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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So what's happening with Januarys' story about the Healey name being sold to an Anglo-American consortium, HFI, Healey Automobile Consultants, Tim Fenna, and plans for an all-new car???

The Times May 03, 2006

Healey car to be reborn with Smart overhaul
By Christine Buckley, Industrial Editor

HEALEY, one of the classic names in British sports cars, is to be revived by a consortium including David James, the Conservative Party adviser and company doctor, The Times has learnt.

The Project Kimber consortium, which tried to acquire the assets of MG Rover and then the MG brand last year, has bought the Healey name from the family of Donald Healey, the rally driver and the business’s founder, who died in 1988.

The consortium plans to start production — possibly in Coventry — of a new retro-style sports car towards the end of next year, with an annual output of up to 15,000 cars and initially employing about 200 people.

Access Capital, a venture capital group working with the consortium, is believed to have secured funding of £65 million for the first two years of the operation. Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, has offered £1.95 million in grant aid for the scheme, the maximum that it is able to offer, for production to be based in an old Dunlop factory in Coventry.

However, locations in Germany and South Wales may be considered. The consortium is also awaiting the outcome of an application for assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry.

The new Healey car will be based on the technologies and designs of the Smart roadster car, which the consortium has bought from Mercedes, Smart’s owner.

The acquisition of the brand comes after the consortium’s failure to buy the MG name-badge from Nanjing Automotive Corporation, the Chinese owner of MG Rover’s assets. Nanjing has wanted to hold on to the badge in the hope of reviving car production at MG Rover’s former Longbridge plant, but it has yet to find a partner with sufficient investment to begin the project. In July, Nanjing either will have to pull out of a long-term lease with the Longbridge site’ s owner, the property company St Modwen, or commit to it fully.

The revival of Healey comes as TVR, another famous British sports car business, will hold talks with unions today over its plan to end production in Blackpool, where it has made cars for more than 30 years.



Donald Healey, a rally driver, began to build his own cars in 1946. He went on to run a small car works and, in 1952, his 100 model drew attention at the Earls Court show

Austin, the motor group, started to make the 100 at Longbridge, Birmingham, as the Austin Healey 100. It had a 2.6 litre engine.
In 1958 came the Sprite, called “Frog-Eyed” for the headlights bolted on to the bonnet. A more powerful version of the 100 — the Healey 3000 — followed

Austin Healeys ceased to be made in 1972. Jensen, the sports car company, revived the Healey name, but it collapsed in 1975
I wonder if the consortium including David James, also includes HFI, Healey Automobile Consultants, Tim Fenna, and they've all linked up to make re-bodied Smart roadsters and stick Healey badges on them?

I have to say it makes me a little more optimistic for production resuming at LB if this bunch have secured funding of £65 million for a retro sportscar, someone must be able to put up a decent amount of capital to support a manufacturing operation at Longbridge that makes propper cars!
 

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15,000 cars? A start-up operation with no dealer chain or worldwide distribution is suddenly going to start selling cars in MX-5 and TF numbers?

Why do British small scale sports car manufacturers always tout hopelessly optomistic sales figures?
 

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Depends how much of the car is built by the suppliers before it hits the track. I would guess nearly all of it will come in large modules and then gets bolted together - I'd be surprised if they even bother to have a paint shop on site.

But 200 workers for 15,000 units does sound rather, er, lean.
 

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V8King said:
Depends how much of the car is built by the suppliers before it hits the track. I would guess nearly all of it will come in large modules and then gets bolted together - I'd be surprised if they even bother to have a paint shop on site.

But 200 workers for 15,000 units does sound rather, er, lean.
Not only that but you have to have people in the administration,marketing,logistics etc.
 

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Read the report again chaps - it says:

with an annual output of up to 15,000 cars and initially employing about 200 people.

The important bits are 'up to' and 'initially'. In other words they will start with 200 people (making an unknown number of cars) and hope to increase production up to 15,000 cars (no doubt using more people).

Makes perfect sense to me. The numbers that is, not the plan to stick a Healey badge on a smart roadster... :shake:


(I've been accused of being a pedant once already today - so I may as well live up to it ;))
 

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I think 1500 might be on the high side. Have these people even looked at how large the potential market is? At a reasonable price (difficult unless you have a huge factory) 15,000 sales *might* be achievable from a large manufacturer with a huge worldwide dealer and distribution chain and all the marketing power and money of a volume player but a standalone small outfit employing 200 people?

Just because Smart managed to flog 2500 Coupe/Roadsters in a good year in the UK doesn't mean anyone can do it. This is DaimlerChrysler - not Joe Bloggs Car Sales with a sales team of 3 and a marketing budget of £3.50 and 7 dealers.

Every single small scale UK sports car manufacturer who have come up with sales targets like this have been a total failure and I fear this will go the same way.
 

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I think the optimism stems from selling a lot of cars based purely on a name - presumably aimed at the US market. After all, Nanjing are digging Austin up from the dead, and BMW must've held on to the Riley name for a reason.
 

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What a great way to destroy the Healey name :(

Take one rubbish little underperforming cast-off, change badge and hey presto!

WHY?!?

Why can't they do a proper job! SV into big Healey - fair enough, I can see that. But Smart Roadster into Sprite? Are they Mad?
 

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Whoops - is that the sound of screeching brakes from the Kimber bandwagon?

In todays Times page 50, the solicitors acting for Healey Automobile Consultants which owns the trademarks, have categorically stated that "there is no impending agreement between our client and Project Kimber in respect of the sale of the rights to the Healey name".

Perhaps the Healey people want to see some money on the table before signing anything?
 

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Truebrit said:
Perhaps the Healey people want to see some money on the table before signing anything?
Isn't it more like when they bought the "MG" brand from Nanjing without Nanjing knowing anything about it?
 

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Windy said:
Isn't it more like when they bought the "MG" brand from Nanjing without Nanjing knowing anything about it?
You have to wonder what they expect to achieve with this tactic. Are they trying to force the brand owner into selling by getting publicity first?

More likely to get their backs up I would think.

Who's next - Triumph? Or did they try that one already?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Truebrit said:
Whoops - is that the sound of screeching brakes from the Kimber bandwagon?

In todays Times page 50...
Apparently it's a verbal agreement....
The Times May 04, 2006
Sources close to the consortium that is attempting to revive the Healey sports car name hope that a deal to resurrect the famous brand will be complete in the next few days. Intensive talks have been held in the past few weeks and a verbal agreement is thought to have been made. However, solicitors acting for Healey Automobile Consultants, which owns the sports car trademarks, have categorically stated that no deal has been signed and “there is no impending agreement between our client and Project Kimber in respect of the sale of the rights to the Healey name”.
 

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More hot air from David James? By now he was meant to be making cars badge MG wasn't he? Now he's making Healey's....Hmmm

Me thinks he needs a brand name...
 

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He should just stick Ferrari badges on, then change it to something else when Ferrari complain, Maybe Lotus or Porsche or Guinness or something.
 

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Truebrit said:
Whoops - is that the sound of screeching brakes from the Kimber bandwagon?

In todays Times page 50, the solicitors acting for Healey Automobile Consultants which owns the trademarks, have categorically stated that "there is no impending agreement between our client and Project Kimber in respect of the sale of the rights to the Healey name".

Perhaps the Healey people want to see some money on the table before signing anything?
Thank god for that.
 

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MG ZS 120+ said:
oi oi

im sure i read some were it showed you a list of who owns what brands i believe BAE own the riley name .

download
I thought BMW retained the Riley and Triumph names, as well as some of the old Mini-related names like Clubman. Maybe Triumph motorcycles have to pay BMW a licensing fee.... in the same way that BMW don't actually own the Rolls Royce name, they paid a fee for the rights to build cars under the brand (confused? my head hurts...). Unless BAE are planning on building a new light aircraft and calling it a Riley Elf...
 

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Simon, Triumph Motorcycles do not pay BMW for the right to use the name. This point was discussed on here a while back iirc, although you may have to do a fair old bit of searching to find the thread I'm afraid - sorry I can't give you the link to it at the mo.
 
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