his obesity before his body weight resulted in death. "That much stress and weight is unbelievable," Mr Tirekidis told A Current Affair. "I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I knew I had to do something to reclaim my life." To comprehend the severi- ty of Mr Tirekidis' obesity, in order to find out his starting weight a conventional scale was inadequate being made to use a commercial scale at a local tip used for the weighing of trucks. Due to his excessive weight, he had also broken chairs and beds, in addition to removing the front seat of his car for the simple act of driving. To assist in the extreme dietary and lifestyle changes necessary to lose the weight, Mr Tirekidis sought the help of motivational speaker and hypnotherapy guru Mark Stevens. Deciding to make the move and the convenience of fast food. It's not surprising that after having undergone such a remarkable transformation, extending beyond the physical, that Mr Tirekidis looks back on old photos as though it were a “bad memory”. "I feel like a different person," Mr Tirekidis told A Current Affair. The amazing physical transformation of Jordan Tirkeridis. PHOTO: A CURRENT AFFAIR to the south coast of New South Wales, he lived at Mr Stevens’ Little Forest health retreat where he underwent hypnosis and worked on strengthening his mind through meditation, referring to the mind as the biggest 'weapon' in losing the weight. Additional lifestyle chang- es included learning to cook, growing his own vegetables and the employment of two personal trainers to help him introduce an exercise regime into his life. A Current Affair reported that Mr Tirekidis had put the weight gain down to the stresses of taking over and running the family business, "It was like standing at the bottom of Mount Everest and climbing up in thongs. I did it the hard way. Now I'm at the top, the view's good." Going from wearing a 9XL to XL, Mr Tirekidis has had to undergo several hours of surgery to assist in the removal of excess skin due to the extreme weight loss. But he will not be stopping there. In the journey of transforming his body, Mr Tirekidis' next goal is to put on 20 kilos of muscle. Entrepreneur Alex Hatzimihail Modern Greek VCE enrolments low According to the VCAA, Modern Greek studies are not high on the agenda for VCE students, with only 277 students enrolled this year. However, despite the low numbers, it is a slight increase from 2013's recorded enrolments of 274 students. The most popular languages in 2014 among VCE students were French at 1,869 enrolments, Chinese as a first language with 1,634 and Japanese as a second language with 1,014. With Asian languages high on the government's agenda and foreign minister Julie Bishop promoting the New Colombo Plan, an initiative granting Australian students the opportunity to study at Asian Universities, it's not surprising to see two Asian languages in the top three.
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