For those of you familiar with the Bristol brand, you probably associate it with the low volume luxury cars it’s been hand building in the UK since the 1940s, but if you’ve been keeping up, you’d know that Bristol, known for its cult-like following, has had a few financial problems as well.
The company -- which boasted celebrity clients such as Sir Richard Branson, Liam Gallagher and Tina Turner -- was actually rescued from collapse in 2011 by an investor, but has failed to produce a production vehicle since. In March, it was announced that the carmaker was again insolvent, and its assets would be liquidated.
The Daily Mail called the company’s collapse a result of “failures in both engineering innovation and brand management,” but they weren’t the only ones with harsh words. In late August, an unidentified party posted a message on Bristol’s website they attributed to the chairman, Kamal Siddiqi.
But it won’t take you long to realize this message is probably not from Siddiqi. Titled “A Non-Apology,” the note starts with an admission that “blind self-interest, total lack of management skills, fiscal incompetence (not to mention stupidity and nepotism) caused this once-proud British marque to once again fall into receivership.” The now-deleted note goes on to say that Bristol’s owners, a company called Kamkorp, would be getting back to “fleecing investors, suppliers and staff” while chairman Siddiqi continued to acquire a personal stash of luxury vehicles.
Reports assume the website’s access credentials were still in the hands of a disgruntled employee. Though Jalopnik says that there’s a small chance it could be a hoax, they contend it actually jives with the company’s recent reputation for broken promises amid its “slow crash.”
Bristol Cars was launched post World War II when its parent Bristol Aeroplane Company needed to diversify to make up for shrinking airplane orders. It’s most recent, in-development model -- the Bullet -- was intended for 70 units, at a price of $325,000.