British sports car maker is about to build the first ‘pilots’ for its Griffith sports car

The Welsh Government has contributed £500,000 worth of investment to TVR, acquiring a 3% stake in the reborn car brand.

The government has also provided a £2 million loan to the company and has purchased the Ebbw Vale site where TVR’s cars will be made.

TVR boss Les Edgar told Autocar that the investment actually took place almost two years ago. He said: “The government invested [in TVR] on the 22 March 2016 – and last month, they announced that they’d acquired the Ebbw Vale factory where we will build the car.”

The reason it has come to light in 2018 is due to calls from the Welsh Conservative party, which is in opposition to the country’s leading Labour party, for assurance that the public money would be safeguarded.

“It’s an unusual thing for the Welsh Government to invest in a company like this – in fact, I don’t think it’s ever happened before – so I see it as a sign of their faith in TVR,” said Edgar.

The relaunched TVR brand revealed its first car, which will return the Griffith name to production, at the 2017 Goodwood Revival. Edgar said the brand is now working to produce the first pilot builds of its 500bhp V8-engined Porsche 911 rival, with production of customer cars scheduled to begin next year.

While progress at TVR continues to be made, the firm’s potential neighbour, the Circuit of Wales, has experienced less fluid development. The new track complex was planned to use 336 hectares of land just north of Ebbw Vale, but the project has suffered ongoing financial issues. Its biggest blow came in June 2017 when the Welsh Government refused to guarantee funding for the project.

Edgar told Autocar that while he was in support of the circuit’s construction, it had no effect on TVR’s progress. He said: “I actually knew nothing about the Circuit of Wales when the Welsh Government first got involved, so the changes there have had no impact.

“A potential resurrection of the plan would be good and very beneficial to the economy, but it’s not something that’s built into our plan.”

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Comments
7

16 January 2018
I'm thinking British Leyland....DeLorian....

16 January 2018

This values TVR at £ 16.67 million for a company with no product and no sales.   I'm not even sure they have any assets.   Car development is expensive too, never mind the tooling costs.   Not impossible for them to create something special, but let's limit out expectations!

 

16 January 2018
Symanski wrote:

This values TVR at £ 16.67 million for a company with no product and no sales...

Worse, it valued it at £16.7m back in 2016. Even better "£2 million loan to the company...acquired the Ebbw Vale factory", so they're equity holders, debt holders and landlords. The fate of suppliers and subcontractors to Carillion today bears a valuable lesson in diversification...

16 January 2018
Symanski wrote:

This values TVR at £ 16.67 million for a company with no product and no sales.   I'm not even sure they have any assets.   Car development is expensive too, never mind the tooling costs.   Not impossible for them to create something special, but let's limit out expectations!

Apart from a finished product, manufacturing and design IP, healthy pre-orders, brand value etc...

16 January 2018
stinhambo wrote:

Apart from a finished product, manufacturing and design IP, healthy pre-orders, brand value etc...

They probably don't own the engine IP, but Cosworth will.   Design, sure, but brand value isn't one which will stand up that much today.   It can help and also hold back the new company (MG anybody?).

 

They still don't have finished product, or even prototypes, so the pre-orders are also fairly worthless.   We've been here before with so many other companies.

 

I hope they make something special that we all go "wow" for!

17 January 2018

I saw the new Griffith at Autosport International in Birmingham on Saturday. Beautiful car and very well built, unlike TVRs of old. Such an exciting project and I'm glad to see it is getting support!

That said, history tells us that letting government get involved in the auto industry can have nasty consequences. TVR need to build a solid foundation under their business and ensure they can operate independently of government (taxpayer) subsidies.

Perhaps a powertrain partnership with Morgan would be benificial seeing as Morgan's BMW V8 is retiring. Would certainly help with economies of scale!

17 January 2018

While I love the idea of TVR coming back to life, I dont think this is the remit of local govenment to throw so much money at them. Presumably the site remains in their ownership so could be resold if the new TVR is no more stable than previous versions. This is after all, a low volume manufacture, so how they might expect to see that money back, with interest and a reasonable time is stretching the imagination a little.

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