Unfortunately, the shape was the only thing that visitors were able to see. The two models, a short-wheelbase low-roof and long-wheelbase high-roof panel van, were firmly enclosed behind murky plastic and no details of engines or specification were available.
LDV has been suffering a fall in sales for some time now as its Pilot and Convoy vans show their age against the opposition.
But the firm has benefited from a combination of luck and hard-headed business sense. LDV was developing a new model with Korean manufacturer Daewoo when the Asian company foundered and was taken over by General Motors. GM was not interested in the van and handed the rights to LDV.
Then this year, after some tough negotiations in Poland and Korea, LDV bought all the tooling needed to make the new vehicle and its future prospects suddenly looked rosier.
Unveiling the new model at the show, LDV chief executive Allen Amey said: ‘Last year at the show we revealed the design concept of this new van. Now we have secured the rights to it from Daewoo, bought the tooling worth £125 million, shipped it back to Birmingham and secured the funding that will shape the development of LDV over the next 10 years.
Our new range of LDVs will be launched in the second half of the year and within two years will completely replace the Pilot and Convoy. We eventually plan to sell between 40,000 and 50,000 vehicles worldwide and we believe our new van is best in class in all the areas it should be.’