British sports car to take on the world
Julian Turner (left), managing director|
of Westfield Sports Cars, with Black Country
Chamber International Trade Adviser Paul
Keeling (right) at the factory in Kingswinford.
26th March, 2009
Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the automotive industry,
there is one small UK company that is hitting top gear.
Westfield Sports Cars, based in Kingswinford, may produce just 400 vehicles a year, either as kit car or
ready-built models, but it is finding new markets around the world and has boosted exports by 80 per cent over
the past year, thanks to UK Trade & Investment.
International buyers are being attracted by the British craftsmanship and classic designs with modern
engineering. But the overseas expansion will continue this year following the company's recent acquisition of
Swedish firm Roadster Bil, makers of the AC Cobra inspired Saperas. These vehicles will eventually be built in
the UK and will combine the looks of the legendary British sports car with the hand-built craftsmanship of
Westfield managing director Julian Turner said: "We still have lots of interest from the UK market, more
now than a year ago, but people seem to be waiting to see what happens with the economy before making the final
decision with their money."
"With the economic downturn, we are concentrating much of our efforts abroad and UKTI is helping us with
that strategy through its Passport to Export initiative. International sales made up just 20 per cent of our
business a year ago. Since then we now have dealers in the Middle East, France, Malaysia and Holland, and we're
confident our growth will continue abroad."
Paul Keeling, international trade adviser at Black Country Chamber, with responsibility for the Advantage
West Midlands International Automotive Cluster programme said: "At a time when even the world's largest car
makers are reporting losses and being threatened with closure, it is great to see that the great British two
seater sports car is still in demand. And now their cars meet the European Small Series Specification, it
should lead to an increase in sales on the continent."
"Westfield has a passionate following with enthusiasts building their own cars and racing them, as well
as using them out on the open road. Its growth in exports has been great to see, and we're continuing to
support the company within the AWM Niche Vehicle Network and by putting the UKTI logo on the cars for track
days here in the UK and at exhibitions in Europe and the Middle East."