LDV's success in getting its new Maxus vans on the road after the collapse of its joint venture partner Daewoo was a "triumph over adversity", Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt said.
She was speaking at the official opening of the company's new multi-million pound Maxus manufacturing facility at the company's Drews Lane plant in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, yesterday.
LDV is producing the vans on a dedicated line set up in a former assembly shop and storeroom on the Drews Line site.
Although the building itself is 50 year old, it contains state-of-the-art production equipment and tools that LDV shipped in from Poland and South Korea after clawing the intellectual property rights to the new van back from Daewoo's creditors.
Design and development of the new van and its assembly building represent a total investment of £500,000.
The project was partly financed by a £25 million DTI grant and a £90 million refinancing package agreed with LDV's venture capital backers, 3i, European Acquisition Capital and Barings English Growth Fund.
Speaking at yesterday's event, Ms Hewitt said LDV success in overcoming problems to produce Maxus was "a story of how British manufacturing can succeed in the global economy".
Declaring herself to be "passionate about British manufacturing" Ms Hewitt said the Government's aim was to create the conditions to allow advanced manufacturing to flourish in a tough global market.
"The best of British manufacturing is among the best in the world and we want to keep it that way.
"We hear about so many British jobs disappearing offshore but LDV has brought production lines and tools from overseas and it has been a great logistical feat." LDV chief executive Allan Amey said that since it was saved from the collapse of the former Leyland DAF group in 1993 via a management buyout, the company had achieved sales totalling more than £2 billion.
"Since then we have spent £1.6 billion on supplies and materials, much of it within the UK, sold 160,000 light commercial vehicles and ensured that our 1,000-strong workforce has had continuous employment.
"In the last 12 months alone we have created 200 new, high quality job opportunities, with potentially more to come with the growth and development of our new product range
"I firmly believe that a strong UK automotive industry and a thriving LDV in the West Midlands is of fundamental importance to the regional economy."
Mr Amey said the next challenge for LDV was to build on its base as Britain's biggest specialist vanmaker to expand into new markets in Europe and other parts of the world.
LDV was joined at yesterday's event by key business partners and guests, including 3i, its lead investor in 1993.
They were joined by by officials from the DTI, regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and national trade union leaders.