I recently had the opportunity to interview Sergey Petrov, Deputy of the State Duma, and member of the “Spravedlivaya Rossiya” (A Just Russia) political party, member of the Russian Budget and Taxes State Duma Committee and the founder of the ROLF Group, the first diversified automotive business in Russia.Sergey Petrov is an exception to the rule: a Russian billionaire who built his business from nothing as opposed to benefiting from the privatisations in the early 1990’s. An independent straight talker, with a remarkable personal history; he reflects the changes and turbulent times of post and pre Soviet – Russia.He is a pragmatic and passionate about his country and a vociferous critic of the status quo in Russian politics; and of Russia’s leaders.Graduating from school in 1971 he entered the Higher Military Aviation School in Orenburg, southern Russia. In 1975 he was commissioned and qualified as a pilot in the elite Soviet Strategic Air Force. Flying Tupolev Tu-16 BADGER aircraft, a twin- engine, strategic nuclear bomber, he often challenged NATO skies.”I remember these days, flying the big planes and making the (NATO) fighters accompany us” recalled Sergey.Retraining on fighter aircraft he became an Instructor, won the Soviet TOP GUN at Fighter School, Orenburg and looked set for a meteoric military career as he made Major at 26, a decade earlier than most of his peers. And, like a meteor, his career in the military crashed.He recalled “It was in 1982 when I finished my military career as I fought against the KGB and the Communist Party.”Whilst it became possible to challenge authority in the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s the earlier era of Brezhnev and Andropov (1964 to 1985) were a different case entirely. Soviet justice was swift and severe. Andropov, the former KGB leader who led the Soviet Union between 1982 and 1985, was a hard liner whom played a key role in crushing the Hungarian Revolution in 1956; the ring leaders were arrested and executed.In 1982, if you were not part of the ‘system’, it was an intimidating environment.”The KGB had been watching us and decided to bring us into custody. Not only me, but 12 colleagues as well, living in different cities as we had now scattered across the Soviet Union”.Sergey Petrov had started his protest against the ruling Communist Party at the age of 21 and had tried to influence his colleagues and students highlighting the injustice of the system.”I had many targets and goals. I had to teach the students to fly the aircraft, to hit the targets and to indoctrinate them with Soviet propaganda. No one asked me to fight against the Soviet system. It was not in my job description. It was why they decided to kick me out.”By 1982 his war of ‘propaganda’ had been noticed and he was dismissed from the Soviet Army and expelled from The Communist Party of the Soviet Union for anti-Soviet propaganda and participation in secret democratic organizations.Unable to find work in Orenburg, Petrov along with his wife and baby, made their way to Moscow. Petrov’s anti- Soviet activities precluded him from working for any elite organisations like the military, security or diplomatic corps.Between 1982 and 1989 he worked for the Mosinzhstroy, the Moscow construction company and studied at the Soviet Trade Institute. He graduated in 1987.”When the market economy became a reality I decided to stop working for nothing and to open my own company. But first, as I had nothing I decided to acquire experience. I got a job in a joint venture with Rosek for a small period of time, maybe a year and a half and gained experience”.In 1991, as the Soviet Union fell apart, Petrov joined thousands of Russians at the barricades around Bely Dom, the Russian White House, resisting the attempted coup d’état by Soviet hardliners loyal to the crumbling regime.”On the day of the Coup I spent the night in the crowd outside the White House. It was my dream. I was dedicated to the democratic process, democratic rules and future”.The coup attempt failed and led to the annulment of the 1922 union treaty that established the Soviet Union, led to the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the beginning of radical Russian economic reforms. The new reality for its citizens was a fight for survival in the new Russia.”We were in an awful environment in the 1990’s but we had hope. Every year it was getting better and better.”Sergey Petrov’s first foray into his own business was with a car rental business.”I decided to set up my own company “Rolf”. The Company was registered on the 5th August 1991 but we had already been working in that year. A successful business, especially if you consider the unfriendly environment we had in Russia. In the beginning we worked for foreign companies. When we expanded into the home market, we immediately lost a lot of cars. People rented the cars and went to Kavkaz (to export them).”He laughed as he recalled the situation.”No one could find the cars. The people renting them had a good business!”The business, sold off by MBO, still flourishes today.Sergey moved into the automotive retail sector.”Mitsubishi created a tender for its first car dealership in Russia. We participated and we won. We started the business and we were very successful. We had a very ‘soft’ approach with Mitsubishi, asking them to teach us. We were not arrogant, unlike the other participants in the tender process, who tried to teach the Japanese how to sell cars.I remember the Japanese, in charge of the tender, losing his cool with the other participants. Leaning forward, he banged his hand on the table.”Thank you very much! We shall not work with you”.It was a very successful day for us”.In 1992 ROLF started sales of Mitsubishi new cars, managing to sell 192 that year.In 1994 the company opened the first purpose built Mitsubishi show room in Moscow.When asked about his choice of industry and his thoughts that the automotive sector in the 1990’s being heavily criminalised with gangsters and oligarchs a like carving out chunks of cash and areas to control he says “The industry was like a toy for an oligarch. We had absolutely different aspirations. They only had the target of earning money and gaining political power. We were focused on how to build a nice Company, a great Company. We had the dream to build our company to be like the best companies in the world.Sergey Petrov built his business around core values of openness, honesty and transparency which will have presented more than a few challenges in an environment renowned for its opaqueness. His goal was to recruit people who believed in his vision.By 1999 ROLF was the largest foreign car importer in Russia, with revenues of $100 million, a not insignificant figure for a start up business only 9 years old.In 2000 Sergey Petrov enlisted Matt Donnelley, the charismatic business leader,promoted him Chief Executive in 2004 and took the post of “Honorary President” himself. Thus began the second Epoch, the ‘Donnelley years’. The success of the new management team from 2000 was reflected in the position Rolf continued to enjoy its dominant position as the premier importer and distributor of foreign cars in Russia.”You recruit people who bring efficiency in the long run, if they share your core values then they can run the business without making any big mistakes and you don’t have to keep telling them what to do”.In 2001 Rolf opened its first non Mitsubishi Dealerships as the company started sales of Audi and Ford cars. In 2006 as ‘Best Brand in Russia’ it sold approximately 124,000 cars with 155,000 cars the following year. The ROLF machine, by now the 5th largest in Europe by new car sales, seemed unstoppable. In 2007 the Avtomir organisation, ROLF’s closest Russian rival, managed to achieve less than half of ROLF’s sales. In September 2008, Rolf Import had landed 15,000 Mitsubishi cars for the Russian market through Kotka and St Petersburg.Halcyon days, indeed.However, changes were in the offing and the entrepreneurial flair went from the business as both Sergey Petrov and Matt Donnelley exited the business. Sergey was nominated to the Duma in December 2007. Matt Donnelley had overseen Rolf’s stratospheric growth and had been instrumental in taking Rolf from a $100 million turnover to over $ 5 billion in 7 years.Sergey recalled “I had completely left the business at that point. I was elected to parliament and tried to change the whole environment. I tried to help. It did not make sense to make another billion if the powers that be can take away the first one. I decided to spend my time and energy to improve Russia’s business environment.In 10-years we built a good company but discovered it is impossible to build the world’s greatest company in this country. It is not a business friendly state… all the officials are dedicated to history. We, the people, need to fall down a few times and learn lessons that we should be more concerned about ourselves, our family and friends and co-fellows… than being a super power. It needs to be overcome and will take two generations”.The end of the second Epoch ushered in a new ROLF.Sergey Petrov recalled Nick Hawkins, the new ROLF CEO 2007 to 2010, asking when ROLF was strongest. Sergey’s response “between 2004 and 2007.”This period saw ROLF revenues double in size year on year, a colossal achievement with remarkable profits, and the envy of similar groups worldwide.”The best years for Rolf were after I handed over to Matt Donnelley as Chief Executive. Matt compensated for my imperfections. He contributed his professionalism, made sure the company remained focused on our core values and gave us our greatest mutual success”A privately owned company, with one single-minded shareholder and a very strong CEO, reflects both the character and personalities of those business owners. The abrupt removal of these characters from ROLF and the knock-on changes in leadership led to an emergence of a different company with a changed ethos; and an end to the runaway success of previous years.”The Company started to deteriorate after 2007. Even before the crisis, the Company was not so strong.”The 3rd Epoch saw a changed and expanded management team, hungry to benefit from big bonuses and the success of Russia’s accomplished automotive group. Ultimately the evolution was ephemeral, expensive and doomed as it ran head long off the cliff in 2008.Welcome to the global financial crisis.In Petrov’s words “ROLF became more and more bureaucratic and more and more inefficient… and not flexible enough to face the future”.One can sympathise with him as he underwrote the largesse with over $300 million losses. The ROLF pendulum swung far, in a relatively short space of time and the cash burn was prodigious.The management team went into crisis mode: free hold sales and lease backs, the cancellation of all new projects and scale backs on others, a fire sale of stock (new vehicles were sold for less than the wholesale prices leading to one European manufacturer recalling an entire model range from the Russian market).A desperate grab for business began across all the business sectors. Belatedly, business unit managers recognised the scale and severity of the crisis. The actions were too little and too late as other, more agile businesses, took available contracts and more direct measures of cost reduction.Sergey Petrov returned in 2010, leading to a mass exodus of top management, and heralding ROLF’s rapid resurgence. The business had survived the greatest financial crisis since the 1930’s; but at a cost, as Petrov sold 40% of his company to the Mitsubishi Corporation.ROLF is a different company now to the one that entered the global crisis in 2008. The management team has changed and again, led by its founder. The ethos is now on efficiency and rebuilding profit whilst focusing on the car retail sector. None core businesses may spun-off. The market is changing as IPO’s will see a swathe of mega-groups retailing cars in the Russian market.Sergey Petrov, “receiving purchase offers every other day” has no intention of following suit and intends to remain the owner of a “family business” albeit a large one. Rolf has been, since its inception, one of leading companies in the Russian automobile market. Now it is the official dealer of 13 brands, with 30 Moscow and Saint Petersburg dealership centers and remains one of the largest automotive concerns in Russia.”We will be chasing efficiency as government will put more burdens on business.30% social taxes are high so we have to become the most efficient”What was the pivot moment?”It was not my decision that changed my life but the KGB’s; when they arrested and kicked me out of the Air Force. I couldn’t find a job in the city where I lived so I had to leave Orenburg and go to Moscow with my wife and 1-year old son. I think that changed my life, drastically.I could not do anything except fly my fighter jet and I thought that this was a big problem. But, I was young and it allowed me a restart. I lost 7-years but I retrained and I graduated from Moscow University. All the diplomatic and military careers were closed to me. The KGB watched me and accompanied me everywhere’.What are you most proud of?”I think it is the people around me. Like Tatiana (Lukovetskaya) and others. We brought up a lot of people who are working now in different companies but they absorbed some of our core values. The most profitable business is the most honest business.”Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”A politician working for a better Russia and leader in my business “Aston Martin or a Ferrari?”Aston Martin”
The KWP2000 protocol has become a de facto standard in automotive diagnostic applications. It is standardized as ISO 14230-3. KWP2000 describes the implementation of various diagnostic services you can accethrough the protocol. You can run KWP2000 on several transport layers such as K-line (serial) or CAN.Transport Protocol
As KWP2000 uses messages of variable byte lengths, a transport protocol is necessary on layers with only a well defined (short) message length, such as CAN. The transport protocol splits a long KWP2000 message into pieces that can be transferred over the network and reassembles those pieces to recover the original message.KWP2000 runs on CAN on various transport protocols such as ISO TP (ISO 15765-2), TP 1.6, TP 2. 0 (Volkswagen), and SAE J1939-21. For KWP2000, the Automotive Diagnostic Command Set supports only the ISO TP (standardized in ISO 15765-2) and manufacturer-specific VW TP 2.0 transport protocols.Diagnostic Services
The diagnostic services available in KWP2000 are grouped in functional units and identified by a one-byte code (ServiceId). The standard does not define all codes; for some codes, the standard refers to other SAE or ISO standards, and some are reserved for manufacturer-specific extensions. The Automotive Diagnostic Command Set supports the following services:• Diagnostic Management
• Data Transmission
• Stored Data Transmission (Diagnostic Trouble Codes)
• Input/Output Control
• Remote Activation of RoutineUpload/Download and Extended services are not part of the Automotive Diagnostic Command Set.Diagnostic Service Format
Diagnostic services have a common message format. Each service defines a Request Message, Positive Response Message, and Negative Response Message. The Request Message has the ServiceId as first byte, plus additional service-defined parameters. The Positive Response Message has an echo of the ServiceId with bit 6 set as first byte, plus the service-defined response parameters.The Negative Response Message is usually a three-byte message: it has the Negative Response ServiceId as first byte, an echo of the original ServiceId as second byte, and a ResponseCode as third byte. The only exception to this format is the negative response to an EscapeCode service; here, the third byte is an echo of the user-defined service code, and the fourth byte is the ResponseCode. The KWP2000 standard partly defines the ResponseCodes, but there is room left for manufacturer-specific extensions. For some of the ResponseCodes, KWP2000 defines an error handling procedure. Because both positive and negative responses have an echo of the requested service, you can always assign the responses to their corresponding request.Connect/Disconnect
KWP2000 expects a diagnostic session to be started with StartDiagnosticSession and terminated with StopDiagnosticSession. However, StartDiagnosticSession has a DiagnosticMode parameter that determines the diagnostic session type. Depending on this type, the ECU may or may not support other diagnostic services, or operate in a restricted mode where not all ECU functions are available. The DiagnosticMode parameter values are manufacturer specific and not defined in the standard. For a diagnostic session to remain active, it must execute the TesterPresent service periodically if no other service is executed. If the TesterPresent service is missing for a certain period of time, the diagnostic session is terminated, and the ECU returns to normal operation mode.GetSeed/Unlock
A GetSeed/Unlock mechanism may protect some diagnostic services. However, the applicable services are left to the manufacturer and not defined by the standard.You can execute the GetSeed/Unlock mechanism through the SecurityAccess service. This defines several levels of security, but the manufacturer assigns these levels to certain services.Read/Write Memory
Use the Read/WriteMemoryByAddress services to upload/download data to certain memory addresses on an ECU. The address is a three-byte quantity in KWP2000 and a five-byte quantity (four-byte address and one-byte extension) in the calibration protocols. The Upload/Download functional unit services are highly manufacturer specific and not well defined in the standard, so they are not a good way to provide a general upload/download mechanism.Measurements
Use the ReadDataByLocal/CommonIdentifier services to access ECU data in a way similar to a DAQ list. A Local/CommonIdentifier describes a list of ECU quantities that are then transferred from the ECU to the tester. The transfer can be either single value or periodic, with a slow, medium, or fast transfer rate. The transfer rates are manufacturer specific; you can use the SetDataRates service to set them, but this setting is manufacturer specific. The Automotive Diagnostic Command Set supports single-point measurements.Diagnostic Trouble Codes
A major diagnostic feature is the readout of Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs). KWP2000 defines several services that access DTCs based on their group or status.Input/Output Control
KWP2000 defines services to modify internal or external ECU signals. One example is redirecting ECU sensor inputs to stimulated signals. The control parameters of these commands are manufacturer specific and not defined in the standard.
Remote Activation of a RoutineThese services are similar to the ActionService and DiagService functions of CCP. You can invoke an ECU internal routine identified by a Local/CommonIdentifier or a memory address. Contrary to the CCP case, execution of this routine can be asynchronous; that is, there are separate Start, Stop, and RequestResult services. The control parameters of these commands are manufacturer specific and not defined in the standard.External References
For more information about the KWP2000 Standard, refer to the ISO 14230-3 standard.
Yes, well, of course there will be endless applications for 3-D printing. It will revolutionize quite a few industries. The bonanza for consumers will be unbelievable, and it would give them the edge on customization, individualism, and one-off prototyping of the ideas and things that they themselves are interested in. For instance, every individual can become a designer of their own, design what they want on a computer and then print it in real-time. They might also become their own business person, selling their design to others, allowing other people perhaps for a few dollars to download it and print it as well.What if your hobby has to do with cars? What if you like to tinker and modify your own vehicle? What if you designed a new dashboard, something more stylish, something that could actually attach to your current dashboard without any modification and yet give you a whole new style and flair? I see that as coming and perhaps you could call this; the rapid automotive dashboard kit. It would be a new concept, and it would have mass appeal, and if you doubt that just go to one of the annual SEMA Shows in Las Vegas.Once you printed your new dashboard, perhaps in several components, you could use special adhesive tape which would secure it in place so it could not move. You could build something extremely exotic and cool, something which would suit you, your friends, and your passengers. Something customized, not available when you buy a new car. Perhaps the automotive industry might sponsor a website allowing people to buy, sell, and trade their latest new kits and designs.You could buy a car and then modify it to your heart’s content, and best of all if you ever went to sell your car and someone didn’t like your changes they could simply un-attach it, and make their own changes, using their own 3-D printer right in their own home or garage. The reality is there are so many great ways to use the future 3-D printing technologies. Ways to customize the things that you want and keep yourself from slipping into the Borg of society or mass standardization. This will allow you individuality and freedom to live, create, and enjoy all there is, and if it doesn’t exist – just create it yourself.If you can’t find what you want in the store, go online and search through hundreds if not thousands of different designs which might be more to your liking, and then start printing away, or just make your own. The world of total customization and distributive manufacturing at the consumer level is just about here. It will be an incredible new way of life. I think you will enjoy it. Please consider all this and think on it.