TVR has moved a step closer to building its new Griffith supercar, as reports suggest a planning application to refurbish the existing factory has finally been submitted.
According to Business News Wales, an application has been submitted to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council for refurbishing a factory in the Rassau Industrial Estate in Ebbw Vale.
A Welsh building firm has been appointed to carry out the work, while the current factory unit remains derelict. There is currently no listed schedule for the refurbishment process, but it’s not expected to be completed this year. Around 80 people are planned to be employed there initially, expanding to 200 when production is fully ramped up.
The newsletter, written by Les Edgar and seen by Autocar, was first sent to depositors and comes more than two years after the Griffith project was first revealed. Since then, bar promises that work will soon start at TVR’s Ebbw Vale factory, all has gone quiet, so the new details will be intended to reassure depositors of the project’s progress.
Edgar’s newsletter reveals that TVR has now road-registered the original 2017 show car, which is believed to be the only Griffith built so far. The car will be used for testing and event participation.
The company has also negotiated a deal with Ford to use the latest 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8, updated to meet EU emissions regulations. It will still feature the Cosworth-developed dry sump and TVR-specific revisions.
TVR has also appointed a new CEO, Jim Berriman, who is best known for his career at the Rover Group, where he worked on the first Land Rover Freelander and Mk3 Range Rover. He was also a key figure in the rebirth of Rolls-Royce, playing an integral part in the launch of the 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom. Edgar said Berriman “brings valuable end-to-end experience of getting new cars off the drawing board, into production and out into market”. An as-yet-unnamed CFO has also been appointed.
Significant problems remain, though. Progress on the Ebbw Vale factory has been “slower than hoped” and the building is said to need a new roof. Edgar said TVR is working with the Welsh government to resolve these issues and get the work under way, and the planning applicaion would suggest that process has been completed.
Until further news is forthcoming, and given the time it takes to develop, build and tool a car factory from scratch, don’t expect to see more than the one new Griffith on the road for quite some time.