LDV has been surviving by selling used vehicles and relying on the forbearance of its suppliers says marketing and PR director, Guy Jones. The second-hand LDV vans have been returned to the beleaguered Birmingham business for disposal under buy-back agreements with major fleet operators, while firms that have supplied it with components haven’t pushed too hard for settlement of their outstanding bills. The banks have been supportive too up until now, and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been allowing payments owed to it to be deferred, says Jones. “Nobody wants to be accused of causing LDV to go under,” he observes.

Heavily dependent on domestic sales, LDV has been hit hard by the catastrophic collapse of the UK van market and the travails of its parent company GAZ. Having acquired the company in 2006, the Russian group admitted earlier this year that it could no longer continue to support it.

The government has refused a request for a £30m bridging loan to keep LDV afloat despite the fact that a collapse means that potentially thousands of jobs would be lost at the factory and its suppliers.

“We’ve developed an environmentally-friendly electric version of Maxus, yet no government minister has bothered to come to the factory to assess it,” Jones complains. Other than the goodwill shown by HMRC, there is no indication that the government is willing to support LDV, he says.

Talks have been held with potential investors says Jones, but so far have not borne fruit. He would neither confirm nor deny that the discussions have involved Indian light commercial and 4×4 manufacturer Mahindra. Another firm believed to have been interested in the business is Westar of Malaysia.

LDV has applied for help from the European Investment Bank and was hoping for backing from the UK’s Automotive Assistance Programme. In both cases, however, aid will only be provided if the firm can secure help from a private investor.

Maxus owners will naturally be concerned about the honouring of the warranty on their vehicles and their future second-hand value if LDV does finally close its doors.

Visit LDV’s web site to keep abreast of what’s happening. Go to the blog and follow some of the links. They make interesting reading, especially those that relate to military contracts. A petition on the Number 10 website asking for government support for LDV has attracted almost 4,000 signatures and can be accessed via the blog.