It would appear that the death of British cottage supercar builder TVR has been greatly exaggerated. In an effort to refute word that the minters of the Sagaris and Tamora are going under, the company itself has issued a statement essentially saying that it isn't dead, simply evolving.
In the statement, TVR states that it is planning to move some manufacturing operations to "...a more suitable facility, the exact details of which cannot yet be released." Reading between the lines, count on the brand doing some of its heavy lifting overseas in an effort to cut costs. The statement further devulges that the their models will continue to be of a similar composition, albeit employing new technology and assembly techniques designed to simultaneously cut costs and increase reliability (long a TVR bugbear), though officials insist the cars will still be built by hand.
In the course of the presser, TVR claims "The entire change-over has, of course, been carefully planned to minimise disruption," an assertion that seems fairly laughable in light of the reams of "Death of TVR" articles circulating everywhere. Perhaps what industry watchers are seeing is a lack of a cohesive plan to roll out the coming changes to the media, as the cutbacks and lack of context provided by the manufacturer itself have resulted in a hailstorm of alarmist press... simply put, a lousy public-relations effort.
Regardless of what's really going on behind the curtains in Blackpool, we truly hope that TVR is able to move forward and continue producing some of the most dynamic and uncompromising sports car lineups extant-- preferably ones that can be legally plated in the U.S.
Full press release after the jump.
Official statement on Bristol Avenue cut-backs 25 April 2006
Following TVR's announcement last year that it is to discontinue production at its Bristol Avenue factory in Blackpool by 2007, the company has brought forward its plans to coincide with the cessation of its current lease, which would otherwise require long-term renewal. TVR is to relocate some of its assembly process to a more suitable facility, the exact details of which cannot yet be released.
The cars will continue to be hand-built to customers' orders by highly skilled craftsmen using mostly proprietary components, but the impressive new technology, processes and techniques with which they'll be constructed and tested are considerably more advanced. This will mean a significant and more consistent step-up in precision, quality, reliability and durability, as well as in compliancy with international requirements.
TVRs have been built at Bristol Avenue since the 1970s, so it is regrettable that cut-backs to the local production team have been necessary. TVR wishes to extend its thanks to all of its loyal staff at the factory, as well as its thoughts to all those who have had to be laid-off. The company is confident, however, that this difficult decision is the right one to secure its long-term stability and foothold within the competitive, low-volume sports car industry, as well as to continue to improve its product for the domestic and international marketplace.
The logistics arm of the business will also be modernised to improve the availability of parts and the timeframes within which they're delivered. The entire change-over has, of course, been carefully planned to minimise disruption, and all current authorised dealerships and service centres will remain completely unaffected by the move.
TVR also wishes to clarify that although slow winter sales hit the automotive industry as a whole, its sales have not slumped generally; demand has remained fairly constant for a number of years. The company remains financially stable and highly optimistic about its future.
As well as an encouragingly high level of interest at its showrooms, TVR is extremely confident in its ongoing plans: it is on schedule for achieving Euro IV emissions approval, which will enable it to sell more concertedly into Europe, and the developments for which will help with selling into the lucrative US and Middle East markets; it is exhibiting at the forthcoming Motor Show, for which it has several surprises planned; testing and production processes and component quality have all advanced markedly, and continue to do so; and a new marketing campaign is under way.
There has been an excellent reaction from the press and the public to TVR's newest and best ever models: the Sagaris coupe, the Tuscan convertible and the completely reworked Tuscan targa, all of which are now backed by a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty.
TVR is looking forward to enjoying the continued support of its customers and emphatic enthusiasts in the UK and throughout the world, as well as to attracting new ones with the positive progress of the company and its cars. TVR is also preparing for its 60th anniversary celebrations next year.