TVR finds supercar

zone

TVR Gordon Murray concept
TVR chairman Les Edgar and designer Gordon Murray

ICONIC British sports car company TVR is on track to build its first model in more than a decade with the announcement it is to start production at a new factory in Wales.

Around 150 assembly and engineering jobs will be created in the £30 million investment in the Ebbw Vale Industrial Zone over the next five years.

Advance orders for the as yet unnamed new 155mph sports car exceed 350 which will take it to the end of its first year in production by 2018.

Four new models are in the pipeline over ten years as it reaches a peak of 2,000 cars annually by 2022.

TVR has been steered towards the Ebbw Vale Industrial Zone because of plans for the forthcoming Circuit of Wales on adjacent land and the car maker's desire to have a road-test facility for development and customer hand-overs.

But TVR has not yet decided precisely where in the zone it wants to have a factory and this is seen as a way of protecting its plans if the Circuit of Wales is not entirely finished in time.

The TVR deal with the Welsh Government is being announced by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The news comes a month after Aston Martin said it will build its next global supercar at St Athan between Llantwit Major and Barry in Glamorgan from 2019.

In 2017, TVR will celebrate 70 years of the marque which was founded in Blackpool where it made its front engined and rear wheel drive cars until 2004 and it is expected it will symbolically restart production in Wales after 12 years stoppage.

The new models will use F1 design guru Gordon Murray's revolutionary i-stream carbon fibre construction system needing fewer assembly workers but is highly adaptable and less expensive than traditional methods.

It will still, however, mean scores of jobs in assembly and secure more in the supply chain.

TVR says it has plans for a range of new models after the forthcoming 5.0-litre V8 rear wheel drive car, including a possible hybrid or all-electric supercar gunning for Tesla.

The First Minister described the TVR move as 'a fantastic high profile investment by an iconic world-class brand' which would carry the label 'Made in Wales'.

TVR chairman Les Edgar said: "South Wales is becoming a major hub for automotive and motorsport technology and is a serious opportunity for business development and job creation."

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