The Launch of the T24 - Planning, Production, Pictures.... Pandemic
WHY START A BLOG?
It’s a logical question to start with. Why have we started a blog and what are we hoping to achieve?
Well, it’s actually been something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and as with all things in life, priorities can change and certain things are forced to wait their turn.
The reason we wanted to start a blog in the first place was to give people a better insight into what goes on behind closed doors, and to share stories that would otherwise have been left untold.
We pride ourselves about our hands on approach, and the close connection we have with our owners, so we wanted to extend this community for more people to see and read.
We find ourselves living in a time where there is a strong demand for honest and genuine information and insight, and what better way to do that than with a Pembleton blog?
Inevitably, we have a number of stories and topics we wish to share, and what better place to start than going back to the launch of the T24.
PLANNING, PRODUCTION, PICTURES.... PANDEMIC
– THE LAUNCH OF THE T24
There might be a number of reasons you could suggest for bringing out a new model.
Financial? More options for customers? Business growth? You can probably think of your own of course, these are all factors that are considered and taken into account, and they have to be evaluated to justify the decision to go ahead with a new car, certainly given the vast amount of time and cost that goes into the process.
Ultimately and more importantly for us, we are a company who are driven hugely by our passion (more so than any other factor) and one thing we’ve always been passionate about is introducing a 4 wheeled car to sit alongside our popular and highly acclaimed V-Sport 3 wheeler.
Bringing a new car into the automotive world isn’t a straightforward process or a decision to take lightly. Ultimately it has to be very carefully considered. There has to be a market for the product, it has to make financial sense, it has to be practical to build, and most importantly, it has to tick all the relevant boxes that make it fit & proper to proudly wear the Pembleton badge.
These are just a number of questions we had to ask ourself, and once everything had been evaluated, we got underway with the design of the soon to be T24.
BACKS TO THE DRAWING BOARD
The design process is possibly the most difficult of all. You have a vision of the final car and you’re confident that its looks great. But now you need to cater for the testing rules and regulations that will make it a legal, road going car. Are the headlamps within the measurements required to ensure they are safe and can be seen from set angles? Are headrests at the height required by law and of a big enough size? Does the steering column have a collapsible element? Are the mudguards covering the wheels to at least the minimum requirements? Can the engine pass emissions testing without a catalytic converter and if not, where can this go and just how big does it need to be?
These are just a very small selection of questions that will be asked of the car and need to be addressed, and what started off as a beautiful design, can quickly loose its clean, simple lines and good looks once all the adjustments are made to make it road legal. Fortunately, this is a process and set of rules we are very aware of and we were able to accommodate these factors into the initial design process.
So instead of designing the car and adapting it to make it road legal, we were able to bear this in mind and make sure the design was not compromised. This meant we could add in all the key features such as the 190 litre boot space, adjustable steering column and seating systems, a sporty and exciting driving experience and compliant and adjustable suspension, knowing that we wouldn’t have any issues with testing.
Another challenge in the design process is turning an idea into reality. It’s one thing drawing a beautiful car, but it’s another thing actually making it. More so when you factor in key requirements like high build quality, a focus on being lightweight, and a number of original bespoke items.
MADE TO MEASURE
Bespoke items are certainly something we place a strong emphasis on. Of course, there are merits to off-the-shelf items, it wouldn’t be wise to go down a bespoke route in parts that require replacing or servicing, as it will likely increase costs and limit the availability/ ease of supply for owners when that part comes to the end of its service life.
But bespoke items are a great way to achieve great functionality, a visually attractive and high-quality part, ensure legal requirements are met, and offer something unique that is a locally produced, custom made and completely exclusive to this car. It also gives us the ability to keep weight down on components which not only results in a better car to drive, but also reduces stress on other components.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
Many of these bespoke items will go unnoticed initially, and that’s part of the beauty of the T24. It might take weeks for an owner to notice that the locking seat latch is completely bespoke and CNC’d out of two pieces of billet aluminium, or they might not be aware that the indicator stalk is also machined from billet aluminium to add a lovely feel to the experience each time you use it, whilst really lifting its appearance within the cockpit.
Surprise and delight - this is one of the great things about all of our vehicles, as you continue to enjoy the ownership experience you continue to uncover these little surprises weeks or even years down the line. Designing and manufacturing all of these components is something that takes a great deal of time and must be carried out in the process of launching a new vehicle.
This design process was carried out many, many months before the launch and when completed we were very happy with the results at the end of it. During the design process we also carried out one of the most exciting parts of the process which is testing.
Even after the first drive of the T24 we were very happy (to say the least). After various tweaks to areas such as suspension and steering it was quickly becoming everything we hoped it could possibly be, and was an addictively fun vehicle to drive. After all the hours of design, manufacturing and testing AND passion to get to this point, it really filled us with excitement to move closer to the launch which we had intended to be in spring 2020.
I think we all know what happened next..
A NEW CAR FOR A NEW WORLD?
With the outbreak of Covid-19 rapidly spreading across Europe and making its way to England, we made the decision to shelve the launch of the T24 and keep it all under wraps for a bit longer. It was becoming apparent that it was going to be a bad idea to launch on the original date of spring, and as time went on, we started seeing other problems as lockdowns began and we were forced to close the workshop doors.
We had however done all of the real work by this stage including all of our media ready for the big launch.
We had the very talented photographer Nigel Harniman in charge of our teaser photos and launch video and were really happy with the results. Local photographer Andrew Priest had also got some great photos of the T24 in Broadway, in the Cotswolds, and snapped our studio shots.
So, with everything in place we really used lockdown to get all the pieces put in place to launch the T24 when the time was right. The website was prepped and ready to go live, social media posts were planned, newsletters, adverts, brochures and literature were printed and ready for customers to read. Last but not least, our first T24 had finished all its testing and was polished up, ready and waiting in our showroom, for its big launch day!
With lockdowns and restrictions easing we made the decision to launch the T24 on the 20th September 2020. We started off with a teaser video on 31st August to give a small glimpse of what was to come on the 20th. With a very dark photo just showing off the outline of the car this really started to build some excitement about the launch. We then got to finally show off the T24 to the world in the morning of the 20th September.
It was expectedly a rather stressful morning making sure everything was posted and live and all in the correct order and all working accordingly. By mid-morning it was all done and we got to see and hear the first comments coming in which were overwhelmingly positive, something that meant a lot to all of us after all the work that had gone into it.
Finally, the T24 was allowed out of the showroom for everyone to see, and we celebrated the launch by heading out to the pub for a well earnt meal with all of the team, finally able to show and tell everyone all about it.
Thankfully, all of our hard work over the preceding months had paid off. The first T24 was quickly ordered and was fittingly a highly bespoke and personal car built to the customers specifications. Since the launch date the feedback from the owners has been incredibly positive and the T24 has gone from strength to strength.
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
We’re currently working on a sparkling new T24 demonstrator which we hope to have available for viewings and test drives in mid-November 2022. We love to think we have captured the energy and essence of sheer driving joy in both the Pembleton V-Sport and the T24. It would be great to know what you, our potential customers think, so why not book in a one-to-one appointment and find out how great driving can be.
With a Pembleton it’s all about the ‘smiles per gallon’.