Fleet News

LDV and Daewoo sign partnership contract

BRITISH specialist van maker LDV and Korean car giant Daewoo have formally agreed to collaborate on a new range of light commercial vehicles aimed at a global market. The Project Gemini deal, sealed officially at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders office in London will quadruple LDV's output to 80,000 units a year.

It will also see the company's Birmingham plant transformed into a world class manufacturing centre, creating up to 2,000 extra jobs by 2005, and opening up new export sales opportunities. LDV is expected to plough £160 million into the project, while Daewoo's cash investment will be £25 million, matching the £25 million in Regional Selective Assistance funding approved by the Department of Trade and Industry in March.

Production of the new 2.0-3.5-tonne vehicles - codenamed BD100 and LD100 - is planned to start early in the new millennium and will be shared between Birmingham and Daewoo's plant in Lublin, Poland. Product development will take place at LDV's headquarters and at the Daewoo Worthing Technical Centre.

At a news conference following the signing of the agreement LDV chief executive Allan Amey said: 'This strategic partnership with Daewoo is an immense opportunity to develop our presence in light commercial vehicles worldwide. I believe the synergy of that working relationship will enable LDV to compete with the best in the world.' He added that LDV would be seeking Stock Exchange listing early in the new millennium.

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