Leyland to launch ‘baby truck’
By Clifford Webb
Leyland Vehicles is to attack the fastest-growing sector of the commercial vehicle market with a “baby truck” that is so easy to drive that its office secretaries took part in its road test programme. Dealers and fleet owners attending a private viewing of the 7.5-tonne Roadrunner yesterday were told that 1,000 of the company’s 6,500 staff at the Leyland, Lancs plant took part in its roadtest.
Mr Rodney England, Leyland’s. marketing director, said Roadrunner, which cost £10m to develop; was vital to the company’s recovery. There had been a big growth in that sector of the market since legislation was introduced eight years ago permitting trucks up to 7.5 tonnes to be driven with an ordinary car licence. It is now the most popular weight range in Britain and accounts for one in three of all trucks sold compared with one in twenty 10 years ago.
The Roadrunner completes the five-year revamping of Leyland’s entire truck range. The Leyland plant will build 1,500 Roadrunners this year and 3,000 next year.