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Iveco sees potential for Santana deal

Iveco, Fiat Auto’s commercial vehicle division, is planning to develop a new range of light commercial 4x4 vehicles with Spanish manufacturer Santana.

The two companies have signed a letter of intent and want to work together on product development. “We will go ahead provided preliminary analysis of the project is feasible,” says an Iveco UK spokesman.

Santana, whose plant is at Linares, southern Spain, would build the new range using Iveco engines and transmissions. The basis for the vehicles, says Iveco, would be the Santana PS10, which is based on the original Land Rover Defender.

Between 1958 and 1985, Santana assembled 300,000 Defender-based 4x4s. Santana severed links with Land Rover in 1990, although it continued to design and build new models.

Iveco produces the LMRV (light multi-role vehicle) which resembles a mini Hummer. It is believed to see big potential for heavy-duty 4x4s in China, Africa and Australia.

Santana already has a small dealer network in the UK selling Storm4orce and Work4orce.

Its models tend to appeal most to farmers, builders and other contractors.

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