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Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK


Business: The Company File

Jensen roars back

About 600 S-V8s will be produced each year

One of the great names of British motoring returns to the road as re-born Jensen announces its first new model.

The firm, best known for its Jensen Interceptor, went into liquidation in 1992 after years of financial difficulties.


[ image: Jensen is held in high esteem by motoring enthusiasts]
Jensen is held in high esteem by motoring enthusiasts
But the marque was bought by West Midlands company Creative last year, and is now set to relaunch with a £40,000 two-seater.

Graham Morris, who resigned as chief executive of Rolls-Royce last year, has been appointed chairman of the new Jensen company.

He is overseeing production of the new Jensen S-V8, which will be built in the UK with an imported US Ford V8 engine.


The BBC's Stephen Evans: "Now it's back and just as sleek"
About 600 S-V8s will be produced a year once the model is in full production at its new Merseyside factory, which will emply about 60 people.

More than 20 private investors and public bodies, including the Department of Trade and Industry and Liverpool City Council, invested £10m in the new model.


[ image: Jensen's are regulars at classic car shows]
Jensen's are regulars at classic car shows
The move from its traditional West Bromwich base to Merseyside is likely to be controversial, with the West Midlands motor industry already angered by the decision by Jaguar to build its new "baby Jag" at Halewood, on Merseyside, instead of at company HQ in Coventry.

Executives at Jensen say they have already had about 110 orders for the car, which will be on display at the London Motor Show later this month.

The all-aluminium car will have a top speed of about 150mph.

Jensen was founded by Alan and Richard Jensen in the West Midlands in 1935.

The marque is regarded as one of the classic sports car makers, ranking alongside names like Aston Martin.

The company was badly hit by the fuel crisis in the 1970s, with its sporty, high fuel-consumption, models being hit by rising fuel prices.

Even the classic Interceptor, one of the great cars of the 1970s, failed to revive sales.

Owners of the powerful seven-litre Interceptor have included actor John Thaw, Sir Cliff Richard and Henry Cooper.



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