The two companies who between them sell about 1,270 new cars have underlined the volatile business of representing sports car franchises.
Peter Wheeler, chairman of Blackpool-based TVR, said: “We are currently gently recruiting dealers. We fired the six franchise holders because they were not suitable. There’s a cycle where you lose their enthusiasm and friendship.”
TVR’s dealer strength stands at 18 and Wheeler plans to hire another six. He admitted that filling open points depended on: “how far owners are willing to travel for service and back up.”
Wheeler said TVR was “constantly considering” a return to the North American market but it would involve doubling the size of the company and establishing an assembly operation in the USA.
Meanwhile Noble, whose cars are built in Barwell, near Hinckley, Leicestershire, has terminated its 10 dealer contracts, which it claims has allowed the firm to cut its prices. Noble spokes-man Simon Hucknall says: “The dealers will continue as authorised servicing outlets, but will not sell new cars.
We want tighter control of quality of sales and customer treatment.” The company is establishing sales centres in northern England, Leicestershire and South-east England.