TVR’s new factory is to be barely five miles from its old one — in a former Lancaster bomber factory on the perimeter of Blackpool airport on the city’s southern outskirts. The company’s owner, Nikolai Smolenski, has accepted a lease deal brokered by the Blackpool city council on a 4650 square metre (50,000 square feet) site within the Squires Gate industrial estate. He also plans to open a new company HQ and design centre 40 miles away in Lancaster, near the university.
Bosses say the new Blackpool plant as a stop-gap, sufficient to free them of an unsatisfactory lease on the old Bristol Avenue premises, and to re-start production, initially at 10 cars a week, moving to 20 cars as soon as possible. Smolenski’s longer-term plan is to build around 100 cars a week, which would require another move to new premises “within the area”. TVR had considered moving further afield, even to foreign locations, but decided it could ill-afford to lose its skilled Lancashire workforce.
The company will start moving in August, and should be building cars again by the year-end. It will concentrate on Sagaris and Tuscan; the entry-level Tamora will be allowed to die. A new Cerbera could be launched later if a suitable proprietary V8 can be found to power it. Meanwhile, TVR production — including assembly of its own-design six-cylinder engine — will continue largely by hand, but the process will be further modified to incorporate more of the measures that have lifted TVR quality since Smolenski took over.