TVR will be offering engineering apprenticeships when it starts building its new 170mph sports car in Wales.
The carmaker’s operations director John Chasey said they would start building cars in the last quarter of 2017 with delivery beginning in 2018, and they intended to create apprenticeships among the 150 local people they planned to employ.
TVR chairman Les Edgar paid tribute to the co-operation and enthusiasm of Welsh Government officials who had encouraged them to restart car production in Wales after a gap of 13 years since the Blackpool based business stopped the lines.
He said while TVR intended to operate in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone it had not yet decided on a precise site but they will use it to bring in buyers to collect their models from the factory.
If the Circuit of Wales is up and running by 2018 the handover might include time on the track, but it’s not essential he said, adding, “We could use another circuit or may even build our own test track, we are keeping open our options.”
The chairman told media at the formal launch of the £30 Million investment that over 350 advance orders had been placed with deposits passing £1.75 Million.
The new car’s styling and manufacturing process has been refined by McLaren’s creative designer Gordon Murray and it is the first of four new cars in their lineup over the next ten years.
In addition, TVR has retained the jigs and components from making older models so it can provide a replacement parts service to existing owners.
The TVR investment was announced less than a month after Aston Martin said it will build its next global supercar at St Athan between Llantwit Major and Barry from 2019.
In 2017, TVR will celebrate 70 years of the marque, which was founded in Blackpool where it made their front engined and rear wheel drive cars and it hopes to have the new lines running in Wales for its anniversary.
One reason TVR came to Wales is the automotive supply chain in the area and the engineering experience to hand, said Mr Edgar.
WAF chief executive Tim Williams said the components industry in Wales would be delighted to work with TVR to discuss what it needed and what WAF member companies can supply, which would give greater job security to their businesses.
The First Minister Carwyn Jones told the audience at the announcement, “This is a fantastic high profile investment by an iconic world-class brand which will carry the label Made in Wales.”
© Robin Roberts