Former AutoNova Managing Director Mike Flewitt has rejoined TWR Group Ltd., the United Kingdom engineering specialist.
Flewitt, who once ran Rolls-Royce car production, will be TWR's director of manufacturing, responsible for group manufacturing projects.
This spring Flewitt resigned as head of AutoNova, the plant in Uddevalla, Sweden, that builds Volvo C70 coupes and convertibles. The move came after Volvo Car Corp.'s acquisition of a 75 percent stake in AutoNova. AutoNova was formed as a joint venture between TWR and Volvo in 1995. TWR held a majority 51 percent stake.
But the relationship between TWR and Volvo soured when a dispute erupted between Volvo and TWR Chairman Tom Walkinshaw. The dispute centered on the price at which AutoNova sold the C70 to Volvo. The price was renegotiated each autumn. During the last round of negotiations, TWR said Volvo was only prepared to pay a price that was 'absolutely below cost price.' The dispute went to arbitration, and C70 production at AutoNova was halted for a time.
With Volvo in control at AutoNova, TWR's Walkin-shaw has brought Flewitt back to the United Kingdom.
'Mike's appointment is another step in the development of TWR's automotive business and underlines TWR's commitment to manufacturing as one of its activities alongside automotive engineering and motorsport,' Walkinshaw said.
Flewitt, 38, joined AutoNova in September 1998 after two years as director of production at the Rolls-Royce factory in Crewe, England. He started as an apprentice on the production line at Ford's Halewood, England, plant.