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Morgan give Morgan marching orders

It is the quintessential British motor car. A family firm making small numbers of hand built cars. It is a friendly, solid company that trades heavily on its heritage as it makes sports cars that look almost unchanged from the 1930s. Now that heritage is threatened as the grandson of founder Henry Morgan has been removed from the board. Charles Morgan has vowed to fight back after the move to oust him.

It is the quintessential British motor car. A family firm making small numbers of hand built cars. It is a friendly, solid company that trades heavily on its heritage as it makes sports cars that look almost unchanged from the 1930s. Now that heritage is threatened as the grandson of founder Henry Morgan has been removed from the board. Charles Morgan has vowed to fight back after the move to oust him. He had been managing director until early in 2013 when he was replaced by Steve Morris. That reshuffle had Morgan redeployed as brand ambassador in a move that was thought at the time to be amicable but now he has been removed entirely from running the company.

There has always been a Morgan family member on the board of the company which is still 100% owned by the Morgan family. But last week Charles Morgan announced that he was 'no longer involved in the running of the business' but promised that he would appeal the decision. Social networking site, Twitter, immediately featured scores of messages supporting Mr Morgan and bemoaning the decision to remove him.

The Morgan motor company, meanwhile, responded by issuing a statement explain their decision, saying: "Over recent months, and in response to the growth in volumes, model range and overseas markets, the management team has been strengthened across a number of different areas, reflecting the scale and complexity of an increasingly global business."

Morgan makes most of its money from exports, with some 70% of its cars being sold abroad. Recently the firm opened a showroom in China. Henry Morgan started the company in 1910, making three wheeled vehicles to take advantage of the fact that they were classified as motorbikes and therefore paid no road tax. The firm soon moved over to making more sporty cars and became famous for their electrifying performance and unusual wooden chassis design.

Charles Morgan joined the company in 1985, working alongside his father, Peter Morgan, until he retired in 1999. The family has long acted as guardians of the firm's heritage and memorably ignored advice from trouble shooter, Sir John Harvey Jones, after he suggested in a BBC television programme that the company should modernise and increase output. Instead the company insisted that it wanted to stay 'small and friendly'.

The company hasn't stood still, though, and since then has modernised its production facilities, taken styling in-house and increased production capacity to 14 cars per day. It remains to be seen whether Mr Morgan will be a victim of this continued modernisation drive at the company.

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