OF 2006

See it








..... more

Connaught Sets Up In Wales



22nd April, 2007


Connaught Motor Company – the team behind the world’s first high performance hybrid sports coupe - is setting up its global manufacturing and R&D headquarters in Wales.

The £12million investment, which will provide 200 new highly skilled jobs over the next three years, was announced by Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies in Cardiff late last month.

Connaught’s decision to establish its headquarters in Wales is being supported by the Welsh Assembly Government with regional selective assistance as well as SMARTCymru funding for research and development of advanced hybrid technology.

The Assembly Government’s International Business Wales team played a pivotal role in attracting the company to Wales following initial discussions in 2006.

Connaught is one of the famous British marques dating back to the 1950s and had the distinction of winning the Syracuse Grand Prix in Sicily in 1955 - the first time a British driver, Tony Brooks had won a Formula One GP in a British car.

The brand, which is synonymous with innovative design and technology development, was revived in 2002 after a 40 year gap by Tim Bishop and Tony Martindale.

Under their direction Connaught has already developed five prototype vehicles that have caused considerable excitement and interest.

Production of the Connaught Type-D commences in Wales in 2007, with the first customer vehicle due off the production line early 2008.

The Connaught Technical Centre, a purpose designed £3.5m, 60,000 sq ft production unit, incorporating R&D facilities,  design workshops and office accommodation, will be built at Llanelli Gate for completion in 2009. In the meantime the company will lease temporary accommodation including interim manufacturing space in the area.

The news was warmly welcomed by the Minister who described it as extremely exciting news and a significant boost for the automotive sector in Wales.

“Connaught is a highly innovative, technology driven company led by an extremely experienced and talented team. The company’s focus on alternative fuel technology and niche vehicle capability is of particular interest to us in Wales and has a synergy with the work already under development in this field through our automotive clusters programme."

“The automotive industry is a strategic sector in Wales which is home to a significant number of global blue chip companies that have found considerable success here."

“The sector benefits from the support of the Assembly Government, the quality of the workforce and the expertise and research coming from our universities. Connaught, I know is keen to engage with Welsh academic institutions to maximise the benefits of research and development activities."

“Connaught is a welcome addition to the Welsh automotive sector and we look forward to seeing the production in Wales of the first hybrid solution in a sports coupe.”

The limited edition 4 seater Connaught Type D GT Syracuse with a Connaught designed V10 2-litre supercharged 300 bhp engine will be its first car built in Wales, to be followed by the hybrid version – the Connaught Type-D V10 sports coupe which combines high performance with excellent fuel economy.

It will be the world’s first truely high performance hybrid sports coupe and has been designed in-house, is patent protected and delivers 30% reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to vehicles in its class.

Connaught anticipates building 100 cars in the first year, 250 in the second year, rising to an extremely ambitious 1,000 in year five, targeting the UK and European markets.

It anticipates recruiting 30 engineers in the first year and scaling up as production of its first vehicle rolls off the production line in 07/08.

Fred Page-Roberts, chairman of Connaught said the decision to establish their operation in Wales and manufacture in-house was taken in part because of the high level of support from the Assembly Government and its International Business Wales team.

“The Assembly Government is proactively looking to attract the next generation of manufacturing jobs and technology to Wales – it is looking ahead and pursuing tomorrow’s technology today."

“It is this extremely positive attitude, its global outlook and the strong political will that impressed us tremendously and made this such an attractive option for us."

“Wales also has the available skills sets for the sector, a highly developed supply chain and considerable academic expertise that provides a winning combination.”

Meritus Professor Garel Rhys OBE, Centre for Automotive Research, Cardiff University Business School, described Connaught as a solidly based company with a diversity of automotive related projects in addition to car making.

“The high value added technology focus of the company is especially relevant to the 'green' demands being placed on the motor industry and is therefore placed squarely in a growth sector of the market."

“The demand for well made ultra specialist cars is growing and total UK production of such vehicles is approaching an all-time high of 25,000 a year. Given this and the growing demand for greener technological solutions Connaught's ambitions add up to a sustainable long term enterprise.”

Other Connaught content: here.

Australian flag

Next Car Pty Ltd

Next Car Pty Ltd
ABN 47106248033

Copyright © 2003-2007.
All rights reserved.