[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 24 April 2006, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Fears for TVR as firm quits plant
TVR car
The layoffs are more bad news for the British car industry
Fresh uncertainty surrounds the future of sportscar manufacturer TVR after it said it would quit its Blackpool factory within six months.

The firm - which has temporarily laid off more than a quarter of its 260 staff - said it was unable to guarantee the future of its remaining workforce.

However, TVR insisted that it would not close and said its Russian owner was committed to the company's future.

Union officials said the news was "devastating" for workers.

Established in 1947, TVR is Britain's largest independent sportscar owner and was bought by Russian tycoon Nikolai Smolensky in 2004.

Relocation

TVR is looking for new purpose-built premises after it decided not to renew the lease of its 30-year old factory in Blackpool.

I thought it (TVR) would stay in England for ever but that is obviously not the case
Andy Robertson, TGWU official

TVR has been under pressure as demand for its two seat sportscars has sagged and it revealed on Friday that it had temporarily stood down 71 of its 260 staff.

The firm said it hoped to remain in the area but also warned that it could be forced to relocate elsewhere in the UK if it could not find suitable premises nearby.

"This has been on the cards for quite a while," a TVR spokesman said.

"Ideally we would stay around here because that is where the trained people are but we cannot guarantee it."

TVR said it was "essential" that it found new premises within the next six months so production was not disrupted.

No guarantees

The firm said demand had picked up over Easter.

We are investing for the future
TVR

However, it warned that it could not guarantee the future of the 71 staff affected by the slowdown or those remaining with the business.

"We cannot make any guarantees," the spokesman said.

TVR said it hoped to export cars to Europe and the Middle East in the future and ruled out the possibility of the firm being forced to close.

"We are investing for the future and our new owner is in it for the long term," the spokesman said.

Unions said the outlook for the company was very bleak.

"The workforce is devastated by the news," Andy Robertson, a TGWU official, told BBC Radio Lancashire.

Workers had no idea where TVR cars would be made in the future, he said, and many were expecting to be made redundant.

"This is the quintessential British sports car," he added. "I thought it would stay in England for ever but that is obviously not the case."


SEE ALSO:
Union meets TVR bosses over cuts
23 Apr 06 |  Lancashire
TVR temporarily lays off workers
21 Apr 06 |  Business


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific