Anglo-American consortium HFI has purchased the famous Fifties sports car manufacturer Healey Automobile Consultants (HAC) and is planning to launch at least two new cars badged as Healeys.
“We have a prototype car running now and there’s also a prototype platform for a second car,” says Tim Fenna, managing director of HFI. The consortium, which paid more than £1m to Margot Healey, the widow of Healey co-founder Geoff, has pledged that any new models will be built in the UK.
The company is looking for production sites, with Warwick and Cardiff in contention and around 400 jobs could be created. Plans for production of a new Healey 3000 are at an ‘advanced stage’ and it could even be ready in time for the Paris motor show in September. HFI says that it will be instantly recognizable as a Healey.
The deal could now throw into question plans announced last summer by GB Sports Car Company and Nanjing Automobile, owner of MG Rover, to build sports cars at Longbridge badged as Austin Healeys and MGs.
Austin and Healey are two separate legal entities and the deal between HAC and HFI gives exclusive rights to the Healey brand. The Austin Healey name cannot be used without the explicit agreement of the owners of both Healey (HFI) and Austin (Nanjing).