Page last updated at 16:14 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

'Milestone' electric truck deal

Modec chassis cab and site in Coventry
The trucks will be sold in up to 3,000 dealerships across America

An electric van maker in Coventry has signed a "milestone" deal with a US firm to jointly manufacture zero-carbon trucks in North and South America.

Modec Ltd in Coventry was awarded a £23m grant by the US government for the Navistar venture in August.

Modec was founded in September 2004 and employs 85 staff at its plant on Binley Industrial Estate.

Its founder, Lord Jamie Borwick, said the deal meant Modec would employ more staff for a second shift in Coventry.

He said: "The expectation is we will be bringing in a second shift in Coventry starting from next autumn."

'Buying power'

Modec finance director Colin Mills said: "It's been a great milestone for us and something we've been working on for the past six months.

"It's gives us a global sales channel all the way from Coventry through to North and South America, which is a big beginning for such a small company."

Earlier this year Modec received a £4m government loan from the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands for its business plan.

Business Minister Pat McFadden visited the plant on Thursday and said the public investment had helped to secure skilled jobs in the West Midlands region and helped to develop the UK supply chain.

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