Mike Flewitt, erstwhile CEO of McLaren Automotive, has been named arsenic president of the Briggs Automobile Company (BAC), promising to bring his acquisition of 4 decades astatine the apical of the car manufacture to physique what its founders said is their company’s “ambitious maturation strategy and caller exemplary programme”.
Flewitt said helium has known the Briggs brothers for respective years and has been profoundly impressed with some the prime of their single-seat BAC Mono R car and the ratio of their tiny but profitable 40-person business.
Here he answers questions connected his caller role, which begins immediately.
You indispensable person had different opportunities aft McLaren. Why take BAC?
"I’m a large instrumentality of the Briggs brothers and I emotion what they do. Anyone who knows maine knows I person a store afloat of lightweight cars; BAC’s guiding principles are the aforesaid arsenic my own. I tried the Mono R past twelvemonth and was amazed by its capability and the sheer absorption connected the amusive of driving.
"I’m particularly excited due to the fact that BAC is based a mates of miles from wherever I grew up successful Liverpool, not acold from Ford Halewood, wherever I joined the manufacture successful the 1980s."
How tin you help?
"Neil Briggs is simply a decorator and Ian [Briggs] is an engineer. I’m neither, but I bash person a bully woody of manufacture knowhow: experience of however markets work, of distribution, of fiscal and manufacturing practice. I judge this tin beryllium useful, particularly successful the caller enlargement signifier they’re contemplating."
What are the details of the expansion?
"BAC volition physique steadily. The institution makes astir 40 cars a twelvemonth present – at prices up to £250,000 – and it’s profitable, which not galore tiny companies tin say. We’ll physique steadily arsenic we instrumentality the cars into caller markets. It’s imaginable to spot america doing 50 cars adjacent year.
"That whitethorn not dependable similar many, but it’s a 20% increase. In 2 oregon 3 years, we could get to 100 cars. We’re having discussions with distributors close present astir US sales.
"The existing mill mightiness strain a spot astatine 100 cars, but it could grip it."
Talking caller models, is determination superior speech of a BAC two-seater?
"It’s a speech we’ve had, but it’s not connected the agenda. We’re alert that a road-going but track-focused single-seater arsenic costly arsenic the Mono R is simply a beauteous specializer product.
"Its main accent is connected providing unthinkable driving characteristics. But we wouldn’t regularisation retired a two-seater, provided it could lucifer the driving prime of existing cars."
You travel from an ultra-high tech institution making carbonfibre chassis and bespoke hybridised engines. The Mono R has neither. Will you property for higher tech successful BAC’s adjacent designs?
"The powertrain and the chassis are areas we’re discussing, but BAC’s prime and driving standards are already among the highest anywhere. We’d person to beryllium definite changes would amended the show oregon lawsuit entreaty of our cars. We’ll ever look precise cautiously astatine wherever we enactment our investment."
Is portion of your ngo to hole for electrification?
"For sure. We person alternate powertrain options close now, but we’re not successful a unreserved to instrumentality them, due to the fact that astatine contiguous they wouldn’t enactment arsenic good arsenic what we person now, and our customers aren’t calling for them. But helping BAC hole for the aboriginal is precise overmuch portion of my role."
Does it consciousness large to beryllium backmost moving with high-performance cars?
"Of course. I truly don’t consciousness arsenic if I’ve been away; after McLaren, it was simply indispensable to soft-pedal for a while. But I wanted my adjacent relation to beryllium thing I could beryllium definite I’d enjoy. And I emotion this industry, and particularly the BAC ethos of lightweight construction."