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How The Josse Indigo 3000 Destroyed The Company

Never heard of Josse Cars? That's hardly surprising since the company only lasted for a mere five years.

It all started in 1994. A year earlier the founder, a Swedish car industry consultant called Bengt Lidmalm, had visited the showroom of loss-making TVR. He was so enthralled by their sports cars that he got a burning ambition to build his own so he and his partner, a Volvo expert called Sven-Olof Fogelberg, formed Josse Car AB. Why did he call it Josse? Search me.

Little did he know that his business would soon go the same way as TVR's - into liquidation.

The project started quite well. their new two seater sports car, the Indigo 3000, was designed by a guy called Hans Philip Zackau who had already been a major force behind the Volvo 850 and it was an attractive, lightweight, composite bodied car using mainly Volvo and other Swedish parts in order to keep costs down.

It was based on a galvanised steel space frame chassis and powered by a Volvo 3 litre straight six cylinder engine producing 204 brake horsepower; in such a lightweight car this was enough to push it well past 155mph, a speed that it was electronically limited to. Acceleration was excellent; it could hit 60 mph within 6 1/2 seconds. It had power steering, automatic headlights, electrically heated mirrors (very advisable in a Swedish winter), disc brakes all round, rollover bars behind each of the two seats, and side impact protection.

There were delays whilst prototypes were built and crash and engine emission testing was completed and so it was 1996 before production actually started. That year, production of 50 cars was planned for, with 250 the next year and then 500 a year thereafter. In fact, a miserly three cars were completed that first year.

However, a new factory was being prepared! This opened in October 1997 but by the end of the following year the last car had been built. It was delivered to the customer in January 1999, after which the company seems to have simply given up.

By 2003 Josse Cars had been declared bankrupt with less than 50 cars built altogether. Another dream had shattered against harsh reality.

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