Hesketh Motorcycles was originally formed by Alexander, 3rd Lord Hesketh, in 1980 and for a time the company was based at his country estate at Easton Neston. He was probably better known for his private motor racing team, which gave James Hunt his first taste of success in Formula 1™. During the early part of the 80s the company produced the V1000 and Vampire models, before ceasing full production in 1984. Limited production was maintained until the company was acquired by Paul Sleeman in in 2010.
Production was moved from Nothamptonshire to Surrey, where a new showroom and specialist workshop was opened in affluent Kingswood, near Redhill. In 2012, Paul created the Kingswood V1000, of which only five bespoke machines were produced. With the original V1000 and Vampire models finally ceasing production after 32 years, Hesketh Motorcycles announced an all-new limited edition bike to be called the Hesketh 24. They have since added a further model called the Sonnet.
Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM), was established in Swindon, Wiltshire, in 1985 and has been producing cars here since 1992. Honda is committed to manufacturing in the UK and the annual awards and accolades presented to the vehicles built at HUM demostrate the plant's priority on producing high quality products for the European market. Over the last thirty years, Honda has invested over £1.55 billion into its manufacturing operation in Swindon and now employs over 3000 Associates. and has a total production capacity of 250,000 units a year in Car Plants 1 and 2. Swindon is now the world production hub for the 5 door Civic, including the Type R, with the model exported to over 70 countries. A separate plant manufactures engines with the ability to produce 1000 engines a day.
Although it can trace its roots back as far as 1922, the first car to be called a Jaguar was the SS Jaguar 2.5 litre saloon, launched in 1935. Since then the name Jaguar has become synonymous with the development and production of fast, beautifully designed sports and saloon cars. The old company slogan of 'Grace, Space and Pace' could still be said to hold true to Jaguar's current ethos.
The following decades saw Jaguar produce many iconic models, the E-Type and Mark II probably the most fondly remembered, and enjoy some great achievements on the race track. Now, after several changes of ownership over the past few years, Jaguar is enjoying great success again under its new owners, since 2008, of Tata Motors of India.
They now build the XE, XF, F-TYPE and F-PACE model ranges at their factories in Castle Bromwich and Solihull, Birmingham. The long-running XJ series has finally been discontinued with a new fully electric model expected in 2020.
Jensen has been a name in the UK's automotive industry for around 80 years, most well known for the production of highly distinctive GT cars. Perhaps the most iconic of these was the Jensen Interceptor which was originally built from 1966 until the company ceased trading in 1976. There was even an advanced 4WD version called the FF, which was only made in small numbers.
Over the following years, after various changes of ownership and limited car building, Jensen International Automotive (JIA) was formed in 2010, with a majority shareholding from the succesful and highly respected entrepreneur, Sir Charles Dunstone. The new company is beginning to make a name for itself by producing the Jensen Interceptor R, which is basically a 'new' and modernised version of the original GT car. Based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, JIA is taking commissions to build this car in either normally aspirated, supercharged and convertible guise.
In 2017 JIA launched the Range Rover Chieftan, which is a serious re-engineering and re-design of the Classic Range Rover. They are now in the process of building a very limited number of re-engineered FFs, the ultimate Interceptor.
The first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for extraordinary ability and unrivalled strength and durability. In fact, over six decades on it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work - many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and inhospitable places on earth.
The Land Rover was the product of continuous evolution and refinement in the 1950s and 1960s and it took the lead in the emerging market for four-wheel drive vehicles. In keeping with the forward-thinking philosophy that founded Land Rover, a radical, entirely new product was introduced in 1970 and created its very own vehicle category. This overnight sensation was the very first Range Rover. It had all the capability of a Land Rover with the comfort and performance of an on-road car.
This culture of innovation has developed ever since with both Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles: new models, more refinement, more innovative technology, more efficiency and fewer emissions. Land Rover will remain in the forefront of advanced design - the new small Range Rover is a testament to the vision that takes the company forward and keeps it at the cutting edge of technology and engineering.