In the sprawling Morgan car factory in Worcestershire, business is brisk.
Workers in navy blue overalls hunch over aluminium chassis and wooden frames of half-completed sports cars, the floor littered with wood shavings, the air punctured by the throaty roar of engines undergoing testing.
Morgan has handcrafted its sports cars at its base amid the Malvern Hills since 1909.
One of the last remaining significant sports car makers in Britain, it is battling rising costs and competition from larger rivals, but hopes its niche position will ensure its survival.
"We always want to be building cars for customers. We do not want to have cars sitting in showrooms waiting to be shipped out – that's what everybody else does, that's why there's over-production and we're seeing so many car companies go bust," said Charles Morgan, the 54-year-old grandson of founder HFS Morgan.
Most of Britain's luxury car marques have either disappeared or been swallowed up by foreign firms – Ford owns Jaguar and Aston Martin, while Malaysia's Proton has Lotus.
Surviving alongside Morgan are Noble Automotive and Caterham, but as Britain's automotive industry faces a bumpy road, Morgan holds several trump cards – brand exclusivity, low production output, increasing exports and loyal customers.
The Morgan enthusiast "can cry like a baby when he finds a flea-sized scratch on his paint job, but will laugh with the rest of them when he spins out on a corner and smashes a fender", according to the Morgan-lovers' website.
"You can feel the engine when it's fired up, the way the tyres are going on the tarmac – you get a real thrill out of it," said first-time buyer Simon Wakeling, aged 42, who is already thinking of his next Morgan purchase.
Shrinking demand and escalating costs are prompting car makers to shift output to eastern Europe where labour is cheaper, although Japanese brands Toyota, Nissan and Honda continue strong British production bases.
Harald Hendrikse, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said: "Morgan will survive as it has an interesting consumer proposition. It's not a fashion product, but more of a cult classic, where demand is much less cyclical."
The brand's vintage 1930s design and tight supply commands a premium.
Customers have a waiting period of 10-12 months, down from five years previously, and the company produces 600 units a year.
Each car costs between #25,000 and #65,000.
Charles Morgan said rising production expenses from R&D, raw materials and labour are a challenge.
The company keeps a lid on costs by sourcing its parts like engines and gear-boxes from its partners BMW and Ford.
"We've made a couple of losses in the last five years due to the massive R&D expenditure in developing cars to meet US market requirements, but apart from that, we've been profitable every year that I've been here," said Mr Morgan. The company is also grappling with intensifying competition from larger premium manufacturers, such as Porsche and Daimler-Chrysler's Mercedes marque.
"What helps is Morgan's very protected, small market of loyal clients," said Horst Schneider, analyst with WestLB Research.
To survive the challenges, Morgan is boosting exports to the US and western Europe, and new markets in eastern Europe, Russia, India and China, said marketing director Matthew Parkin.
The company sells 30-35 per cent of its cars in Britain and exports to the US, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. It also aims to encourage customers to buy a second Morgan by developing new models and tweaking existing designs.
Now, 40-45 per cent of clients are repeat customers, up from 20 per cent nearly a decade ago, Mr Parkin said.
To spur demand, Morgan created the limited edition AeroMax coupe, priced at #94,000. And it is designing an environmentally friendly prototype sports car with defence technology firm QinetiQ, which also has a site in Malvern, to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
"The AeroMax is a clear case of finding a new market for our cars," said Mr Morgan. "We want to be in business for another 100 years; the way to go is caution, with innovation."