Build-To-Order, Inc. (BTO), a new American car company, announced June 4 it has selected TWR Group Limited (TWR) of Leafield, England to lead a $13 million project that encompasses the initial phase of design, engineering and development of BTO's first vehicle platform from which the company intends to launch a portfolio of vehicles for the North American market.
"TWR is a leader in vehicle development and has led projects that include many legendary and exciting cars, from the Aston Martin DB7 and the Volvo C70 to the Jaguar XJ220 and the Renault Clio V6," said Tom Walkinshaw, chairman of TWR and chairman and team principal of The Arrows Formula One Team. "We are excited to be a part of the BTO team because we believe that the Company's unique business model and approach will have a profound impact on how cars are made and distributed."
"Now that TWR is on board, BTO is moving from planning to execution," said BTO chairman Scott Painter, the founder and former CEO of CarsDirect.com. "BTO is focused on achieving profitability at lower volumes while giving customers exactly the options and accessories they want. We are accomplishing this at the vehicle architectural level by lowering the cost of production and by aligning and synchronizing the product and manufacturing processes with lower volume production. This is key as the U.S. market continues to fragment and niche consumer demands are on the rise. With TWR's very competitive and technologically comprehensive capabilities, we will complete this first phase of development, source the major modules to Tier One suppliers, commence prototype development, and complete facility layouts for the North American Assembly Center. We're excited that much of this is made possible because we have access to TWR's proprietary Digital Product Development Process, which will certainly save us time and money."
Said Craig Wilson, managing director of TWR, "What BTO is proposing is very possible today. Our experience with both automakers and suppliers has shown a shift within the industry to where the concepts of modularity and systems development are widely embraced and to a great extent, deployed on vehicles currently on the road."
BTO says it plans to deliver a portfolio of new vehicles utilizing a new lower-volume-capable vehicle architecture and modularity techniques along with the latest computer-aided design, engineering and manufacturing technologies, and a direct-to-consumer distribution channel. Presently, the company says it is engaging the industry's top-tier module suppliers to submit tailored solutions during a 90-day co-design and partner evaluation period.
"We have the opportunity to define a new relationship between BTO and our supply partners," said William Santana Li, BTO president and CEO. "The vast capabilities existing today within the supply base enable BTO to go directly to the source and provide a vehicle platform from which to showcase capabilities and proven innovations. So far, our partners are excited about demonstrating modularity and other efficiencies in the build-to-order environment."
In addition, BTO says it is focused on rounding out the company's executive management team, completing the architecture for the end-to-end IT infrastructure, and selecting sites for the company's first Assembly Center and retail Experience Centers. Li said, "Relative to vehicle assembly, we are pleased with the support and resources we have garnered from various state and local governments regarding the site selection for our Assembly Center as well as our retail Experience Centers."
About TWR Group Limited (TWR)
Since 1975, TWR says it has offered the motor industry fully integrated services in road vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing. Projects have ranged from design only or performance enhancements, to complete engine or new vehicle engineering and production. TWR has designed, engineered, and / or manufactured the Aston Martin DB7, Volvo C70, Jaguar XJ220, and the Renault Clio V6, among others. TWR is headquartered in Leafield, England and can be reached at www.twr.co.uk
About Build-To-Order Incorporated (BTO)
BTO says it is the world's first automotive company that will deliver true build-to-order vehicles directly to consumers through a new retail experience. Its business model is based upon contract design, engineering, and manufacturing with a direct distribution channel coupled to an end-to-end technology infrastructure solution. BTO is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and can be reached at www.btoauto.com