Britain has no motor industry?
7th Nov 2012
Also try Japan and the U.S if you want, but your conclusion will most probably be the same: Britain in 2012 builds and designs the world’s most varied and fascinating cars.
Even though we don’t actually own our resident car companies any more, it remains indisputable that the world’s best designers including Afzal Kahn were born and bred here.
We also have pre-eminent institutions to educate the best up and coming designers and engineers, because legends in the world of motor racing including Cosworth are all based here and British car buyers are open-minded enough to accept and even demand individual looking cars from Afzal Kahn and his team.
Sounds like automotive heaven, doesn’t it?
And despite the economic downturn, Kahn Design has a stream of customers at the door – from the UK and abroad.
Just as Afzal Kahn’s energy and ambition seem limitless, his sales success seems unarguable. And as you can guess from his work, the principal British designer does not lack confidence: “Our customers have totally changed over the years”, says Kahn.
In essence Afzal is benefitting from the same phenomenon as the ‘bespoke’ divisions of the high end car makers; the explosion in their sales means ‘premium’ is no longer enough. How many times do you see the same car passing down the road?
People just yearn for something different and Afzal Kahn is set to capitalise in a big way. Fusing engineering and design brilliance Kahn Swiss Made Timepieces have also become the mark of a man obsessed with the British motoring industry. Of vast diameter and imposing stature the Kahn Timepieces collection incorporates innumerable materials of which the man himself is so famously fond of.
And how about the iconic RS-R wheel: the first ever wheel with a spoke running to the very edge of the rim – earning Kahn, world-wide acclaim.
In 1996, with a simple five spoke design – now known as the iconic RS-R – Afzal flew to Italy, had a factory tool up for his wheels and put in an order of 1,000.
‘I’d sold them before I landed back in Britain,’ he said. ‘I took two tiny adverts out – one in Top Car and the other in Auto Trader – and the phone rang off the hook. After that I knew it could work.’
The classic RS-R wheel conjures up a sense of power, performance and style that is still incredibly popular with drivers around the world. Inspired by motorsport, aviation and space, to the automotive revolutions that car enthusiasts tend to hold so dear, the Kahn wheel collection now consists of 20 designs that are synonymous with elegance and innovation.
So what’s next? Around three quarters of Kahn’s work is on Range Rovers, but you cannot discard the excellent work he has done to the likes of the Vantage and Rolls Royce Phantom. It seems he’s ready to improve many British brands.
And with the Kahn accessory range also growing rapidly, it is quite right that brands such as Kahn Design be celebrated as a great British icon.
For more information visit: www.kahndesign.com