Radical Sportscars is a bespoke racing car manufacturer based in Peterborough, with a 21-year history of providing ‘gentleman and amateur’ drivers the chance to race on major tracks across the globe. The founders and original management ran the business as ‘petrol heads’, and poor management meant the bank insisted on a turnaround CEO being installed for their continued support.
The business was losing £150,000 per month, and the majority shareholders had invested £7 million to keep the business afloat. They needed someone who understood the luxury goods market and automotive best practice. The bank introduced FRP Transition to the shareholders, to locate the person who could lead the firm’s 140 skilled technicians and engineers.
Having talked to shareholders and the bank about the qualities required in the role, FRP approached three individuals who had necessary attributes. One stood out as having virtually all the skills, experience, personality and drive that the majority shareholders were looking for. He had a background in automotives and had been COO of Fairline boats during its turnaround; he took on the role as interim turnaround CEO at Radical Sportscars.
All areas of the business had to be addressed: there were no health and safety records, no training, no supplier or employee contracts, little in the way of manufacturing processes or management systems, a dysfunctional management team, and fearful employees.
Over a period of 18 months the interim CEO turned Radical into a modern, fully trained workforce (without redundancies). Best practice has been introduced in all processes, there’s a fully functioning supply chain, and new H&S and HR procedures. Once the business started to stabilise, production could virtually double, leading to new marketing campaigns across Europe, Australia and the US, and a huge effort to re-engage with existing Radical car owners.
The bank has put the business back into live banking, and Radical is now profitable, with a three-month order book for cars exporting to five continents. The interim has subsequently taken on the permanent role of CEO.
Radical is now profitable, with a three-month order book for cars exporting to five continents.Susan Moor FRP Transition