Location: Ebbw Vale
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
After a change of ownership, TVR has been looking to get back on track with the production of its new sports car. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has caused the company delays and some financial challenges. With a new loan via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the future now looks a lot brighter for this manufacturer.
Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Les Edgar, chairman of TVR: TVR is a British independent sports car manufacturer with over 70 years of history. During the 1990s, it became the second largest specialised sports car manufacturer in Europe, but towards the end of that decade sales began to taper off, in part due to a drop in engineering investment and reliability.
A change in ownership caused some further damage to the brand, and car production ceased in 2006. In 2013, we acquired the brand, absolutely determined to return TVR to the position of a highly desirable, profitable UK sports marque.
How did Covid-19 affect your business, and why did this mean you needed funding?
Basically, it’s delayed our project by nearly a year – hence the need for us to extend a new line of working capital.
We’d launched a £25 million bond on the Irish Stock Exchange, but as credit spreads widened in the debt markets due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the uptake hasn’t reached our aspirations. That in turn has delayed the major capital expenditure we needed to start manufacturing.
Additionally, the national lockdown meant we had to close our offices in Surrey, while the pandemic has also delayed the fitting-out process for our new factory in Wales.
How did you find the application process?
Raising funds is always a challenge and even more so for manufacturing projects during a pandemic. Fiduciam has been a reliable financial partner for us, and has always been willing to roll up its sleeves to fully understand our business plan.
Though we’ve endured delays because of COVID-19, we’re confident we’re now into the final straight to commence manufacturing of our new Griffith sports car.
Les Edgar, chairman of TVR
What do you think would have happened to your business if your application hadn’t been approved?
The funding squeeze would have caused further delays with bringing our new car into production.
Can you provide a specific example of how you used the funding to bring about a positive change (or changes) to your business?
The new £2 million Fiduciam loan, granted through CBILS, refinances an existing working capital facility that had expired. We’ve used the funding largely to develop and prototype our new Griffith sports car.
In what way did the funding help your business survive?
The order book, representing one year of production, would’ve shrunk if there were further delays to the projected roll-out of our new car.
Though we’ve endured further delays because of COVID-19, we’re confident we’re now into the final straight to commence manufacturing.