Business Minister Hails Modec Deal
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Issued 03 December 2009
A landmark joint-venture between Coventry-based electric van maker Modec
and US firm Navistar was welcomed by Business Minister Pat McFadden during a
visit to the company today (3 December).
The deal signed this week will see the two firms collaborate on producing
all-electric trucks for sale in North and South America. Earlier this year
President Obama awarded a £23 million grant for the joint venture.
Modec received a £4 million government loan from Advantage West Midlands
earlier this year to support its business plan. The company welcomed the
government support at a time when tough economic conditions were making it
difficult to raise the money.
It is the first company in the world to design and build an electric
commercial vehicle from scratch rather than bolting a battery onto an
Business Minister Pat McFadden said:
“Companies like Modec are key to the Government's vision for low carbon
manufacturing and helping the UK automotive industry manage the transition
from conventional to electric drive technologies. It's essential that UK
companies are at the forefront of these technologies today in order to
secure the jobs of tomorrow.
“Public investment in this innovative business has helped it pursue
exciting expansion plans, securing skilled jobs here in the West Midlands as
well as helping to develop a growing UK supply chain.
“Successful and enterprising firms like Modec are important to the future
success of our economy and I wish them every success.”
Mick Laverty, Chief Executive at Advantage West Midlands said:
“Congratulations to Modec on this deal. It shows the region continues to
lead the way in the new technologies needed for a low carbon economy and
that this leadership has been internationally recognised by a world renowned
“It is great news for the automotive supply chain across the region and
the UK, hopefully meaning more jobs and a more prosperous industry. This is
why Advantage West Midlands has been very pleased to have invested the
money, time and effort in supporting Modec towards its current success.“
Bill Gillespie, Modec Chief Executive said:
“We are very pleased to partner with Navistar in this new venture; it is
a very positive endorsement in the low carbon vehicle technology Modec has
“Through this deal we will be able to exploit our technological advances
in Modec’s existing European markets as well as the US. In 2010 Modec will
see a significant increase in sales which will enable us to fund our
extensive R&D efforts.”
1. Modec launched vehicle production in 2007 and is expanding rapidly
into export markets, with dealers in France, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and
2. Navistar manufactures a range of vehicles including buses, trucks and
motor homes. The joint venture has been named Navistar-Modec Electric
Vehicle Alliance. The new urban-use trucks will have a two-ton plus carrying
capacity and a range of up to 100 miles per charge.
3. Advantage West Midlands agreed a £4m loan to Modec to help it pursue
new opportunities despite financing difficulties caused by the recession.
Following completion of the joint-venture agreement, Modec has repaid the
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business
success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone
the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster
world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing
in our future.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-12-03 17:20:35 in Business Articles