Optare is one of the UK's foremost bus building companies and have over a century of expertise in using the latest technologies in bus design and manufacturing. Their parent company, Ashok Leyland, part of the Hinduja Group, is ranked within the top four global bus manufacturers. Optare's head office and manufacturing plant are based near Leeds in Yorkshire, which was opened in 2011.
Although Optare itself was formed in 1985, the origins of the company can be traced back to the early part of the twentieth century. In 2012 they produced their 10,000th vehicle and in 2016 saw the launch of the fully-electric Metrodecker EV, pointing the way to the future for public transport.
They currently design, manufacture and sell advanced single deck and double deck buses for a global market place and they have developed a range of low-carbon buses using enhanced diesel technology and alternative fuel options. They have set the benchmark for fuel economy and CO2 reduction with reduced weight designs and optimised drive systems.
OVIK CROSSWAY design and manufacture a range of specialist and armoured vehicles and chassis systems. The company was founded in 2008 by brothers Jez and Duncan Hermer, the former having 23 years of service in the British Army, with several years spent with the Royal Marines All Terrain Vehicle (protected programme). For several years, OVIK produced a number of highly innovative specialist defence, support and utility vehicles for customers who included several police forces and the UK MOD. Since 2012 OVIK has been developing a new range of vehicles based upon its own CROSSWAY chassis systems
All the vehicles based on this system also go by the brand name CROSSWAY. OVIK now only designs, manufactures and supplies specialist vehicles based on the CROSSWAY STRIVE-44 and STRIVE-66 chassis systems and under the CROSSWAY marque. The name OVIK is derived from the Swedish town of Ornskoldsvik and the company is based in Dorset.
The original Peel Engineering Company was based on the Isle of Man, and was a well-known manufacturer of the Peel P50 and Trident three wheel microcars in the early 1960s. The P50 is still listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the World's Smallest Production Car. It achieved fame more recently when Jeremy Clarkson drove one around the BBC Television Centre during an edition of Top Gear! (see Video Library)
A few years ago the company was aquired by car enthusiast and businessman Gary Hillman and his partner Faizal Khan, who started making both the P50 and Trident again in modified versions. In 2010 they and the cars appeared on the Dragons' Den TV show and won investment from James Caan, which has enabled them to produce more of the cars and to develop a range of retail merchandise to capitalise on the cars' popularity around the world.
Pembleton Motor Company
The Pembleton Motor Company was established in 1999 by ex national hillclimb champion and designer Phil Gregory, in order to build a three-wheeler heritage sports car which echoed the classic 1920s cycle car. Initially these Morgan-inspired 3-wheelers were offered in kit form only, but in late 2015 the company started marketing factory-built cars called the V-Sport.
Phil's son Guy joined his father in the business and the cars are built at Pembleton's premises at Bayton near Kidderminster in Worcestershire.
Established in 1985, over the 34 year period Pilgrim Motorsports have produced in excess of 15,000 cars, galvanising their position as one of the largest ‘Low volume car manufacturers’ in the UK. At its height Pilgrim was producing ten kits a week as well as building turnkey cars at the factory.
Along the way Pilgrim has also built other cars/kits which have included The Bulldog, Family Tourer, Haldane, Jeepster, Hawthorn, Minotaur, Martini and of course the ever famous AC Cobra replica. They are also specialists in classic American muscle cars under the separate name of Muscle Car UK.
Their factory, based near Brighton, is 16500 sq ft with a sales area of 14,000sq ft. Pilgrim Motorsports currently build replicas of the iconic AC Cobra and the Porsche Speedster 356, which can be bought in the UK and EU in either RHD or LHD spec.