Birmingham van maker LDV got a multi-million pound boost yesterday - after industry statistics showed its sales slumped by more than half in January.
The crisis-hit manufacturer ceased production for most of December as it fought a sudden shortage of cash. LDV ultimately went into administration only to emerge a few hours later in the ownership of American private equity group Sun Capital Partners.
The turmoil ultimately saw the departure of long-serving chief executive Allan Amey and the new owners plan axing 240 jobs at the Washwood Heath plant.
They also immediately halted production of two of LDV's models, the Pilot and the Convoy, leaving just the Maxus, launched last year, to represent the marque.
On the plus side, the £75 million Sun is believed to have put into the company will speed up development of the important mini-bus and chassis-cab variants of Maxus.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers showed that LDV's sales slumped by 55 per cent to 122 vehicles in January in a commercial vehicle market that fell by 2.6 per cent to 25,546.
The sector in which the company competes, light commercials up to 3.5 tonnes, was two per cent down at 21,441 units last month. But LDV announced two new fleet orders involving more than 200 vans worth £3.6 million.
National Car Rental has signed up for 170 Maxus panel vans and rival rental operator Bellhire has bought 70 of the award-winning new vehicles.
Despite January's dip, the CV market is still riding well above the long-term average, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said yesterday.