TVR To Open Production Facility In Wales
Site is located right beside the Circuit of Walesby Kirby Garlitos, on
TVR’s pursuit to once again become relevant in the auto industry took a major step forward when the company announced it had secured a deal with the Welsh government to have its new production facility in Wales. The facility, which is scheduled to open in 2018, is located right next to the Circuit of Wales. Construction for the facility is expected to commence in April 2016.
This development is big news for TVR, which has been slowly building its name back up again after a Les Edgar-led consortium bought the company back in 2013 from Russian ownership with the sole objective of bringing it back to relevancy. Much has been made about ownership’s plans for the company, including a “Launch Edition” sports car that will be penned by master designer Gordon Murray. The yet-to-be-named sports car will also make history as the first car to be build using Murray’s iStream Carbon assembly process.
But before jumping too far into the future, the development of the production facility where the car will be built remains the top priority for TVR. Edgar has made it known in the past that the facility would need access to a racing circuit in order to build the kind of high-performance sports cars its incredibly loyal fan base has been waiting for since the Sagaris broke into the sports car scene back in 2005.
A site beside the Circuit of Wales definitely checks off that requirement even though the precise location of the factory is still being discussed. A separate announcement is expected to be made in the coming weeks. According to AutoCar, the company has whittled down its options to two sites, specifically “a greenfield location beside the circuit that would need an all-new factory, and an existing building nearby.”
Another part of the deal with the Welsh government calls for TVR to make an investment of £30 million ($42.6 million) over the next five years and the requirement to create at least 150 employment opportunities in the surrounding area.
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Why it matters
There’s no doubt that this is big news for TVR and its fans. You can even make a case that it’s the biggest and most exciting development we’ve had since the current ownership group took over three years ago. This doesn’t involve promises of future model line-ups. This is tangible and this involves the exchange of money and commitment from TVR and the Welsh government. It doesn’t get any more serious than that.
Now as far as the location of the facility is concerned, I honestly don’t know much about the area, but from what I’ve read and been told, the area that the company and the government agreed to is on the precipice of becoming a major industrial and economic hub for the country. Edwina Hart, the country’s economy minister, said that TVR would be joining more than 150 companies that are already involved in the automotive supply chain in Wales. The industry, she added, is already generating close to £3 billion ($4.26 billion) to the Welsh company. Among those already included in that list of companies with ties to the auto industry is Aston Martin, which also just recently confirmed its own plans to build the new DBX crossover in the country.
All of these happenings is a sign that there’s a burst of optimism and confidence that TVR, after so many failed attempts at reigniting its name, may finally have the owners – and partners – that can get the job done. Personally, I think this is one of the biggest automotive stories of the year and one that everyone should be following.
In its heyday, TVR built some of the most memorable British sports cars in history. It’s been too long since we’ve seen the very best out of the British sports car brand, but from the looks of things, a modern-day renaissance could finally – FINALLY! – be in the cards. Let’s just hope and cross our fingers that all these plans come together.
Read our full review on the 2018 TVR T37 here.