The administration and sale of LDV last week was "done in indecent haste" and has left suppliers out of pocket and in the dark it was claimed yesterday.
The vanmaker's Drews Lane factory in Washwood Heath was idle again yesterday despite a claim by the new owner that production of the award-winning LDV Maxus van would resume this week. "Nothing was moving at all - there was no production going on whatsoever," one source said.
"The only people to be seen were from suppliers who had gone in to do a stock-take of their property. There were very few LDV people to be seen."
Last Friday's £750 milion refinancing of the ailing company was hailed as good news for LDV and its 1,200-strong workforce.
But it has since emerged that 230 jobs are to be axed following the decision by the new owner to suspend production of the older Pilot and Convoy models.
The company stopped production of al three models at the start of the month in order, it said, to "rebalance stocks", complete special orders and upgrade the skills training of some employees.
About 700 manufacturing staff were sent home and the company said it was negotiating a re-financing package to fund the development of Maxus as a mini-bus and chassis-cab vehicle, both of which are important sources of profit. But it emerged that LDV's cost base had risen significantly following the launch of the more sophisticated Maxus at the start of the year.
But revenues did not rise at the same rate and the company hit a severe cash-flow crisis that resulted in its bank accounts being frozen and suppliers going unpaid.
Last Friday saw the company go through a fast-track administration process followed by the sale of the business to American private equity group Sun Capital Partners.
Sun holds the majority stake of the new company, called LDV Group Limited, with existing backer European Acquisition Capital taking a minority stake.
One LDV supplier, AE Harris, the Hockley engineering company run by Russell Luckcock, has not been paid for two months and is currently owed about £50,000.
"In my 50 years' experience I have never known a deal like this done with such indecent haste," Mr Luck-cock said yesterday.
VM Motori, the Italian supplier of engines to Maxus, and Dana, which provides axles, are believed to be owed large amounts of money but neither company could be contacted for comment.
Another company thought to be affected by events is Stadco, the vehicle pressings specialist which has a joint venture with LDV that supplies body panels for the Maxus.
A spokesman for Stadco said yesterday: "The position is that the company is waiting to see how things settle down and will not comment further until the New Year."
Attempts by business support groups to establish when production will start up again at Drews Lane - some suggested January 2 as a possible date - were believed to have been hampered by the fact that key managers had gone on holiday.
EEF West Midlands, the engineering employers' group, said some of its members have been "left in the dark" and out of pocket by LDV. "Our member companies have been rightly concerned about how and when they will be paid by LDV," EEF regional chief executive Ian Smith said. "Many are substantially out of pocket and concerned that there has been silence on the issue. We fully sympathise with the short-term problems LDV have been facing, but their suppliers will face similar problems unless payment is forthcoming."
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, which played a big part in mitigating the economic impact of the collapse of MG Rover, was also in the dark last night. "We are pulling out all the stops to find out the situation in terms of the LDV supply chain so we can look at what we can do, if anything, to help," an AWM spokesman said.
No one was available for comment at LDV. ..SUPL: