TVR Griffith production stalls as south Wales factory hits problems

The chairman of TVR has disclosed via a newsletter to prospective owners new developments in the project to build an all-new, 500bhp Griffith.

The newsletter, written by Les Edgar and seen by Autocar, was first sent to depositors last month and comes more than two years after the Griffith project was first revealed. Since then, bar promises that work will soon start at TVR’s Ebbw Vale factory, all has gone quiet, so the new details will be intended to reassure depositors of the project’s progress.

Edgar’s newsletter reveals that TVR has now road-registered the original 2017 show car, which is believed to be the only Griffith built so far. The car will hit the road in the coming months for testing and event participation.

The company has also negotiated a deal with Ford to use the latest 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8, updated to meet EU emissions regulations. It will still feature the Cosworth-developed dry sump and TVR-specific revisions.

TVR has also appointed a new CEO, Jim Berriman, who is best known for his career at the Rover Group, where he worked on the first Land Rover Freelander and Mk3 Range Rover. He was also a key figure in the rebirth of Rolls-Royce, playing an integral part in the launch of the 2003 Phantom. Edgar said Berriman “brings valuable end-to-end experience of getting new cars off the drawing board, into production and out into market”. An as-yet-unnamed CFO has also been appointed.

Significant problems remain, though. Progress on the Ebbw Vale factory has been “slower than hoped” and the building is said to need a new roof. Edgar said TVR is working with the Welsh government to resolve these issues and get the work under way.

It’s understood a number of investors and depositors are growing impatient with the lack of progress. Edgar and Berriman have been approached for comment but neither has responded.

The saga looks likely to run on, and given the time it takes to develop, build and tool a car factory from scratch, don’t expect to see more than the one new Griffith on the road for quite some time.