Compared to most vehicle manufacturers LDV have a relatively short history. In this short history they produced 4 vans, and had a big impact on the UK commercial vehicle market. Here we have a look at exactly what they managed to achieve in their short history.
LDV is the initials of Leyland DAF Vans. The company was formed in 1993 in Birmingham, England. It was formed to replace Leyland DAF who had gone into receivership. Leyland DAF was established in 1987 when Leyland trucks merged with the Dutch company DAF trucks.
In 2005 LDV went into administration. The Sun Capital group purchased the company and set about restructuring the operation. LDV issued statements to reassure customers of its ongoing commitment.
With less history than most manufacturers LDV turned to sports sponsorship to increase the awareness of its brand. From 1998 to 2000 they sponsored Aston Villa FC, and from 2000 to 2006 they sponsored the Football League Trophy.
LDV had many corporate customers. Royal Mail, National Grid and the police force were just a few of the organisation politically strong armed into buying British.
A proven base
Both the Convoy and Pilot models were based on the British Leyland Sherpa, a popular van throughout the 70ís and 80ís. LDV produced these two models from 1993 to 2006.
Playing dress up
Another LDV model was the Cub. This model was made available between 1996 and 2001. Essentially the Cub was a Nissan Vanette with minor changes to re-brand it as an LDV.
The Maxus was a completely new design. It was originally intended to be a joint venture between LDV and Daewoo, but after Daewoo went into receivership LDV acquired the sole rights to produce the vehicle.
More new owners
In 2006 the Russian owned GAZ GROUP purchased LDV. They had grand plans for LDV. They intended to introduce the Maxus to the Russian market with an initial production run of 50,000 vehicles. There was also talk of introducing it to the Australian market, which was a common stomping ground of LDVís predecessor.
Despite big plans and good intentions the efforts of the GAZ group never came to fruition. In 2008 all production at the Birmingham plant was stopped. The UK government stepped in to try to secure a deal with the WestStar Corporation, however the company could not secure financing.
So whatís next?
Nearly a year after production had ceased in Birmingham, Price Waterhouse Coopers (the official receivers) managed to secure the sale of the companies assets to Chinese firm Eco Concept. There have been a few rumblings about the firm resurrecting the brand, but whether it would just be for the Asian market, or whether we will ever see them in Britain again, nobody knows.