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Dealers pledge support for troubled Jensen firm

Dealers say they are willing to continue supporting Jensen Motors, despite doubts over its future after receivers were appointed.

Turnaround specialist The MacDonald Partnership, which had been expected to take control of the business, pulled out of a rescue deal citing “irresolvable issues”. But receivers PKF say that more than a dozen other groups have expressed interest in the sportscar maker.

“We have received enquiries from a number of parties. All have interests in the motor industry and we are cautiously optimistic about selling the business,” says Jon Newell, administrator and partner at PKF.

Ten dealers who each invested £1m to take a 15 per cent stake in Jensen three years ago face losing their cash if the company is not saved. But they remain supportive.

HR Owen chief executive Nick Lancaster, who spent time on the Jensen board, is hopeful the company will be bought. “If the factory was moved, they might make it work and we would want to be part of that. We saw Jensen as an opportunity to help a small British company get back on its feet,” he says.

“There was tremendous public interest and a very strong forward order book. Unfortunately, deliveries were delayed due to technical reasons. With hindsight, Jensen was possibly over-ambitious.”

Jensen was making less than half the expected five SV-8 Roadsters a week at its Merseyside plant and had sold just 23, some to dealers, by the time of its receivership. Managing director Keith Rauer claimed to have sold the first six months of production, around 120 models, but deliveries were severely delayed. Customers now face losing their deposits on orders for the £40,000 Roadster.

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