LDV and Daewoo to create 2,000 jobs

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT will today announce financial support for a pounds 160m van plant to be built in Birmingham by LDV and Daewoo of Korea creating up to 2,000 jobs.

Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, is expected to confirm that the Government will contribute around pounds 23m-pounds 28m of assistance to the joint venture, which intends to produce 80,000 vans a year by 2005.

Daewoo is expected to invest a similar amount and take a minority shareholding in LDV. The chairman of Daewoo, Woo-choong Kim, plans to fly in for a formal signing ceremony next week.

The investment is a feather in the cap for the UK at a time when other Korean conglomerates are cancelling investment plans in the wake of the downturn in the Asian economies.

The new plant will produce 40,000 LDV-badged vans and 40,000 Daewoo-badged vans a year to replace the current LDV range of Pilot and Convoy vans. About 75 per cent of production will be exported.

LDV produces 20,000 vans a year at present with a workforce of 1,500 and is Britain's only remaining independent van maker. It was bought out by its management after the collapse of the Dutch truck and van group DAF.

Daewoo plans to build 150,000 of the same van range at a new plant in Poland. Daewoo has invested pounds 130m in a UK dealer network and has a technical design centre in Worthing, Sussex, employing 1,000.