TVR picks first full-time marketing chief

TVR, the Lancashire-based sports car manufacturer, has appointed marketing consultant Phil James as its first full-time marketer to help spearhead its international expansion plans.

The company launched a strategic review after it was bought by Russian millionaire Nikolai Smolenski last year (MW August 5, 2004), stating its intention to increase production and marketing activity, as well as widening the availability of the brand.

TVR, which employs 400 people, has operated without full-time marketing staff and has not historically used advertising or direct marketing.But Smolenski is investing heavily to take TVR onto the world stage. Since his arrival, TVR has started overseas testing programmes and held talks with distributors all over the world.

James, who started out in music marketing, set up his own marketing services agency called HOT, where he was a consultant for 15 years. He also raced TVR cars in the Tuscan Challenge, before setting up a transmission company called ZeroShift.

He says TVR will not be looking for a retained advertising agency, instead preferring to work with agencies on a project basis. The car manufacturer will be using Boyne for media buying.

TVR is also opening a flagship showroom in London next month as part of its expansion plans. James, who has taken on the role of head of marketing and will report to TVR managing director Ben Samuelson, says: “These are exciting times for TVR. It is well resourced and has serious international aspirations for the first time in more than 20 years.”

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