TVR pinky-promises to be back on track with the new Griffith
Given how much I love TVR as a brand, I’ve been trying to keep a close eye on the new Griffith project ever since company boss Les Edgar announced the brand will be “roaring back.” And it all seemed fine at first glance. TVR secured a V-8 deal with Ford and Cosworth, a composite chassis using Gordon Murray’s iStream technology, and after a bit of a delay, the red Griffith prototype got a big reveal at the 2017 Goodwood Revival, surrounded by all of the rarest TVR prototypes. But then came trouble.
Not unlike fellow British startup INEOS, TVR wants to set up its factory in Wales, a country which has been actively lobbying to create new jobs in high-unemployment areas. Initially, TVR plans to hire 80 people, gradually building up its staff to 200 heads once production is at full throttle. Yet when we look at the product that was first promised for “late 2018” deliveries, it’s hard to imagine 200 happy faces at TVR.
With all 500 of the launch edition cars supposed to be “pre-sold,” TVR made a single Griffith so far. On the plus side, the red prototype has been registered as a TVR since, now wearing the British plates UK69 TVR. This makes the new TVR company a valid carmaker, even if only by a hair.
The biggest obstacle between the dream and series production seems to be the proposed plant itself. The former Techboard factory was supposed to be refurbished for TVR’s purposes by now, but experts first found the derelict building to be full of asbestos, which then had to be removed as toxic waste. After this complication, the European Union pointed out that the Welsh government’s three-percent stake in TVR is a touch problematic, not to mention that bidding for the construction work must go out to the entire EU, not just to local firms.
Two and a half years after the Griffith’s public debut, TVR made the following announcement:
“The planning application has now been submitted for our new 200-mph Griffith Supercar Factory in Ebbw Vale (Wales). The application has been sent to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council detailing refurbishment of the former Techboard factory on Rassau Industrial Estate, which will become the manufacturing home of the new Griffith.”
Those who paid a deposit just keep looking at their calendars.