Monday, February 12, 2007

TVRs' New Owner Will Be Named Soon

BLACKPOOL, England — The administrators for English sports-car maker TVR have confirmed that the name of the new owner of the company will be announced on February 23 from a field of about a half-dozen serious bidders.

tvr sagarisThe move follows an abortive attempt by TVR's former owner, Russian billionaire Nikolai Smolensky, to heavily restructure the company by shifting production from its traditional site in Blackpool, England, to Bertone's coachbuilding operations on the outskirts of Milan, Italy.

Smolensky set about reorganizing the financially embattled company late last year when the lease on TVR's production facilities expired, splitting it into TVR Automotive and Blackpool Engineering. He planned to use TVR Automotive to relaunch the company without any ongoing debts or workforce confrontations. Blackpool Engineering, which was originally thought to only retain the rights to TVR's production facility, was sold and has since been placed into receivership. However, the U.K. patent office now reveals that Blackpool Automotive not only controls TVR's production facilities but also holds the rights to the TVR name, along with a host of other intellectual property, including trademarks to the TVR name in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America. Also under its control is the tooling for TVR's Tuscan, Tamora, Sagaris and T350 models, along with unsold stock of TVR cars and partly built cars.

Among those expressing interest in the company is former TVR engineer Al Melling. Melling designed TVR's classic inline six-cylinder and V8 engines and recently announced plans for his own 1,200-horsepower quad-turbocharged 6.3-liter V10 supercar called the Melling Hellcat.

Established in 1947, TVR is Britain's largest independent sports-car maker. It was founded by Trevor Wilkinson, who used three consonants from his first name for the company name.

© Source: article on insideline
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