The new S-V8 luxury Jensen sports car, which will revive the historic car marque, is to be built on Merseyside, rather than in the car maker’s traditional West Midlands home.
Jensen Motors managing director Keith Rauer said the availability of greenfield sites for an assembly plant, plus European regeneration funding, swung the decision in favour of Merseyside. South Wales was the third option.
Jensen, which will put the S-V8 on sale in June, expects to chose between sites in Knowsley, Kirby and Speke within the next two weeks. The plant is expected to create 60 jobs by 2001.
Rauer and Robin Bowyer, co-founders of automotive design and production consultant Creative Group, bought the name Jensen and developed the S-V8 over the past two years.
A £10m funding package leaves Rauer and Bowyer owning 60% of Jensen.
The rest comes from 20 private investors who have each put up between £20,000 and £1m; a grant of £400,000 in Regional Selective Assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry; £250,000 from Liverpool City Council; a loan from Merseyside Special Investment Fund under Objective 1 status; and £250,000 from Jensen’s management team.