Allan Amey, LDV chief executive, said: 'Continental Europe is a strategic priority for LDV. We see the current exchange rate situation as a short term issue which will not deflect our long term strategy of widening our market base ahead of the next generation of LDVs.'
The company will target Germany, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Spain as growth areas, and plans a specialist dealer network of more than 200 van centres by 2000, plus 100 additional service centres. Amey said: 'Our European dealers will be dedicated to providing best-in-class service and support to both fleet and retail customers. We aim to ensure the LDV brand in Europe will reflect the same values as it does in the UK -confidence in the product, excellence in service and customised, value-for-money business solutions.'
This year LDV will sell about 1,300 left-hand-drive vehicles in overseas markets. At home, the company has a market share of around 10% - it sold 11,210 vans from January to September, a fall of 244 units compared with the first nine months of 1997.