Future Zenos models could be produced alongside AC products; final decision will be made following an analysis of the business

A consortium led by AC Cars, makers of the reborn Cobra, has bought Zenos Cars for an undisclosed sum around two months after it fell into administration.

AC Cars has acquired all Zenos effects, including all intellectual property and a stock of 10 new models. 

The company's owner, Alan Lubinsky, told Autocar that a key issue for Zenos was "that the cars cost too much to build".

Lubinksy wouldn't disclose how much was paid for Zenos or name the other investors in the consortium, but said they are companies with which AC Cars work. AC Cars will run the operation of Zenos, Lubinsky added, and will "probably" be called AC Zenos.

The consortium will keep Zenos's Norfolk facility in the short term but will re-evaluate its cost effectiveness. "We will take over over the current facility but I'm not saying we will manufacture cars there," Lubinsky said. The reborn Cobra 378s that AC builds are made in South Africa, and Lubinsky said it was a possibility that Zenos cars could be built alongside them in the future.

He also acknowledged that there would be economies of scale, whether that would be future engines for other AC models, or parts such as windows and wipers.

Lubinsky described the E10 as a "fantastic and well-developed car, which can definitely be used as a basis to go forward". He added that the former employees of Zenos should be "very proud of what they created".

Lubinsky said the consortium will spend the coming weeks evaluating the Zenos company, which will include considering the viability of other models such as a coupé. "In the coming weeks we will evaluate the situation. The engineering of the car is fantastic and can definitely spawn other cars in the future. We will continue with the current car and, in parallel, we will consider other cars."

Since January, Zenos had been under the control of administrator Begbies Traynor. The company's joint administrator Irvin Cohen said today “We are very pleased to have achieved this sale of the assets of Zenos Cars, which will allow this popular brand to continue and flourish in the future".

Before it closed, Zenos revealed plans for more practical models called the E11 and E12. It had also considered using hybrid powertrains to boost performance.

However, the firm eventually fell into financial difficulty following cancelled orders and a long period of slow demand at the start of this year.

New owner AC Cars has itself recently experienced a resurgence following heavy investment. The company's owner Lubinsky took the helm 21 years ago.

Zenos E10 S vs Caterham Seven 360R video

Our Verdict

Zenos E10 S

Does the Zenos E10 have enough to oust Caterham and Lotus off their throne

Join the debate

Comments
5

289

24 March 2017
that's Zenos over then. Nothing thrives under Lubinsky.

I had to smile at the administrators statement, "which will allow this popular brand to continue and flourish in the future"......followed by Autocar's note "However, the firm eventually fell into financial difficulty following cancelled orders and a long period of slow demand at the start of this year"...... hmm, maybe NOT so popular then!!
TBH, I never thought there was room in the market for Zenos to thrive, and don't expect that to change under the new ownership.

SMF

24 March 2017
Westfield saved GTM...
Spyker saved SAAB...
Ginetta saved Farbio...

25 March 2017
Even if Zenos continues, but it does leave its Norfolk home, the brand may as well be dead. Having never really seen anything from AC in the last 20 years, I'm not convinced Lubinsky is up to the job.

25 March 2017
I have Googled his name and it's fascinating how much money he seemed to have used without making many cars
I wonder. He seems to have the word scam written in a lot of the articles.
Not for me to say. I'm just using Google as a reference

25 March 2017
I have Googled his name and it's fascinating how much money he seemed to have used without making many cars
I wonder. He seems to have the word scam written in a lot of the articles.
Not for me to say. I'm just using Google as a reference

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer