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Thursday, March 19, 1998 Published at 12:17 GMT


LDV and Daewoo in £160m link-up
image: [ LDV's workforce will more than double ]
LDV's workforce will more than double

The British van maker LDV is linking up with the South Korean giant Daewoo in a deal which will boost production and create around 2,000 new jobs.

LDV is investing £160 million to develop a new range of light commercial vehicles. Daewoo is putting in £25 million in return for a "significant" but not controlling stake in the company.

The plan is expected to quadruple production at LDV's Birmingham plant to up to 80,000 vans by 2005. Three-quarters of the vehicles will be exported.

Deal secures and creates jobs

LDV, which was created from the former Leyland Daf van operation that collapsed in 1993, now employs 1,500 workers.

[ image: A partnership between east and west]
A partnership between east and west
The tie-up with Daewoo will secure those jobs plus another 1,500 at component suppliers.

It is also expected to create about 2,000 new jobs.

Doubts about a deal had been raised because of the economic turmoil in Korea, which has led to some investments being axed or frozen.

The go-ahead was announced in London when the President of the Board of Trade, Margaret Beckett, revealed a £25 million aid package of government support for the project.

Mrs Beckett said the joint venture was good news for the UK. It would boost export sales, bringing further proof of Britain strong position in the global automotive industry, she said.

'Springboard' to success

The Chief Executive of LDV, Allan Amey, said his company had been talking to Daewoo for two years about teaming up.

He said the deal gave LDV "the springboard it needs to take the company forward as a profitable and influential player in the global light commercial vehicle markets."

A team of LDV engineers and planners is already working on the project and the company says it is recruiting more product and manufacturing engineers.

Daewoo is taking the development lead on a heavier van codenamed LD100. LDV is responsible for a medium sized vehicle codenamed BD100.

The new vans will be made by at LDV's factory in Birmingham and at Daewoo's plant in Poland.

LDV has enjoyed huge success since it was bought by its managers for £40 million from receivers and has been looking for partners to help its development ever since.

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