More jobs go at Leyland van plant

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The Independent Online
A FURTHER 227 jobs were axed at the Leyland DAF van plant in Birmingham yesterday after the company's receivers decided to cut production by another 20 per cent.

The latest redundancies bring the number of jobs lost at the plant since Leyland DAF went into receivership to more than 1,000. The van factory now employs 974 compared with 2,000 before the receivers were appointed in early February.

In total, about 2,000 jobs have gone from Leyland Daf's workforce of 5,500 since it went into receivership. More job losses are expected when reviews of sustainable production levels are completed in the next fortnight at the company's two other UK production sites - the Leyland truck plant in Lancashire and the Albion axle works in Glasgow.

Production at the Birmingham plant was initially cut from 350 to 250 vans a week.

Murdoch McKillop of Arthur Andersen, one of the joint receivers, said yesterday that the site could only support sales of 200 vans a week.

Earlier this month the van plant received a fillip with the news that 3i, the venture capital group, would support a management buyout of the business.

But Alan Amey, the managing director who is leading the buyout, is not expected to be able to start negotiations with the receivers until next month.

Mr McKillop blamed the latest job losses on high stock levels, the seasonal fall in demand between now and August and the decision of New Daf, the UK subsidiary's former Dutch parent, not to purchase Birmingham-built vans for distribution on the Continent.

Management at the Leyland truck plant, also the subject of an attempted buyout, announced that they were holding discussions with Lancashire County Council's economic development agency with a view to making a joint bid for the whole 230-acre site.