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Morgan to launch new car maker?

It is one of the most famous names in the British car industry. Morgan has been making cars from its Malvern base for more than a hundred years. Their cars have a retro British look, recalling the heyday of thirties motoring, and the firm is still wholly owned by the Morgan family. It became evident, though, that all is not well at the venerable sports car maker when it was revealed that Charles Morgan had been sacked from his family firm in October this year.

It is one of the most famous names in the British car industry. Morgan has been making cars from its Malvern base for more than a hundred years. Their cars have a retro British look, recalling the heyday of thirties motoring, and the firm is still wholly owned by the Morgan family. It became evident, though, that all is not well at the venerable sports car maker when it was revealed that Charles Morgan had been sacked from his family firm in October this year. Charles Morgan was the last of the founding family to be working full time at the company but on October 14 it was revealed that he had been dismissed from the holding company, Morgan Technologies, and also the subsidiary firms of Aero Racing, Morgan Motor Co and Morgan 3 Wheeler.

In response to his sacking, Mr Morgan has said that he will now launch his own car firm to build on the heritage and innovation of his grandfather, who founded the company. Charles still owns around 30% of Morgan stock and his removal is being seen as a serious split in the family. He has already failed in his appeal against his sacking but says he is taking legal advice on the matter. Morgan managing director, Steve Morris, acknowledges the difficulties in managing the company with a sacked major shareholder, saying: "It is challenging, but we are focused on building cars and the Company remains strong".

Mr Morris will not be drawn on Mr Morgan's sacking. He states: "What we've been through is a pure employment issue between Charles Morgan and Morgan Technologies Ltd. I would no more break confidence about this than if it concerned a guy on the shop floor. Charles has appealed against the decision to dismiss him and that appeal has been dismissed, so nothing has changed. He now has the obvious options of any employee in his circumstances. We have to date no notification of any formal action legal or otherwise from Charles Morgan and we will obviously keep an eye on his plans to make sure they don't cut across any of the Company's trademarks, for example."

Mr Morris says that Morgan is concentrating on business as usual at the company, where some 180 workers build 1,200 cars every year. He added: "The other shareholders and directors are disappointed that the situation is the way it is. However, we are all excited at the prospect of working together in future, with the wider team and a coherent management board."

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