A war of words has broken out between Morgan’s ousted former boss and the car maker after he claimed the historic firm was planning redundancies.
Charles Morgan claimed in an interview with the Post that the Malvern company was planning to make around 20 of its 180-strong workforce redundant.
But the new boss at the century-old firm hit back, branding the suggestion “categorically untrue”, and claiming that, in fact, the Morgan Motor Company was currently recruiting.
Steve Morris also revealed Morgan was planning to develop its own training academy which would recruit up to 25 apprentices.
The latest fallout between Morgan’s current management and its former boss also saw a dispute over production volumes.
Mr Morgan claimed production had dropped significantly since his departure, allegations that were vehemently denied by the company, which said 2014 volumes will be up on those for 2013.
Morgan’s former managing director, who is the grandson of the firm’s founder HFS Morgan and who left the company last year, is still a shareholder in the family-owned firm.
Mr Morgan told the Post: “I am very worried about redundancies and the fact production is at about half the level when I left.
“I still own 20 per cent and am absolutely appalled to be honest. The company lacks vision and is going nowhere.”
But Mr Morris hit back saying: “The information about 20 redundancies is untrue. I can categorically state that not only are we not making any redundancies, in fact as we speak we are advertising for vacancies – we have for two immediate positions, with more anticipated later this month.
“Longer term we are working on plans to found a training academy, to support continued investment in our workforce, which will see something like 20-25 apprentices joining.”
He added: “As for the reduction in production, 2014 will actually see a slight increase on 2013 vehicle numbers.”
Mr Morgan’s acrimonious departure from Morgan happened in October, amid claims he was ousted by his sister Gillian Price and brother-in-law David Price.
Mr Morgan said Mr Price was the trustee of a trust which represented 48 per cent of the company’s shares, while his sister owned ten per cent.
He had been replaced as managing director by former operations director Mr Morris in March 2013, at which point the carmaker said Mr Morgan would still be “the face of Morgan internationally”.
Mr Morgan claimed he had been dismissed on “contentious grounds” and launched an appeal against his dismissal which was rejected in November by the Morgan board.
He had questioned the legitimacy of his dismissal and said his aim to modernise the company was at odds with the vision of other directors.
Mr Morgan, who had been managing director since 2006, said he had bolstered the firm by introducing new models like the Aero, AeroMax and 3 Wheeler.
He also said volumes had doubled under his leadership and that profits for the first half of 2013 had increased to £1.2 million.
Since his departure he has said he is open to exploring other employment options in the industry.
At the time the firm said it was looking to “strengthen and review its strategies” and that its management team was “better placed to steer the company in the future”.
Mr Morgan also criticised the firm’s revamped Plus 4 model which was launched at the Geneva Motor Show, saying that the claims over improved power were somewhat underwhelming.
He said: “They have launched a car with nine more horsepower, which is rather like putting super unleaded in rather than unleaded.”
Again Mr Morris countered his claim and said two new vehicles unveiled in Geneva – the 2014 model year Morgan 3 Wheeler and the new Plus 4 had been “well-received”.
He said: “With regard to our new vehicle launches at Geneva, this saw the 2014 Model year Morgan 3 Wheeler and the new Plus 4 which has the latest 2.0 direct injection 4-cylinder Ford engine.
“I’m not aware of any negative coverage of either. Both vehicles have been well-received in the trade press.”