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Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph production could continue at Crewe after Volkswagen’s temporary licence to use the Rolls-Royce name runs out in 2003. Bernd Pischetsrieder, chairman of new owner BMW, said it would prefer to transfer production to a new UK factory. But it has not rejected an offer for VW to continue building the car at Crewe.

Vauxhall goes for gas

Vauxhall has added dual fuel versions of the Astra, Astravan, and Vectra and Omega estates to its dual fuel range. Chief executive Nick Reilly said it expects to sell 400 bi-fuel cars this year, rising to 5,000 in the next three years as gas refuelling infrastructure becomes more widespread.

Lea-Francis on show

Former Jaguar engineering director Jim Randle showed off the Lea-Francis 30/230, which has an innovative aluminium chassis cut, bent or folded from sheet aluminium using laser cutting and NC machinery. Randle hopes to go into production by Spring 2001.

S-V8 seeks support

Jensen launched the S-V8, with a Ford V8 engine, bonded aluminium chassis and steel body panels. The marque’s new owner, the Creative Group automotive consultancy, is seeking backers for production of up to a few hundred a year in the midlands next year.

Elise may launch

The Lotus Elise 340R concept car may go into production if press and public reaction is favourable, said managing director Graham Peel. It weighs just over 500kg and has a power/ weight ratio of 340bhp/ton.

Imports for Reliant

Reliant, the revived three-wheeler manufacturer, is to import India’s £8,000 San Strom coupe and the San Streak roadster, based on Renault Twingo running gear. It is also to import the Ligier Ambra microcar, which can be driven on a motorcycle licence.