News : Charles Morgan will fight for the company

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Dan Powell

Charles Morgan

Charles Morgan has vowed to appeal a decision to remove him from the board of the Morgan Motor Company Limited.

Issuing a statement on his personal blog, Charles Morgan said: ‘As has been widely reported, I have been asked to leave the Morgan Motor Company by the board. It is a sad decision that I am appealing; I remain a major shareholder in Morgan.’

The third generation of the family to have served on the board, Charles joined the family business in 1985 and worked alongside his father, Peter Morgan, before taking the position as chairman in 2003.

Charles was replaced as the head of the company in March and was appointed as an ambassador, but this tenure was short lived when the company issued a statement a few days ago saying he was no longer part of the management team or board of directors.

‘I’d like to be clear that I am not a tycoon but a family man – I inherited a company not wealth –  and unexpectedly leaving its employment will be a hardship for myself and my family,’ said Charles via his website.

‘Being asked to leave the company that bears my name is extremely personally distressing. That is made more painful as today marks 10 years since my father, Peter Morgan, died and I feel him in spirit with me in this dispute.

‘However, my primary concern is completely for the company I have spent 30 years helping to build and, specifically, for Morgan’s employees, who I hold in the highest regard. I want nothing but success for Morgan Motor Company in the future and remain committed to this goal.’

Although it’s unclear how Charles Morgan will appeal the decision, it is understood he has a lot of support from the marque’s enthusiasts who were left angered at the decision to ends the Morgan family’s 103-year involvement with the day-to-day management of the company.

An updated statement on the Morgan Motor Company’s website said: ‘The Morgan family recognises the management contribution that Charles has made to the family business as strategy director, and confirm that he remains a shareholder.

‘However, to ensure continuing success, Morgan must look to strengthen and review its strategies, and acknowledges that our management team are better placed to steer the company in the future.’

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

38 Comments

  1. For any observer with a hint of interest in company history, this is a sad event. The rift between the family and the board in any situation like this is regrettable. We can only hope that all avenues have been or are being explored to heal this wound. I personally hope that the board know their history – in that in the action they have taken, often leads to demise and ruin. Not having any inside knowledge, one wonders what Charles has done to displease the board to this extent.
    My expertise in risk management is woefully inadequate to advise Morgan, except to say that getting independant consultants in to do so – with the clear agenda of harmony moving forward, is always a significant risk control measure.

  2. The idiot British based board will f##k everything up once the family have gone. Let’s face it, the British are too stupid and greedy to run successful businesses…

  3. @steve – the family are British so does that mean they would not be able to run it either?

    I think it’s hard to comment on this as we don’t know the reason why he has been pushed out.

  4. Living in Malvern and knowing many of the workforce, this has left a bad taste. The comments I’ve heard, is that the Board want to get away from the ‘Family’ feeling of the company and become more like what John Harvey-Jones was recommending all those years ago. Charles has always managed to steer a ‘half-way house’in many ways and that seems to not cut the mustard anymore.

    There’s certainly a lot of concerned workers at the minute.

    Fingers crossed, as there’s no way for him to come back,without an awful lot of confidence being lost and mud sticking.

  5. The way I see it is this; regardless of his name the board have decided he’s out. The only way back in is if he can form a majority block of shareholders to call for an EGM with a vote to reinstate him, or, appoint him chairman again. Seeing as it was most likely a shareholder vote that saw him ousted as chairman in the first place i can’t see it happening. And unless the enthusiasts are shareholders what they think won’t count for much, especially not if the board’s long term strategy is to move away from the ear-hair brigade and attract a new audience.

    Time to move on old boy.

  6. It would be interesting to undrstand what the real issue is. If the company is in a position to invest and grow it would be a real shame if rose tinted nostalgia was holding it back. We have all bemoaned the death of the British Motor Industry (even if it is now healthier than it has ever been)so Morgan wanting to expand and provide the manufacturing jobs the economy needs should be good news. Also as noted here, the number of people willing to wait 5 years to take delivery of a 70 year old design car with a wooden frame will only decline as time goes by.

  7. I wonder can Morgan morph into an Aston’esq volume specalist marque? Has Charles fallen on his Sword, ever the gentleman?

    When Pendrgaon (parent of Stratstone) closes one dealership’s doors and its remaining dealer boasts of 18 new sales a year (!) you have to cast some doubts. The conjecture question really is how much sway Pendragon may or may not hold in Morgan.

    http://www.jobsatpendragongroup.co.uk/marques/morgan

    It’s worth reading this backdrop to events in Febuary also:
    http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/marques/morgan/blog-salon-sickness-with-charles-morgan-and-ratan-tata/

  8. @6 homerdog.

    I think the very thing that has kept Morgan going all these years is the “family feel” I like the John Harvey-Jones approach and remember the TV program, he had a few good points BUT the company would never have survived the previous down turn if it had invested like he advised.

    Steve @2 has a point. So many British companys are screwed by the management (not all) then in come the Japs, Germans, Chinese and others, the product improves and the workers keep their jobs.

  9. Unless we are very fortunate indeed, I fear that this may spell the end for Morgan . Sales in the UK this year are the worst for 10 years , and it is fairly clear from the split of the registrations that it is the traditional designs which still sell, whereas the futuristic stuff falls by the wayside with literally only a handful sold . I imagine that CM was for the traditional and that this is probably the source of the dispute. The recent products are, frankly, a joke and not a very good one at that . The traditional cars – Plus 8 , Plus 4 , 4/4 etc have retained their allure over the years. Whether something will turn up out of the Chinese venture remains to be seen , but I have a nasty suspicion that the attraction to the Chinese will be the traditional cars and that the modern ones will fall by the wayside

  10. I will say that British were too stupid to run a company when Morgan will be bought by a German company or a Chinese company.
    At the moment I will not commend this. Let´s wait.

  11. 13 I am not so sure, I always saw the new generation of Morgans as a product of Charles, they seemed to appear once his father stood aside.

  12. These wooden door framed cars are not my cup of tea at all,and they drive awful,i look after a Zetec powered plus four and its just awful with its puny front suspension and steel chassis. But hey,each to their own.

    So it involves a bit of fanny and her husband they want to move the company on. What did Ferry Porsche say? “spend years building your company and then see your kids ruin it”.

  13. If people are willing to wait 5 years for a 70 year old design now and have waited a considerable number of years for theirs cars certainly since the 60’s – why should the demand drop off in the future?
    Surely the whole point of buying a proper Morgan is to get away from blobby land and drive something different. I think it’s a brave man who predicts these buyers will reduce – I would have thought Morgan should stop playing about with wired modern stuff they keep getting wrong and cut their cloth accordingly – and continue to do what they do better than anyone else in the world – make proper Morgans for the discerning motorist!

  14. I for one would like to wish Charles Morgan as part of the Morgan family, good fortune in keeping the reigns of this very special sports car company.Iit is another of these mad situations where the family because of managerial decisions have less and less influence on what they have created. Add to that anything that is considered wacky and Charles has been creatively wacky by the way and influential committee type boards under the flag of “we are protecting your company,” and “no pain without gain” have the perfect argument for their riduculous decision.
    There is a lovely picture of Charles’ two children unveiling the Morgan Aero max about ten years ago at The Geneva Motor Show. It is them who like Charles himself will eventually take over the Company and continue the marque. We should send them good wishes and courage at this critical time.
    Peter Morgan was never criticised in 1964 for producing the short lived Plus Four Plus rather it gave the company a kudos that it wasn’t buried in the past. In a strange way the modern Morgans like the Aeromax keep the traditional models selling well and Charles needn’t be held responsible for “experimenting with the profits!” You need wackiness my dear board members even if not everyone likes the result.
    Or maybe he has shouted at the tea lady once too many times, doesn’t she realise he likes Earl Grey!?

  15. So what’s going on here?

    Who owns the shares – I see that Charles owns some – there’s a family trust with some more. Presumably the shares are split among the family under Peter’s will or that of the founder Morgan who thought they were being fair to all.

    Is the Family’s interest really in building cars – or – as is more likely the cash.

    Being a small manufacturer of handbuilt sportscars is unlikely to produce mountains of cash even when things are going well. Development of cars will dent the distributable cash by a huge amount – family gets impatient?

  16. This is sad. I read Management at University, here in the UK and I disagreed with what I was taught. I fear that British management is not as good as German or Japanese management. It may be better for Morgan to remain small rather than take the risk of expanding, but obviously a close look at the accounts and market would be needed.

  17. @22, Please forgive my loaded sarcasm regarding British management-why did you let the cat out of the bag?

    More seriously, the only thing we seem good at is ballsing things up, we dont own our energy companies anymore,our aerospace companies sell themselves like cheap hookers to every deranged despot known and when it comes to infrastruture we are 30 years adrift worrying about sticklebacks,newts and scruffy middle class tosspots in trees turding on the police below.

    Is there anything really wrong with this company? through thick and thin this firm as survived even with several years waiting- just like a Purdey shooter.

  18. makes you wonder if he is being awkward or if the company is making serious loses, I imagine if it was all Rosey, that they would happily have a the family in the showroom. If he was a shareholder presumably the board would be voted for? alex

  19. @23 – Energy and Infrastructure. Agree with your sentiments, but this is all down to political ideology and dogma rather than any lack of management expertise. Its also a long time, circa 20 years since we saw environmental activists physically preventing the construction of infrastructure – Newbury by-pass etc.

  20. With regards energy and this mornings announcement that French State owned Energy companies are considered competent to build a £16bn Nuclear Power station when are own state owned utility companies where considered unfit to change a fuse. It struck me that if the British Government had taken a different approach to competition within the energy market, we might have seen the CEGB constructing Nuclear Power stations, not just in the UK but throughout the world, like EDF as a quasi-commercial organisation.

  21. There’s probably 2 sides to this I think unless a financial whizz can shed more light on it.
    It appears in the last accounts that the Morgan family own nearly 80% of the shares (Charles owns 30% and the Morgan family trust own 48%) – the remainder are owned by 3 other non Morgan family directors.

    I assume this has been a decision between these directors and the other members of the Morgan family (the Morgan family Trust) who would have controlling decision? There may have been valid reasons for kicking him off the management board. These reasons will come to light if he decides to fight their decision.

  22. @23 Francis. I’m afraid I have to agree with you. Having worked in the aerospace sector for 20+ years, a lot of British key players were snapped up by the French, Italians and the USA. Smiths, Dowty, Westland, Lucas, GEC/Plessey (UK radar all in Italian hands now) Racal, Avimo, Pilkington Optronics etc etc….strategic assets that said new owners would never allow in their own land….as for being subservient to the French and Chines to build our nuclear infrastructure well it puts us on a similar footing to Nigeria….Lord above.

  23. This sound like it is down to the possible sale of the company and the dilema of shareholders who do not serve on the management board. Any shareholders who do not receive a director’s salary are unlikely to have received a significant divident return on their shareholding in some years, especially with Charles Morgan’s development of new models. Through the sale of the company, they would receive a lump payment and it may also be the only way for them to unlock their shares from the trust. If Charles is blocking the sale, then maybe that’s the reason for the ousting. He may have grounds for an appeal through a technicality in the trust setup.

  24. From what has been said and from what I gather, the excuses for removal are pathetic, and ones that will never stand up in a court of law, Morgan are not a huge multi national company and 100% of the shares are family owned, this then begs the questions, does his family hate him that much to push him out of a company that he has built up to what it is now.

    pathetic comments on national identity are irrelevant, this is about a car company in the UK, not poxy nuclear power stations, if you cant keep on subject then dont bother posting, and another thing, abusing other posters or people in general is not funny, it makes you look stupid.

  25. @2 correct. Past historical problems were that British CEO/MDs were too autocratic and beligerent to the changing world and British board led companies became too short termist, greedy and (to a point beligerent). Thete has never been such a thing as a good world class British CEO.

  26. @33, Given the UK’s stewardship of any industry be it car,nuclear or otherwise any comment on these is salient not stupid.

    Who are you to proffer warnings or advice? isnt it a forum?
    after all, we could be talking of a potential wrecking of this car company if it gets any messier,and the wrecking in the past of industries chime with this.

    CEGB was the pioneer and world leader of civil nuclear power and now we are on our hands and knees begging the French and Chinese for a power station,i hardly find it a pathetic comment about how terrible it is that there is nothing left of our industries or they are in foreign hands.

    If everyone has yor attitude Jagboy then Britains call centre industry will just grow bigger.

  27. It will only be a matter of time before the company will be sold for greed and then it like all our companies as it was possibly only safe in Charles Morgan s hands

  28. We have had 4 Morgan in 40 years.
    My son is saying “My father was always motoring in style”.
    I met Charles and his father nearly 40 years ago in Avignon.
    I feel the board jealous and so stupid to put out the boy name Morgan that is part of the wonderful adventure.
    Bringing a small company to success is very difficult and complicated. The board make a big mistake to separate from the angel. When you have one, keep it !
    You make a really good work, Charles Morgan.

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