Production will be relocated away from the van maker’s Washwood Heath, Birmingham site, which has been idle since before last Christmas, to a location elsewhere in the West Midlands. One possible candidate is the former MG Rover site at Longbridge.

Output and employment look set to be scaled down to a fraction of the totals achieved in LDV’s heyday as the new owner tackles niche rather than volume markets. Formerly owned by Russian manufacturer GAZ, LDV too was starting to tackle niche sectors of the business before its collapse, and had developed a prototype electric Maxus — the ECV1 — using lithium-ion battery technology sourced from Micro-Vett of Italy.

Eco Concept is owned by Dr Qu Li, who acted as a consultant to the Phoenix Four when they owned MG Rover. LDV slid into administration last June after talks with possible purchaser Weststar of Malaysia failed to bear fruit. The indications are that it will be 2011 before the first vehicles from LDV’s new owners go into production.

The news that production will not re-start in Washwood Heath will deal another blow to one of Birmingham’s most deprived and run-down areas. Some 800 people worked for LDV prior to administration.