Court ruling is new blow to Leyland DAF

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The Independent Online
THE TROUBLED truck and van manufacturer Leyland DAF was dealt a fresh blow yesterday after its receivers failed in a renewed court attempt to compel a key components supplier to continue deliveries, writes Michael Harrison.

Three Court of Appeal judges refused to overturn a High Court ruling last Friday that Automotive Products, which is owed pounds 758,000 by Leyland DAF, cannot be forced by law to continue deliveries of brake and clutch assemblies.

There are fears that production at Leyland DAF's two main sites - the Leyland truck plant in Lancashire and the Birmingham van plant - may be cut or stopped altogether after the Easter weekend unless AP resumes supplies. That would put the future of the entire company and its 3,500 workers on the line.

John Allen, chief negotiator for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, said: 'This is a disastrous decision. We can now expect the whole of Leyland to close after Easter, and 3,000 workers will needlessly be laid off.

'We appeal to AP to continue supply. They have said they want to be helpful and see Leyland DAF survive. They seem to have a funny way of showing it.'

AP, which is owned by the engineering group BBA, said last night that it had contacted the receivers immediately after the judgment 'seeking to establish the basis on which it can make further supplies available'.