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Well, it looks like Friday's "temporary layoffs" at TVR's Blackpool plant are going to be permanent. Labor union representatives said Monday that they have been told by TVR management that the factory will be shut down in six months, with a permanent loss of 260 jobs.

The British manufacturer of quirky, handbuilt, high performance sports cars will be closing its factory just shy of the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1947. In what may prove to be the marque's swan song, its top of the line Sagaris coupe (pictured above) is currently starring in Pirelli Film's new internet movie "The Call."

For most of its history, TVR built its cars around powerplants sourced from mainstream manufacturers, but in later years it began to manufacture its own engines, beginning with a V8 (now discontinued), and all of its current models are powered by the company's Speed Six, an inline, normally-aspirated six capable of 380 hp in the 4-liter version.

No word yet from TVR on the company's future plans, or the role of its young Russian CEO, Nikolai Smolensky.

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Can't believe this is happening. In general it's a bit of a blow to the British motor industry. Personally I wonder how this will effect the value of existing cars. I bought a Tuscan S last year and I don't want to regret it more than I already do!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey..maybe there will be a 2 for 1 sale. Rover + TVR.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I feel very sad about this since my job to help me out during university was to sell these at a main dealer.

      They were, are, stunning cars with some of the most dramatic beautiful styling of any company. They were all a bit of a handful to drive, virtually none of them would be called a true drivers car but the customer base loved them for being simple focused cars that were blindingly quick. If only they hadn't tried to be so daring with technology, I remember our new Tuscan demonstrator being brought back from the factory when both doors popped open on their electric catches...

      You still see loads driven about and its going to be sad not to see any more new ones about, I thought Nikolai Smolensky would have done more.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Parasitic unions!!!
      260 workers?????
      Two Hundred and Sixty workers?????
      Is there any number of workers that unions won't ever leave the hell alone?
      Well, the UAW is next. I can't wait to hear what they have to say when GM dumps them all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      NOO!!! Damnit, this sucks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      unions help when there are more workers than jobs, when its the opposite (like now) the become an anchor
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sad, they were great looking cars, but here in the UK the Boxster killed them. There is simply no market for an unreliable British roadster when you can get a bullet proof, metal, non depreciating Porsche for less money.

      For many years TVR produced an afforable car which, although rough around the edges, gave great performance and style for 25 - 30grand. They used Ford and Rover engines that were bullet proof and could be fixed anywhere. So if the body can't rust and the engine is not a risk there is not much you can screw up.

      But then they decided to build their own engines, acquired a terrible reliability reputation and started pricing themselves close to a 911. Sorry guys.....

      • 8 Years Ago
      John Smith - Yeah, those pesky unions, stopping us employing children down the mines, ensuring that workers get a fair wage for a fair day's work, holiday and sick pay, equal rights for women in the workforce etc etc.

      We should all leave it down to the company owners - they have our best interests at heart after all!

      Hint for you - look beyond the sensationalist headlines and learn for yourself about the good the union movement has done over the years. Yes, there is bad too, but I think that the good outweighs the bad by quite a long way.

      Or perhaps you'd prefer indentured workers working for a dollar a week? It would make business more competitive, that's for sure, but can you swallow the real costs?
      • 8 Years Ago
      RIP
      TVR

      Some of the coolest looking cars on the road. Maybe they'll get bought out and revived, they weren't particularily well known anyway.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What I wonder about this is the fate of the zero-shift transmission that TVR was supposedly helping to co-develop. http://www.zeroshift.com/index.htm I know that TVR provided the some vehicles for the testing and development of the technology behind it. From what I heard the transmission sounded very promising (ever said to be better than the VW DSG that people have been raving about). I just hope that it won't go down in flames with the cars.

      Then again, what do I know?
      George Booth
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sanjay- thanks for the link to the Pistonheads article.

      Frankly, I don't think it adds up. Usually, when a company relocates to new facilities, plans are put in place months to years before existing facilities are closed and employees cashiered. Last week we heard that TVR management had told many employees to "stay home" for a couple of weeks, noting that winter sales had been slow and production was down to two cars/week. Now, on Monday, we're told that the existing Blackpool plant is closing soon and everybody's out of a job. You'd think that if TVR's leadership really intended to "relocate", they would have announced the decision earlier and in a more appropriate fashion.

      Moreover, if the comment from the company spokesman is true, and the early spring is when consumers' thoughts turn to dreams of sports cars, why would they then abruptly cease production and close the plant now? If the PR man is right, one would logically expect sales to pick up in the next few months, not stagnate as they did all winter.

      I have to confess that whe I heard of young Mr. Smolensky's purchase of the company two years ago I feared that TVR would return to the peripatetic existence that it had known for most of its life. Anyone who is familiar with the firm's history knows that the relative stability which characterized the company's finances for most of the last eighteen or twenty years is unusual, and due mainly to the influence - and patience - of its previous owner.

      So far as I can determine, Mr. Smolensky has little prior business experience, and no qualifications for his position other than being the beneficiary of the largesse of his oligarch father. A father, moreover, who's acccession to wealth and power is almost certainly attributable to business practices that we in the west would deem corrupt, if not outright criminal.

      I hope that I'm wrong, and that Smolensky and company will prove themselves to be farsighted, persistent, and skillful managers of the company's fortunes. But it is hard to avoid thinking that TVR will now go the way of AC Cars and it's proprietor, Alan Lubinsky, and become yet another sad chapter in the volatile history of British specialist car builders. Perhaps, like AC, TVR will announce a plan to "relocate" to Connecticut. Or Minsk. Who knows?
      Tom McDaniel
      • 8 Years Ago
      A North American fan since 1964 and owner since 1981. 3000m, 3000s and now my 280i. While agreeing the older ones were the purer ones, this is a great loss. Thanks you folks that built these cars. You can feel great pride in a having produced cars such as these. I have certainly enjoyed mine.
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