Low-volume sports car manufacturer Westfield Sports Cars has been placed in administration, threatening to end four decades of production. In addition to the car firm entering insolvency, Westfield’s autonomous vehicle division will also be liquidated.
The company employed 50 workers at its premises in Kingswinford, Dudley, UK. Westfield has been in operation since 1983, producing approximately 13,000 cars. Much like rivals Caterham, the firm specialized in Lotus Seven replica kits. The company was founded by Chris Smith, a former historic GP competitor and engineer. Notable past creations that have received international acclaim were the V8-powered SEiGHT, as well as several models powered by high-capacity motorcycle engines.
Westfield had expanded as recently as 2019, purchasing Chesil, a maker of Porsche 356 replicas, which too has been listed for administration.
Meanwhile, Westfield Autonomous Vehicles were behind the autonomous pods that shuffled between a business car park and the Terminal 5 main building at London’s Heathrow airport. The autonomous vehicle arm had hoped to become “the Boeing or Airbus of the automotive world.”
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A report from Autocar notes that cash flow had been tight as the company entered 2022 with under £26,000 (~$31,600) in hand. Company records make for bleak reading, as they show Westfield Sports Cars had stock worth £2.2 million (~$2.68 million), debts owed of £1.76 million (~$2.14 million), and owed its parent company Westfield Technology Group £1.2 million (~$1.4 million).
Interestingly, Westfield Technology Group and its subsequent parent company, Potenza Enterprises Limited, have not been listed as entering into administration.
Mark Bowen of MB Insolvency has been appointed as administrator of the businesses on June 9. According to the BBC, Bowen is said to be working on informing creditors, including people who had ordered vehicles and parts, what the current position was. The firm also said it had had “encouraging” levels of interest from parties interested in Westfield’s business and remaining assets.