Fleet News

Rally firm aims for LPG conversion superleague

THE company that builds Hyundai's world rally cars is entering the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversion industry, with the intention of converting up to 10,000 vehicles annually for fleet use by the middle of next year.

Milton Keynes-based Motor Sport Developments is gearing up its MSD Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) division to handle the high turnover of conversions, while its emissions testing arm, Beacon Technologies, plan to get two new cars a week onto the Powershift Register.

With expertise brought from rallying – the firm builds 70% of the world rally cars – managing director Adrian Scott believes his company can join the superleague of converters. Scott claimed the emissions testing facility matched the best in the country, and would be used to give fleets more choice. He said: 'The more vehicles that are on the Powershift Register, the more it opens up the customer base. It's about greater choice.

'Most fleets operators already have a number of established preferences when it comes to the vehicles they run and we need to meet those preferences. Then we need to convert vehicles in large numbers to high and consistent standards.'

He called for manufacturers to work with MSD, adding: 'Give us a car for six weeks and we will get it on the register for you.'

MSD employs 180 people, with an annual turnover of £35 million, and used to build the old Vectra GSi for Vauxhall. This part of the business is now committed to producing 150 LPG fuelled vehicles a week.

The firm is supported in its ambitious plan by Lloyds TSB autolease and Calor Autogas. Calor sales development manager Paul Oxford said: 'I've been involved in the industry for six years and this is one of the largest and most professional outfits I've seen.

'With MSD SVE offering this pioneering approach, fleet managers can be confident that they are dealing with converters of the highest level of expertise.'

With recent concerns about the standards of some LPG converters, Scott claimed fleets would have no such worries about MSD SVE. He said: 'It's the engineering philosophy of the company. We are not an under the arches operation. We come with a motorsport mentality to engineering.'

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