It has extended the shut-down of its Washwood Heath, Birmingham plant into February in response to the global economic crisis and the shrinking demand for vans.

Owned by Russia’s GAZ Group since 2006, the company is also preparing an application to the European Investment Bank for funds to continue its investment in green technology. It has been busy developing a zero-emission electric Maxus. “We have invested heavily in the company creating 200 new jobs, transforming the skills of our workforce and developing cleaner electric vehicles, but the scale of the downturn has devastated the entire sector,” says PR and marketing director, Guy Jones.

LDV is struggling to forecast when sustained demand for new vehicles will recommence — by no means a unique position to be in — and losses are presently being incurred due to little or no production and massively reduced sales.