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What to do about a van factory which employs or supports thousands of jobs that is now believed to be the plant identified by union leaders as in imminent danger of closing without government support.

LDV has halted production at its factory in Birmingham since December 12 following the global downturn in sales. Sales across the van sector have almost halved in the past three months in line with the slump affecting car companies. LDV, owned by Russian giant GAZ, has invested tens of millions of pounds in recent years in the factory which has created 200 new jobs. The plant, in the Washwood Heath district of Birmingham, employs 850 workers and has a dealer network employing a further 1,200. The company also supports more than 5,000 jobs in supply companies. Tony Woodley, joint leader of the Unite union, issued a grim warning last week that a UK motor factory was in imminent danger of closing with the loss of thousands of jobs unless the Government acted more quickly to support the industry.It is understood the union has written to several Labour MPs in the West Midlands warning them of the dire straits of the industry in general and mentioning LDV Vans as well as urging them to press the Government to respond.

Well, for starters not a penny of public money should go its way.

If Russian Giant Gaz can spend “tens of millions” and only create 200 jobs, something is rotten anyway. If LDV is not viable, let it sink. Trying to prop up a failed business model is folly – though I rather suspect that given its location in prime Labour voting territory, this may lead to some creative accounting by government!

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9 thoughts on “THE VAN MAN

  1. I note that Lord Swivel-hips of Rio has removed himself from any discussions regarding the provision of a loan to his well-heeled yachting buddy Oleg Deripaska’s stumbling LDV van outfit.

    So that’s what was meant by ‘business discussions’

  2. Being in prime Labour voting territory will swing the deal, as it did with the millions poured into MG just before the last local elections.

    MG went belly up a few months later – great work all round.

    So, a Labour government will tax the life out of the poor, very poor and completely skint to hose down a Russian billionaire friend of Mandy. Welcome to Britain, comrade.

    Maybe someone with a brain in all this will wonder, why don’t we just stop taxing people?

    If road taxes and sales taxes and fuel taxes as well as a thousand other taxes were abolished we might have some money to spend on these things that we’re not buying because we’re taxed into poverty, thereby causing the government (probably) to tax us more to bail out Russian billionaires whose products we’re not buying because we’re taxed into poverty.

  3. Daily Telegraph: Updated: 7:21PM GMT 23 Feb 2009

    "The plea for a £30 million bridging loan was turned down despite the potential impact locally in Birmingham and among the wider supply chain.. "

    A hint, at long last that someone, somewhere, in government may have some vestige of a concience remaining. Or is Brown giving Woodley a warning, ‘not to push his luck, too hard!’, and given the general dislike of most things Russian, especially their oligarchs, it would seem to be an opportune time to act tough.

  4. Ernest,

    I think that there will be a bail out and discussions are underway — all we get at the moment is shadow boxing!

  5. Yes, too much money has been put into its revival already. Although from an environmental point of view, if it can turn itself around, it will be good to see it at the forefront of Europe’s electric vans company, which is what it is promising to do.

  6. I read today in the DT that should LDV have received a bail-out, it would have enabled Oleg Dipshit to liquidate his holding and to relinquish his chairmanship of the company, all without too serious a loss of cash.

    You have to give Rio credit for having some very ingenious friends, – or perhaps now, an ex-friend – after all what are friends useful for if they don’t perform as expected…

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