“While discussions regarding the acquisition of LDV are ongoing, I would like to make it clear that if agreement is reached, we will not ‘lift and shift’ the operation,” says Erik Eberhardson, president of GAZ, in a statement. “Manufacturing will continue in Birmingham.”
GAZ is the automotive division of the Rusprom group, which is owned by Moscow-based millionaire Oleg Deripaska.
It is reportedly in preliminary talks with the American owners of LDV, Sun European Partners, which bought LDV out of administration in December 2005 for £20m.
LDV’s financial troubles at the time stemmed from the high manufacturing costs of the Maxus, which was the company’s first all-new model since the failure of the Leyland DAF truck and van group in 1993. Sun has since invested £25m in restoring production to around 200 units per week and settling outstanding debts.