UK: Sports car maker closing current factory
Britain's largest independent sports car manufacturer, TVR, will close its factory in the British seaside resort of Blackpool in six months.
According to the Daily Telegraph, it has also laid off 71 workers and given notice that it would be moving.
The paper noted that the company, known for outrageous looking and super-fast sports cars, was purchased in July 2004 for a reputed GBP10m by the 24-year-old Russian millionaire Nikolai Smolenski, but he has since seen sales collapse from 12 cars a week to six.
"We are not announcing TVR's closure, we are not being sold, we just haven't renewed the lease on the current factory," TVR spokesman Jason Oxley told the paper.
"We are looking to remain in the Blackpool area and we are looking at our options, which might include some sub-assembly manufacturing overseas," he reportedly added.
The Daily Telegraph said it understood that the Bispham factory is still owned by the former TVR owner Peter Wheeler and added that he move is in part to do with a dispute between him and Smolenski.
The paper said TVR has also had a problem with export sales, which dwindled away at the end of last year after its European Type Approval expired.
"We're working like mad to get Euro IV approval," Oxley told the Telegraph, adding: "We expect to get that by September. The aim is to have a balance of 60% export sales to Europe and the Middle East."