22 September 2004

TVR has announced plans to more than double car production to 2000 units a year, taking annual output back to the record levels of the late ’90s. At the same time, it will simplify its model line-up by delaying its recently announced Sagaris, Tuscan 2 and Typhon models in production to concentrate on better-equipped and ‘slightly’ more expensive versions of the Tamora and T350 coupé and targa models.

In future, TVR will build 500 of each model before launching its replacement, and both the Tamora and T350 have ‘more than 100’ units to go.

The new moves are part of a co-ordinated plan by the Blackpool firm’s new owner, 24-year-old millionaire Nikolai Smolenski (right), to achieve a rapid improvement in TVR’s profitability. Smolenski has already introduced more quality inspectors into the assembly process, and is on the way to hiring 50 new staff, mostly technicians. He wants to achieve a production rate of 40 cars a week as soon as possible. He also aims to make TVR even ‘more British’, and is presently replacing the company’s relatively few key foreign suppliers with local firms. Smolenski says TVR will find owners for its extra new cars by demanding better performance from its 22 UK dealers (who sell the majority of the firm’s annual output of 700 cars and are believed be extremely dubious about the plan) and by finding new markets abroad, initially in Europe but stretching as far east as Moscow and Kiev. The company is appointing 35 new dealers across Europe, and is working fast to achieve full type approval for its mainstream models so they can be sold in the US. ‘This is a volume business,’ said Smolenski. ‘The priority is to establish a stable but larger customer base before we can produce the new cars.’

A TVR enthusiast since childhood, he wants to introduce an all-new range of TVRs by 2007. Discover Smolenski’s plans in detail this week, only in Autocar

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