RE: No more cars from TVR, says Smolensky

RE: No more cars from TVR, says Smolensky

Wednesday 11th July 2012

No more cars from TVR, says Smolensky

This time it's really over for TVR as a carmaker, as Smolensky turns to wind power for TVR



Nikolai Smolensky, owner of the moribund TVR brand, has officially given up any hope of restarting car production.

Smolensky made the revelation to our newshound colleagues over at Autocar, saying that customer demands and costs of production are too high to make a return to building sports cars viable.

Since production officially ceased in 2006, Smolensky had been trying to return to building TVR sports cars and, among his weirder wheezes was plans to resurrect TVR using re-conditioned Sagaris, Cerbera or Chimaera models with LS3 GM V8s (not a bad idea) or even BMW diesels (utter madness), and a project to build a more or less all-new model.

But what happened? "We built three cars," he told Autocar. "A Tuscan Mk2 with a 400hp Corvette LS3 engine, a Cerbera powered by a BMW twin-turbo V8 diesel and a GT350 powered by a 100kW electric motor. They all worked well but the costs were high. We would have had to sell them at between £100,000 and £200,000, which was too high to make sense."

Smolensky has no immediate plans to sell the TVR name either, so that's it folks: TVR will not make a car again for the foreseeable future, and the car brand that was once the poster-child of the anti-environmentalists will now be slapped on to portable wind turbines. Well, people have said before that Smolensky is full of hot air...

Author
Discussion

TUS 2 CON

Original Poster:

467 posts

217 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Why doesn't he do the decent thing and release the brand to someone who'll try and make ago of it. TVR branded portable wind turbines ???? What's the point?

Bob_Defly

2,005 posts

170 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
So why on earth did he buy the brand and then shut it down FFS?

What an amazing businessman... Cockface.

Egg Chaser

4,948 posts

106 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
I don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously, we'd love to see TVR producting cars again, but diesel and electric TVRs? That's just not right.

I agree with the above, he should do the decent thing and look for a buyer who will at least try and restart production.

dtrump

1,740 posts

130 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
I'd imagine that a Cerbera powered by a BMW twin-turbo V8 diesel and a GT350 powered by a 100kW electric motor would cost the earth.

But a Tuscan Mk2 with an old 400hp Corvette LS3 engine...between £100,000 and £200,000?....come on now, don't be silly.

Just sounds like he's made a bit of a starting effort but got bored and can't be arsed anymore

james280779

1,919 posts

168 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
the world is a much sadder place without TVR's, Love them to bits even if they are often 'in bits'
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Dave Hedgehog

10,074 posts

143 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
dtrump said:
I'd imagine that a Cerbera powered by a BMW twin-turbo V8 diesel and a GT350 powered by a 100kW electric motor would cost the earth.

But a Tuscan Mk2 with an old 400hp Corvette LS3 engine...between £100,000 and £200,000?....come on now, don't be silly.

Just sounds like he's made a bit of a starting effort but got bored and can't be arsed anymore
could easily cost 200k, if there expected turnover was moderately low, they have the cost of setting up the business, tooling up, training staff, getting systems into place, dealer network, advertising, actually making the thing etc

all of which would have to be payed for by the buyers

Dougal

597 posts

223 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Noble managed it, as have a few others. Tooling must still exist somewhere, granted some things will have to change. Some of the old staff may be willing to risk it with a restart. A cheap Ford or GM lump that is compliant would take a huge lump out of any development costs.

How do Morgan manage to keep producing their cars, the customer base is most definitely there, but from a regulation point of view? Is it just that they keep producing basically the same car, but just keep emissions in line?

Sorry, what I'm trying to say is, could you not just build a Griff with a compliant engine?

Strawman

6,463 posts

146 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Dougal said:
Sorry, what I'm trying to say is, could you not just build a Griff with a compliant engine?
Yes, and if you keep below the threshold for specialist car manufacturers (less than 1,000 cars produced per year ?) then compliance with various EU regulations for new cars are waived, for example no ABS needed?
But

Dave Hedgehog said:
could easily cost 200k, if there expected turnover was moderately low, they have the cost of setting up the business, tooling up, training staff, getting systems into place, dealer network, advertising, actually making the thing etc
all of which would have to be payed for by the buyers
Is right as well; as an example, take projected sales of 100 cars in first year, then optimistically 200 in the next, then see how much each car would have to be sold for to break even. Obviously the more sales made the smaller the proportion of fixed costs each car has to carry.

900T-R

20,203 posts

196 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Wiessmann gets by nicely producing just over 200 cars a year (the Dutch importer told me that they abandoned the hardtop business in 2008, so the car business is really a stand alone operation). Granted, they have strong links to an OEM from which they buy pretty much the entire drivetrain.

Donkervoort only makes 35-50 cars a year, they seem to manage OK, too. Controlling the aftermarket, motorsport and event business generated by the brand helps. And of course, they too get help from a major OEM.

If I were planning to restart TVR beyond an aftermarket and race team support business and maybe turn out half a dozen Sagarii, I'd be on Jaguar Land Rover's doorstep PDQ.

Bibbs

3,491 posts

149 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
200k? Really?

How much does a Sagaris shell cost to make?

Bolt in an LS3, and knock them out at 50k a pop.

Easy.

Just wish I could get ahold of a shell.

900T-R

20,203 posts

196 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
More like £80K I'd have guessed. £99,600 was pushing it a little maybe, but not that far from the real cost at all.

smartypants

38,983 posts

108 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Good news he's given up the idea of trying to make cars.

Bad news... wind turbines!? Release the TVR brand, let it die a dignified death.

trickymex

85 posts

121 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Why don't they go down the kit car route? I for one would love a cerbera with an m5 v10 or v8, come to think of it a m3 straight 6 would be good as well or the obvious GM v8 option. Just imagine the sound of a cerbera v10 screaming round the track........might see if I can find a cerbera with a blown engine

Dougal

597 posts

223 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
I'm not saying it's easy, not by a long shot, but he basically has the choice of a few cars to build, start with a classic convertible which isn't as demanding, tooling/skill base wise but would still attract attention and sales, then move up as the business starts to take off. Start small and work up, keeping some of the mentioned costs low, advertising.....a few posts on here and a quick interview with autocar would do the trick. Every time he puts out a PR saying he's going to be making a new TVR even friends of mine who have no interest in cars whatsoever tell me about it and seem quite excited. Dealership, not entirely sure you would want to set them up initially, but tagging onto dealers like Mole Valley like Noble do shouldn't be bank breaking surely?

Breaking even in the first few years would, I would have thought, be a rare thing, it could take quite a while for that to happen. There are still some investors out there that would be willing to assist bank roll it given a decent business plan.

Strawman

6,463 posts

146 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
900T-R said:
Donkervoort only makes 35-50 cars a year, they seem to manage OK, too.
The top model cost €100-€150k with the 2.5-liter TFSI Audi engine (that produces 340 horsepower, which can then be bumped up to 400 horsepower)?

EFA

Edited by Strawman on Wednesday 11th July 07:25

sisu

430 posts

112 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Is this Smolensky guy a finacial douch, the wind energy market has been declining "A strong competition in the industry has led to a substantial decline of prices. Especially, a strong growth of Indian and Chinese players could be observed, who have cost advantages of up to 50% compared to the traditional European and/or American players.
As a consequence, shares of European and North American producers of wind energy turbines have seen a sharp decline."

Mastodon2

12,807 posts

104 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
This is shocking and unexepected news, please excuse me while I go and have a sit down rofl

Time to put the TVR name down and let it die with some dignity.

DJRC

23,563 posts

175 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
One day I will sexually abuse that man with fish!

TomTVR500

227 posts

100 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
F**K!!!


Just sell it to someonwe who will start it back up.

Toadusmodus

688 posts

220 months

Wednesday 11th July 2012
quotequote all
Bob_Defly said:
So why on earth did he buy the brand and then shut it down FFS?

What an amazing businessman... Cockface.
Couldn't have put it better myself!