British sports car maker Zenos has gone into administration

 
Richard Aucock
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Zenos E10
The £26,995 Zenos E10 (Source: Zenos Cars)

The Norfolk-based manufacturer of lightweight sports cars, Zenos, has revealed that it’s entered administration - citing a downturn in sales for it ceasing trading.

The start-up company has been punching above its weight since it launched the brilliant E10 in January 2015. Journalists raved about the £26,995 Lotus rival - but, ultimately, it wasn’t enough to keep Zenos on the road.

It announced in a statement yesterday that it was to close down after a number of orders from abroad were cancelled resulting in a cash flow shortage.

Begbies Traynor LLP has been appointed to act as administrators of the company, which employs more than 20 members of staff at its base in Wymondham in Norfolk.

“It is with great disappointment that the board has had to take this step,” said the company’s managing director, Mark Edwards.

Edwards and his partner Ansar Ali founded the company in 2012. They previously worked together at Caterham Cars before moving to Lotus.

In 2014, £2 million of funding was secured to help launch the company. £1 million came from venture capital trust Pembroke, controlled by Time Out owner Peter Dubens. Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone was also among the group of investors.

In 2016, Zenos tried to raise £750,000 through the crowdfunding site Seedrs; in May 2016, it claimed to have raised over £100,000.

Around 50 per cent of the firm’s production was exported to countries including the USA, China and France. The firm claimed to have sold more than 100 cars.

“We still believe that our products offer unrivalled affordable fun and we have already made very good progress in developing the next product in our strategy,” added Edwards.

The company’s flagship Zenos E10 R costs £39,995, boasts 500hp per tonne and hits 60mph in 3.0 seconds flat.

“We are currently open to speaking with parties interested in securing a future for the business and would request that any enquiries are made directly with our London office,” said joint administrator Irvin Cohen - hinting that the future of Zenos could yet be saved.

Small British sports car manufacturers have a history of failure - with Blackpool-based TVR going in and out of administration over the years, while fellow Norfolk firm Lotus has also been close to bankruptcy on a number of occasions.

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