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    TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression

    Good to hear, I really wish this "hard core sportcar" maker becomes a big success against today's GT decafinated sportcar trend what they need now is german engineering

    (Auto Express)
    Quote:
    Even by TVR's standards the last couple of months have been extraordinary. The saga began after a surprise phone call to TVR boss Peter Wheeler from 24-year-old Russian multi-millionaire Nikolai Smolensky, saying he'd heard the company was for sale and he wanted to buy it. Immediately. Two weeks later, on July 27, at 10am, Smolensky signed the paperwork and became 100 per cent owner of TVR Engineering Ltd for a sum rumoured to be in the region of Pounds15 million.

    Small specialist sports car companies seldom rate many column inches in Fleet Street, but the Russian connection and Smolensky's youth created a thirst for information amongst the national press. They were to be largely thwarted, as Smolensky shares Wheeler's loathing for self-publicity.

    Now the dust has settled, evo can reveal that behind the scenes Smolensky was quick to make his presence felt around the TVR works in Blackpool and is quietly instituting a programme of changes that may silence cynics who believe he's simply a rich boy playing at carmaker. One of Smolensky's first actions was to reassure the 400-strong workforce that their jobs were safe and that he intends to realise TVR's true potential over the coming few years.

    Clearly a realist, Smolensky feels that the first and most important nettle to be grasped is to attend to TVR's reputation for unreliability, perceived or otherwise. He has already introduced several more layers of quality control in the production process. Now, as each car is assembled at a production station it has to be signed off by the quality control department before moving on to the next process.

    Additionally there's now a new, separate quality control department. It's responsible for every finished car that rolls off the production line and carries out numerous final checks, including a road test, before the car is ready to be signed off and delivered to the dealer.

    This quest for increased quality control has led to both the Sagaris and Typhon being delayed for several months as Smolensky believes insufficient development testing has been done to consider releasing them to customers. He's insisting that at least another 50,000 test miles are completed before a sign-off process can begin.

    It's this tough stance that will surprise most pundits, who thought Smolensky's purchase of TVR was just a rash move by a young, wealthy Russian with money to burn. And it appears that Smolensky is planning to move his family to Blackpool so that he can concentrate fully on sorting out the company. Smolensky claims to love the unique appeal of TVRs, citing their design and performance as his motivation for purchasing the company.

    The young Russian is also keen to demonstrate to the workforce how much he values them and how important they are to the future success of TVR. Recognising that there has been a certain lack of resources in recent times, Smolensky has been supplying lunch for all 400 employees prior to a new canteen being built on-site. And a corporate uniform has brought a feeling of team spirit to the factory.

    Smolensky is actively looking for a new site for the TVR factory as the current Bristol Avenue facility has a very haphazard layout that would stifle future growth. TVR is currently advertising for engineers and assembly workers to facilitate Smolensky's ambitious plans to expand the company into new markets around the world.

    Sensibly there are no plans to introduce new models, simply to enhance the existing range. However, the upshot of the quality improvements will mean that the cars will be more costly to produce and TVR is planning a price rise of around 10 per cent across the range to cover this; existing orders will be honoured at current prices.

    Smolensky starts each day at TVR with an 8am Heads of Department meeting, with another at 5pm to see if everything discussed in the morning has been actioned.

    Ex-boss Wheeler is now acting as a consultant, heading up the existing TVR design team; working with the designers was what Wheeler always enjoyed most. Despite selling the company for a considerable sum, Wheeler's only big purchase so far has been a year-old Vauxhall Signum.

    In a very short period of time Smolensky has made a big impact at TVR, and is described by insiders as 'fearsomely' intelligent. TVR would seem to have a rosy future under its new Russian ownership.


    Re: TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression



    Maybe we will get something light and powerful from TVR in the U.S. in five years.

    Re: TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression

    TVR, reliability?.... bwhahahahahha!!!

    Re: TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression

    Thanks for the link Carlos.
    Interesting but too soon to tell.
    Moogle, which TVR have you owned or driven?

    Re: TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression

    Fanch,

    Don't get me wrong here, I am a huge fan of TVR and what they do,

    the beautiful bodies wrapped around insane power to weight ratio chassis/engines.

    however, when i was in the UK last year for fashion week, I rented quite a few of those wonderful british cars to drive around, including a TVR Speed 6 (amongst others)

    i was eager to dispell the myth of their suspect relability as well as questionably interior quality.

    that said, the first thing that happened was the gearshift came off in my hand, and subsequently, the engine stalled and refused to start again, all of those on a beautiful road.

    that plssed me off.

    like ive said before, i would have purchased a TVR speed 6 instead of the boxster S that i have now back in 2002, if they had them in the USA, for me reliability CAN take a backseat to style and beauty...

    however, i just can't seem to get that memory out of my head.

    i will be in the UK for fashion week again next month, time for a DB9 perhaps?

    i always 'roll' in a given country's supercars, except in the USA

    american cars' build quality makes TVR look like a japanese manufactuere.

    Cheers!

    Re: TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression

    Quote:
    carlos fromspain said:
    Good to hear, I really wish this "hard core sportcar" maker becomes a big success against today's GT decafinated sportcar trend what they need now is german engineering

    (Auto Express)
    Quote:

    Now the dust has settled, evo can reveal that behind the scenes Smolensky was quick to make his presence felt around the TVR works in Blackpool and is quietly instituting a programme of changes that may silence cynics who believe he's simply a rich boy playing at carmaker.

    Clearly a realist, Smolensky feels that the first and most important nettle to be grasped is to attend to TVR's reputation for unreliability, perceived or otherwise. He has already introduced several more layers of quality control in the production process. Now, as each car is assembled at a production station it has to be signed off by the quality control department before moving on to the next process.

    Additionally there's now a new, separate quality control department. It's responsible for every finished car that rolls off the production line and carries out numerous final checks, including a road test, before the car is ready to be signed off and delivered to the dealer.

    The young Russian is also keen to demonstrate to the workforce how much he values them and how important they are to the future success of TVR. Recognising that there has been a certain lack of resources in recent times, Smolensky has been supplying lunch for all 400 employees prior to a new canteen being built on-site. And a corporate uniform has brought a feeling of team spirit to the factory.

    Sensibly there are no plans to introduce new models, simply to enhance the existing range. However, the upshot of the quality improvements will mean that the cars will be more costly to produce and TVR is planning a price rise of around 10 per cent across the range to cover this; existing orders will be honoured at current prices.






    Sounds good as far as it goes, but "Quality Control" only allows you to catch quality problems after you have already made parts or assemblies at great expense, and then you have to repair or replace them, causing even more expense.
    The "modern" approach is to design components and systems and their production processes from the beginning to be as "foolproof" as possible in terms of quality. This involves more automation and more expensive tooling, to minimize the inconsistencies caused by the "human element".
    These measures will unfortunately be economically out-of-reach for cars produced in such small numbers as the various TVR models, so their owners will always have to have a higher tolerance threshold for quality glitches than needs to be the case for products made in larger numbers.

    Let's hope Smolensky finds enough tolerant buyers to continue to be able to make interesting "decaf" sports cars for a long time. The world would be a duller place without them.

    PS @ Carlos: Did you notice that this article was much better written than that other "Auto Express" item which I said was weird?

    Re: TVR's russian boss seems to be giving a good impression

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    ...Let's hope Smolensky finds enough tolerant buyers to continue to be able to make interesting "decaf" sports cars for a long time. ...



    I didn't know anything about Mister Smolensky before but he seems to contribute in a very effective manner.

    TVR's reliability problems were well-known and a lot of the first-modelyear-customers felt like being part of an extended range of testdrivers...

    TVR never made a refined impression on me and there is still a huge difference between a light and agile sportscar and a fat moving piece of plastic. I'd say this is TVR's once and only chance to step up the latter in the next foreseeable future - it shouldn't and probably won't go wrong!

    Cheers!

     
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