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Author: Subject: Westfield - insolvency announcement
ken555

posted on 9/6/22 at 01:56 PM Reply With Quote
Westfield - insolvency announcement

https://westfield-sportscars.co.uk/

Mark Bowen of MB Insolvency was appointed as Administrator of Westfield Sports Cars Limited and Westfield Autonomous Vehicles Limited. Mark Bowen is licensed to act as an Insolvency Practitioner by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. The affairs, business and property of the Companies (in Administration) are managed by the Administrator, who acts as an agent of the Companies and without personal liability. Creditors can contact the Administrator’s office at information@mb-i.co.uk.

[Edited on 9-6-22 by ken555]






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theconrodkid

posted on 9/6/22 at 02:27 PM Reply With Quote
trouble is, these cars are seen as a weekend toy and people are cutting back on said purchases.
hopefully someone will buy them out and save them from being consigned to the dustbin on history.





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big_wasa

posted on 9/6/22 at 04:54 PM Reply With Quote
Just seen this and wondered if it had been posted here.
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Mr Whippy

posted on 9/6/22 at 08:10 PM Reply With Quote
Well lets face it the cars are utterly impractical and normally very expensive and its a market segment that has much fewer interested buyers. I've often thought to myself just go and buy an MX5 and enjoy a car that can be used everyday. Indeed I was out for a walk after dinner looking at one thinking just that There are many hot hatches that are blisteringly quick now and sadly I think the days of kit cars are very numbered. People these days just want a Tesla and are more interested in infotainment than noisy engines and cars with no roofs
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David Jenkins

posted on 9/6/22 at 08:38 PM Reply With Quote
Unfortunately at the moment few ordinary people have the spare cash for for what is, basically, a plaything.

For most people it's a second (even third) car, is totally impractical, and often a bit thirsty on the dinosaur juice. Not a lot of fun to drive them on the roads these days either, so you also have to pay for track days to get the most fun.

I wonder what state Caterham are in...





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perksy

posted on 9/6/22 at 10:00 PM Reply With Quote
I wonder if their venture in electric vehicles has weighed heavy on the business?

Be a sad day if it disappeared, Always had friendly and helpful advice from the staff and had several visits to the factory

I'd heard awhile ago that they were looking at adopting Toyota type working practices within the business and I'm not really sure how that works in a niche business

But as said above, we're in the poo at the moment and folks are probably worrying more about their futures than finding money for cars that are really weekend toys..

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nick205

posted on 10/6/22 at 08:02 AM Reply With Quote
Sad to hear of Westfield going this way. It's a longtime name in the 7 esque car market.

Times are chaning for sure. As above fewer people have the money (or garage space) to have a toy car and driving them on public roads is less and less appealing.

I know when I built my MK Indy in the 2000's I loved the build and the finished car. An expanding family just made a 2 seat no roof car an impratical and costly extra to have. I sold mine and the money went into a Peugeot 205 GTI and part funded a family MPV. Life rolls on.

I (as I'm sure many do) watch with interest to see how the kit car world might adapt to the EV or alternative power in the coming years. Sure there's some clever people out there, but does the kit car world have the money to make the transformation?

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David Jenkins

posted on 10/6/22 at 12:11 PM Reply With Quote
I'm a dedicated EV driver, but I really cant see this technology getting into kit cars. I have several reasons for saying this:

  1. The batteries are usually somewhere around 300 - 400 volts, with the capacity to supply immense current. Minor cock-ups could easily cause great harm.
  2. Failing to match the charger unit, battery control module and batteries could result in damage to the battery pack, with a high risk of intense fire that cannot easily be extinguished.
  3. The cost of components is huge, even second-hand ones - and I'd want the history of any used components before I fit them.
  4. I believe that IVA requires certification for EV car installations - either the builder gets expensive training, or employs a qualified engineer to certify it.

It is possible - YouTube has plenty of videos showing people who have done it - but they're mostly in the USA, where rules are either more lenient, non-existent, or simply ignored.

It is possible to buy kits of parts, but they are either low-voltage systems (75V) with limited power, or from dealers who won't sell to inexperienced people, or from dealers who do sell to anyone but they are generally the ones who charge the highest prices.

Background: I did look into converting my Locost to electric, but research soon brought reality into my life - the cost of conversion would have been 3 or 4 times the worth of the car.





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loggyboy

posted on 10/6/22 at 12:27 PM Reply With Quote
I think the biggest fall down in the 7esq market in recent years is the improvement in fast road cars, used to be you could buy a £10k kit car and ruin the day of a porsche/m3 etc owner on track who'd spent 5-10x as much. But that was when 300hp was a lot in a road car, you can now buy a m3 and the only way a kit will compete is to go from a the 10k kit car to a 30k big power kit car, which still has all the practicality downsides. Leaves the poor old westys etc competing with the Hot hatch brigade for value/smile per mile, and the chassis on those are so much better than the 80s hatches also.

[Edited on 10-6-22 by loggyboy]





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Bluemoon

posted on 10/6/22 at 01:35 PM Reply With Quote
We may be missing the point - Westfield had diversified their business and is now working in areas other than the Westfield kit car... I suspect they may have overreached on their finances. I guess we will find out what is happening over time. Fingers crossed the kit car part comes out o.k.

Dan

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Bluemoon

posted on 10/6/22 at 01:41 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by loggyboy
I think the biggest fall down in the 7esq market in recent years is the improvement in fast road cars, used to be you could buy a £10k kit car and ruin the day of a porsche/m3 etc owner on track who'd spent 5-10x as much. But that was when 300hp was a lot in a road car, you can now buy a m3 and the only way a kit will compete is to go from a the 10k kit car to a 30k big power kit car, which still has all the practicality downsides. Leaves the poor old westys etc competing with the Hot hatch brigade for value/smile per mile, and the chassis on those are so much better than the 80s hatches also.

[Edited on 10-6-22 by loggyboy]


But the fun of the 7 comes from other places than bhp:

Performance on twisty bits.
Wind in the hair (if you have some!).
Raw driving experience.
Ease of maintenance - and that you can do it yourself.
Cheap to run: Cheap insurance, low costs to maintain.

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Sanzomat

posted on 10/6/22 at 03:26 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bluemoon
We may be missing the point - Westfield had diversified their business and is now working in areas other than the Westfield kit car... I suspect they may have overreached on their finances. I guess we will find out what is happening over time. Fingers crossed the kit car part comes out o.k.

Dan


I think this may be closer to the real reason. I may be wide of the mark but from the outside looking in it seems that WF had applied for and received some big govt grants to develop new technologies in autonomous vehicles and new applications for EV drivetrains. Some of what they'd come up with appeared impressive on first glance but you didn't need to scratch too far below the surface before it all looked like over hyped BS. The GTM autonomous project for instance was shown to the public in a film of a couple of supposedly self driven Libra's with EV drivetrains that were actually petrol cars with the drivers ducked down out of sight and clever camera angles. It even got on the TV news but to the trained eye was utter tosh.

Can't help thinking that the funding bodies came looking for what the tax £££s had been spent on so they had to go under to avoid being found out...

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coyoteboy

posted on 8/8/22 at 02:55 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bluemoon

But the fun of the 7 comes from other places than bhp:

Performance on twisty bits.
Wind in the hair (if you have some!).
Raw driving experience.
Ease of maintenance - and that you can do it yourself.
Cheap to run: Cheap insurance, low costs to maintain.


Honestly don't think many people care any more. Cars are being seen more and more as an evil method of transport, not a fun thing. In the 60-70s I suspect they were seen as a new way of getting independence and freedom to travel. In the 80s and 90s that held on, but kids from the 00's onwards seem to see them as an object, a fashion accessory (generalising, of course, some don't). When I was a kid, learning to drive was *all* anyone wanted to do to get out and have their own transport. These days people get all the negative messaging, and take the train or the bus, or buy an econobox and have no desire to be seen as a dinosaur who likes old technology. They want a clean, silent, miserable commute. People don't fantasise about having the wind in their hair, and with every passing generation, that quantity increases. It's not just cars, while maker sites and repair groups are now a thing - that's indicative of the fact that the majority don't like making/repairing - stuff that used to just be living.

I predict an interesting turn of events when fuel prices hit ludicrous levels, transport by any means is frowned upon and the world goes back to pre-industrial age levels of mobility while having modern population levels. We already see societal conflict in places of deprivation where people can't easily expand their horizons, I don't see how we easily put the travel genie back in the bottle without serious clashes.

[Edited on 8/8/22 by coyoteboy]





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ravingfool

posted on 9/8/22 at 10:46 AM Reply With Quote
I think this is quite accurate.

Most of my friends don't care (mid/ late 30's) about cars.

Those who do either dream about a nice car but can't afford/justify the cost of anything 'silly' or have a silly car that they struggle to afford to use.

Even if they have the car and the money/ time to use it then living in any part of the south east makes travel (largely) unpleasant by road and then with no enjoyment why use the silly car at all?

A few friends have slightly old 'sports hatches' like the various Clio editions but most are driving very boring practical cars because anything else is just wasted these days.

I've got the striker and a very cheap Maserati 4200.

Striker costs very little to use but needs perfect conditions or not pleasant. Even when conditions are good you fear being sat in traffic and cooking or getting rained on unexpectedly. I struggle to get much use out of it and don't drive much 'for the sake of it' as that's wasteful of time, money and the environment but try to use it for all normal journeys whenever the weather allows.

Maserati is so much more useable with air con and a roof but then costs a fortune to drive any distance and you end up thinking you're wasting your time and money with any of these things.

All companies now do delivery for everything as well so no point driving anywhere!

Traffic is even worse after covid because people have not gone back to public transport in cities and suburbs.

Back to Westfield specifically - I never really understood the business proposition it use case for a second high-end marque of a super niche car and they never really got me going.

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David Jenkins

posted on 9/8/22 at 11:53 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ravingfool
Even if they have the car and the money/ time to use it then living in any part of the south east makes travel (largely) unpleasant by road and then with no enjoyment why use the silly car at all?



Similar in East Anglia - it's why I sold my Locost - just very little enjoyment when I went out and about. And I don't mean 'no opportunity to drive too fast', just 'no opportunity to drive at normal speeds without some moron doing something stupid in front of me, or coming at me on the wrong side of the road'. Add all the cluttered roads and it just became a hassle.

My neighbour's son is now in his early 20's and has shown no interest in learning to drive, even though I live in a village with no bus service.





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ravingfool

posted on 9/8/22 at 12:00 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
quote:
Originally posted by ravingfool
Even if they have the car and the money/ time to use it then living in any part of the south east makes travel (largely) unpleasant by road and then with no enjoyment why use the silly car at all?



Similar in East Anglia - it's why I sold my Locost - just very little enjoyment when I went out and about. And I don't mean 'no opportunity to drive too fast', just 'no opportunity to drive at normal speeds without some moron doing something stupid in front of me, or coming at me on the wrong side of the road'. Add all the cluttered roads and it just became a hassle.

My neighbour's son is now in his early 20's and has shown no interest in learning to drive, even though I live in a village with no bus service.


Agreed, great thing about the kit car is it can be fun to drive at relatively low speeds but not fun sat in stationary traffic!

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