Press Report : Russian owners admit there is little hope for LDV

Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post, 5th June, 2009

LDV’s Russian owners GAZ Group say they have “exhausted all possibilities” in the fight to save the Birmingham van-maker in another apparent huge nail in the coffin for 7,000 UK jobs.

Workers gather outside LDV after it was announced the Weststar rescue bid had been withdrawn

 

Tycoon Oleg Deripaska’s giant industrial conglomerate – which announced it was selling LDV in February – appeared to signal the death knell for the Washwood Heath factory with a gloomy statement.

LDV managers say they are continuing to work to secure the future of the firm but a spokesman for GAZ admitted time was running short to save the company. With only three days before Monday’s scheduled administration hearing, a GAZ spokesman said: “We have done everything we can to secure LDV’s future in Birmingham, but time is running out.

“LDV has had no option but to reapply for administration. The administration hearing is scheduled for Monday morning, and we will continue to do all we can to secure the plant’s future until the last moment. Over the past few months, GAZ has been committed to finding a solution to ensure manufacturing remained in Birmingham. We have exhausted all possibilities, pursuing a management buy-out, approaching foreign investors such as Weststar and holding extensive talks with government to try to secure bridging funding.”

The GAZ statement appeared to deliver a potentially fatal blow to LDV, which will collapse into insolvency on Monday, after would-be buyers Malaysian firm Weststar pulled out of negotiations because of lack of funds.

The GAZ statement appeared to deliver a potentially fatal blow to LDV, which will collapse into insolvency on Monday, after would-be buyers Malaysian firm Weststar pulled out of negotiations because of lack of funds.

A total of 850 direct jobs and up to 6,000 more in the supply and dealership network are under threat unless a new rescue plan emerges. A hearing to consider the administration will take place at Birmingham County Court at 10.15am on Monday.

LDV’s PR and Marketing Director Guy Jones said: “The LDV management team will continue to work up to this deadline to find a solution to secure the future of the business and production and jobs for LDV employees, suppliers, dealers and business partners.”

Meanwhile, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry is offering an employment lifeline to LDV employees with recruitment consultant Helen Gardiner saying: “If the worst comes to the worst, we urge LDV employees to contact us.

“Automotive skills and experience are easily transferable into other sectors. As a Chamber of Commerce we have a wide range of contacts and therefore can readily source jobs and candidates. We have recently placed two former automotive employees who were made redundant into new jobs with Hovis Bakery.”

LDV employees should contact Ms Gardiner on 0121 607 1765.

[Source: Birmingham Post]

Posted in: AROnline News, LDV
Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

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