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TVR poised to sign site leases

TVR expects to sign leases on two sites at the end of July to continue its tradition of sportscar manufacturing in Blackpool.

New assembly and testing facilities will be built as the first step of an 18-month up-scaling to meet owner Nikolai Smolenski’s aim of producing 3,500 cars annually from 2008. Most of these will be for global markets. Smolenski believes the UK market will decline.

Key to TVR’s future profitability is maintaining the long-term popularity of its cars, he says, as it doesn’t have the development budget of a mainstream manufacturer. He wants to rebel against the motor industry’s current cycle of model revisions or new launches every three years.

He adds: “The range we have now is the same range we will have next year. It’s very important that people are aware that there’s nothing wrong with the product. What message are you giving with a restyle? You’re saying that the product the customer already has isn’t good enough. We have to get it right first time.”

The company has been hurt by declining new car sales, as the UK is its primary marketplace. Smolenski believes this is partly due to his take-over two years ago, which caused uncertainty over TVR’s future.

This year he expects sales to total 250 units, half that of 2005’s total. An indication of his international intentions will be TVR’s first ever stand at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show.

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