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Buoyant LDV launches more new product as sales grow

26th April 2007 Print
Birmingham van manufacturer LDV is surging ahead with renewed confidence, an expanded model range and growing sales.

An investment of £100 million from Russian parent GAZ Group means the company now has the financial strength to compete globally. Speaking from the CV Show, chief executive Steve Young said that sales over the first quarter are up 76 per cent year on year, production volumes have almost doubled since last August – now 286 units per week – and productivity is up by 36 per cent. 75 extra staff have also recently been recruited.

“Today, as part of the GAZ Group, we have the financial strength and capability of a major global automotive company behind us to shape our future developments,” he commented.

“Alongside the UK, we are also focusing on export markets. In the last week we have announced a partnership with the Weststar Group of Malaysia to develop the light commercial vehicle in 20 markets, beginning in Vietnam and Indonesia.”

And closer to home, the European network is being expanded to the Benelux companies and Spain to supplement a growing presence in France and Denmark. The Maxus will also be launched in the Russian market later this year, supplied initially from Birmingham, before manufacturing is expanded to Russia next year.

“For the first time we now have a complete product range,” explains Steve Young. “We are well into our turnaround phase and we should return to profit this summer.”

The company were launching the new Maxus chassis cab range at the Show with tipper and dropside bodies, both of which are fitted on the production line. Luton and box van derivatives will be added by the end of the year. There is also a new 17-seat minibus, plus an accessible range, which join 12 and 15-seat derivatives.

The engine range has also been expanded with a new 135 Ps VM Motori unit offered on all van and mpt vehicles and a 105 Ps engine replacing the 95 Ps unit in the minibus range.

LDV has just won an order from National Car Rental for 200 15-seater minibuses which will supplement 560 Maxus vans joining the fleet this year.