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Incorporation.... Our Date of Birth, the planning stages, finding our feet, working from home and trying to make head or tail of the motor industry.
'NURBURG LTD' a name that was inspired from the Nurburgring, sounded cool, the perfect name to go with the everyday sports and luxury cars we planned to sell. It quickly became apparent that it was a tough game for a start up company with limited knowledge of the industry. Time for a Plan!
The Gap in the market!
We considered the customisation market, what was popular and trending at the time, the Land Rover Defender, once only loved by a cult following of mud loving 4x4ers was becoming hugely popular with modern drivers that seemed to want a piece of the Classic 4x4 before the imminent end of its production.
With a good supply chain, heaps of off the shelf tuning parts and and a vision to give the iconic 4x4 a city based Urban look, we set the wheels in motion and we launched 'our take' on the the timeless classic, 'The Urban Truck'.
Our first business premises, 3000 sq ft and we rammed each and every inch of it full of Defenders.
New Defenders were delivered on transporter after transporter, every colour, so many different styles, all chosen by a huge array of clients, everyone wanted to add a personal touch to their Defender. Magazine's covered our growth, we started manufacturing our own parts, we launched more desirable editions and took our offering to trade shows, all of these ingredients put us on the Defender map within 6 months... This was pretty awesome !
We continually wanted to raise our game and the release of the Urban Truck Ultimate edition at Goodwood Festival of Speed was our first really successful high end build.
It featured the best of everything we had in the bag, performance, exterior styling, lots of colour coding, Recaro seating, sumptuous leather inside the cabin, navigation, premium Hi-Fi, LED lighting and specially tailored suspension & brakes to match the additional power. Rather than being limited to a show car it became our flagship model and proved to be a huge success, it just worked so well.
Lots Happening!! First off, we needed a bigger boat, our unit was bursting at the seams so we started the hunt for a new HQ.
Sadly, Land Rover had officially announced the final production of the Defender and the last models we set for registration no later than August 2016. We had nearly 18 months to make the most of the iconic legend that had been so unbelievably good to us in such a short space of time, after that, new Defenders would cease to exist. With that in mind, we decided to create a monster! 1 x Defender Ultimate Edition + 1 x LS3 Corvette Engine & 6 Speed Auto Gearbox = Urban Truck RS.
Time for a new Identity.... Nurburg just didn’t fit anymore, it was now or never.
We needed a new name, something more relevant to the plans we had to focus on a broader portfolio of vehicles. We already had the Urban Truck Range of Defenders and it made sense to continue the Urbanisation theme, it was decided, Urban Automotive was born and we started our journey modifying more modern vehicles like the Range Rover Sport, Evoque & Range Rover Vogue.
Not content with the Defender boom we were experiencing, we knew adding the higher models to the portfolio wouldn't be as easy as combining Defender parts that went well together as a package.
So, we started at the beginning again, by applying the same methods to the Range Rover Sport as we did with the Defender. We picked an 'off the shelf kit' from ACS and gave it the Urban Twist, it was our first effort at real design and manufacturing, albeit in the form of a humble front splitter.
The use of 'off the shelf parts' gave us a great insight into mastering the installation process, it showed us the depths of design and manufacturing. We all have to start from somewhere and this route gave us moderate success and the ability to reinvest our profits into our future vision, to design and own the manufacturing process from the initial idea all the way through to the customer handover.
At the very same time, we opened our online store - primarily focusing on Defender parts for customers who were geographically a little to far to bring their vehicles to us for modification. Today the store covers all parts we sell at www.houseofurban.co.uk.
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Time for a new HQ!
Newmarket Court.... Wow, this seemed so Large, such a risk, 10,000 Sq Ft, how would we fill it? The Defender was on its way out and we didn’t know if the more prestigious product would have the same long term success, we started the process again, this time with a shiny new showroom.
No it's time to get serious!
Whilst we had great success with 'our off the shelf' v1 Styling products on the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport we knew we had to realise our dreams and that was to design our own products. We set our sites on creating a wheel range and body styling products for the Range Rover Evoque, Sport, Discovery and Vogue.
The Design Brief....
We wanted OEM lines and seamless integration. What's the point of making cosmetic changes to the worlds most popular SUV range unless you give it desirable enhancements? We wanted to give the Sport more aggression and stance but at the same time, making it look like it came straight out of the factory. We wanted to avoid cheaper plastic and garish parts that looked like they had been 'stuck on', this look seemed to attract negative design criticism. With this in mind, we used hand laid carbon fibre for both the main bumper areas, as well as a considerable helping of exposed carbon fibre in feature areas to give a premium finish.
Our First Aquisition!
The continual 'outsourcing' of multiple paint jobs to various bodyshops inspired us to make our first acquisition, a two oven bodyshop in Wavendon Milton Keynes. This was the start of the Urban Bodyshop. It enabled us to control the quality of our products, whilst giving us the ability to offer custom colour changes, alongside body repairs to sports & luxury vehicles. It was the first step in offering truly bespoke solutions.
Launching our Wheel Range
The wheel range was designed to cover all aspects of the Range Rover/Land Rover Range. We wanted dish and concavity for the sporty vehicles and tall dominance for the elegant models. The range we selected offered a mixture of aggressive stances alongside modern designs never used before.
The V2 Sport design process begins
In April 2016, we started the second iteration of our Range Rover Sport body design utilising full carbon fibre elements and new branded exhaust tips.
Launched in unison, the V2 Urban Sport & Urban SVR took the stage at Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of June 2016.
Bumpers manufactured from 100% Carbon Fibre, fully exposed Carbon Fibre detailing featuring our signature front splitter and aggressive centre mouthpiece. We Incorporated premium Nolden daytime running lights and exhausts manufactured by our partner Milltek Sport. Every element of this project was focused on high end quality and no expense was spared on the design, pattern & tooling.
Forming a new partnership with Streamline Carbon.
After a long and successful supplier-customer relationship with Streamline Carbon, it made fantastic commercial and strategic sense to make a investment into a company that showed a great deal of potential towards our long term manufacturing goals. We made an investment shareholding into Streamline Carbon and we now work together in unison on the design to manufacturing process.
The Vogue V2
Our another new partnership, with Vossen Wheels USA.
It was an honour to be approached by Vossen USA. They are one of the worlds leading Alloy Wheel manufacturers and they represent a likeminded passion for ingenuity and desire to make an impact on the automotive world. We worked together on the Vossen x Urban range of fully forged wheels starting with the aggressive UV-1 and the Elegant UV-2.
Launching our global dealer network.
Continual demand for our products from overseas saw the launch of our approved dealer network.
Introducing the Discovery 5
It was considered a brave move to modify the Discovery 5. This is proof, with a little bit of Urban magic, a practical 7 seater SUV can claim a worthy place in our range. With some added symmetry.
UK made, in-house. We make it, in-house. We paint it, in-house. We fit it, in-house.
The Merger begins!
It was only a matter of time.... The fantastic partnership with Streamline highlighted the synergy between our two management teams and the decision was made.... we needed to manufacture the products in house, under one roof.
Introducing the Urban Velar.
We made the decision to give the Avant Grade Range Rover an air of aggression! Large rear Diffuser & powerful front apron alongside our 23" wheels has given the Velar a muscular appearance offered by no other.
Collaboration with Nero Design
Collaboration time again! Sharing a common passion, the Urban & Yiannimize team have teamed up to produce a fine range of quality uk made carbon aero & wheel styling products for the super car sector. Starting with Lamborghini, the NERO Huracan & Aventador S was born.
Our new carbon fibre production facility!
Following the merger of Streamline and Urban, we managed to secure a 9000 sq ft production facility that will house additional autoclaves alongside lamination, trimming and preparation facilities to cope with the upturn in business and future white label programmes for other after market companies.
The Urban Bentayga is launched!
The Bentayga by Urban Automotive, designs were all finalised and completed in March 2018 and made available for general sale in June 2018.
A brand new location
We were bursting out of Newmarket Court for about 2 years, so securing the new HQ, called 'VELOCITY' in Milton Keynes was simply amazing. We moved in on April 2019.
The new Urban G-Wagon
May 2018 marked the release of the new Mercedes G-Wagon, the designs were completed and available to order that same month. The vehicle was available from November 2018.