CPP moving in at former Jaguar plant at Browns Lane

There are certain locations that, as you might have noticed on these pages, denote the automakers that are based there. Maranello, for example, is synonymous with Ferrari. Auburn Hills is Chrysler central. Molsheim has long been Bugatti's spiritual home.

But what about Coventry? Historically the West Midlands city has been home to Jaguar, but the Leaping Cat marque isn't the only one based there – so is CPP.

Wait, CP who? Coventry Prototype Panels is the name of the company, so you know right off the bat where they're based. The coachbuilder started off relatively small (as most companies do), but has in recent years grown to gobble up both Spyker and Bowler – and has significant ties with Zagato, too.

Its latest acquisition absorbs the Browns Lane complex that was once Jaguar's headquarters and manufacturing facility, and will enable CPP to consolidate from five facilities scattered around the city to the one location. Significant renovations are awaiting approval from the local government, but considering CPP's manifest appetite for expansion, we doubt it'll be long before construction gets under way.
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Browns Lane in Coventry, one of the most famous car production sites in British motoring history, is set to regain its status as an automotive manufacturing hub after CPP Global Holdings Ltd signed an exclusive purchase agreement with the site's owner, Advantage West Midlands.

CPP, the British specialist automotive group, plans to consolidate its existing Coventry facilities on the single 23-acre Browns Lane site within five years. Currently, the group delivers services including vehicle component manufacturing, body-in-white engineering, prototype vehicle production, and low-volume vehicle assembly, from fives sites spread across the city. Planning applications will be submitted before the end of 2011, with the multi-million pound redevelopment project anticipated to start in the second quarter of 2012.

The Browns Lane acquisition and redevelopment plans are a major part of CPP's strategy to spearhead a resurgent entrepreneurial automotive sector in the West Midlands. Full details of the automotive group's proposals will be announced when planning approvals are finalised.

Brendan O'Toole, founder and co-owner of CPP explains: "This is a decisive moment in CPP's strategy to cement Coventry's reputation as a world-class centre of automotive excellence. In conjunction with my business partner, Vladimir Antonov, we've successfully and significantly grown CPP over the last few years, with further expansion planned.

"Bringing together the group's various businesses and facilities within a single, purpose-built location is possibly the most exciting part of the entire plan," said O'Toole. "And as our success and growth continues – facilitated by our move to Browns Lane – this will also benefit our wide supply base, the majority of which is in and around Coventry."

Vladimir Antonov, co-owner of CPP, passionate car enthusiast and chairman of Convers Group, a Russian investment business, said: "The Browns Lane redevelopment demonstrates CPP's commitment to remaining in the heart of Coventry where it has access to the city's rich automotive skills base. It will help CPP to create hundreds of new jobs, establish advanced new facilities and is a major investment into the economy of the city and the surrounding region.

"I'd like to thank Advantage West Midlands and Coventry City Council for believing in our vision and for their support in taking us a major step closer to achieving our long-term objectives," concluded Antonov.

John Mutton, leader of Coventry City Council, said: "This is a massive boost for the city and the local economy – creating new jobs for Coventry people is a key priority for the Council and I'm delighted we've been able to play a part in bringing car production back to Browns Lane. CPP has recognised that we have the skills and commitment needed for quality car production right here in the city, and I'm looking forward to them playing a big part in Coventry's future economic success."

In January 2011, CPP acquired Bowler, the manufacturer of all-terrain supercars and a month later signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire Spyker Cars from its holding company. That memorandum of understanding has now lapsed but CPP remains confident of concluding a deal to acquire Spyker Cars.

In July 2011, CPP confirmed that it was operating a joint venture with the Italian design studio that operates the Zagato brand under licence from the Zagato family.

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