"Putting style on the road"
The story of Haldane Developments and what happened...
The period of receivership
By now policy was based on the assumption that, with the product development complete, the development
costs could be written off and further investment obtained. However, once costs were finally considered
in detail, it was obvious that with the high fixed overheads, long production time to hand build, costs of
bright work, and possible amortisation of Type Approval costs, there was no significant profit at the
projected price of £20,000. Also, by this time the Mazda MX-5 had arrived on the scene and at a price
significantly lower than the HD-300. This was perceived by all concerned to be a serious threat not only
to the Haldane but also to the kitcar market in general.
With this realisation, further funding could not be attracted or indeed justified and the company went
into voluntary liquidation in early 1994.
Brian Harrison: "What actually happened at the factory was we were told that the company
would be sold locally by one of the investor’s "friendly" liquidators and to leave everything in place because
we would be moving back in to work for the new owner, with fresh funding, and just pick up the tools where
we left them. As a result the office, the production and composite shop were rather like the Marie
Celeste.....everything functioning but nobody there."
At this point Brian sought financial help to buy the assets and return the company to kit production
from smaller premises. The composites production, having a high skill level and having received requests
for its services, could be run as a separate company.
However before this could be arranged, Pilgrim made a cash offer which was accepted by the liquidator
Brian Harrison: "Apart from my own plans, there were two local companies interested but both were playing
"hardball" with the liquidator. When Pilgrim made a cash offer it was immediately accepted by the liquidator.
I believe they got the entire project including a demonstrator, 5 cars in process, the tooling, all the
moulds, jigs and all the assets for £40,000. A complete Type Approved car company worth over £200,000 for
20% of its value! We couldn't believe it and reckoned Pilgrim would struggle to make it work without the considerable
production know-how we had developed."
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