'Longton' trucks aim to help city economy motor

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A council┬┐s civic offices has been greeted by a very loud and proud visitor ┬┐ the first in a new line of trucks which bears the name of a Stoke-on-Trent town.

The ‘Longton Avia’ truck, which has the name of the town spelt out in chrome lettering above the vehicle’s grill, could provide the catalyst for a new truck-building facility in the city, and bring with it dozens of jobs.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council hosted an event on Wednesday 4 April which was attended by scores of potential truck service centres and dealers from across the UK who will form part of the new truck service network.

The truck enterprise is being pioneered by Longton Avia (UK) Ltd, a group of Staffordshire businessmen who are looking to assemble the vehicle at a plant in Stoke-on-Trent, as soon as it has achieved a critical mass of sales.

The company is working in partnership with Avia Ashok Leyland, part of the Hinduja Automotive Group. The Longton Avia truck is currently being built in Prague, at the Indian manufacturer’s production plant.

Council leader Mohammed Pervez said: “It is wonderful to see the name of one of our city’s most industrious towns emblazoned on the front of a new truck. It is great credit to Longton Avia and Avia Ashok Leyland to have come up with such a strong brand, and it would be fantastic if, in the future, the ‘Longton’ can become a household name, such as other British designed and manufactured trucks like Leyland Motors and Bedford Vehicles.

“Stoke-on-Trent is a great city to do business in. In launching our Mandate for Change we were determined to make our city a great working city, and in staging an event for around 100 service dealers, we are showing just what an excellent environment we are creating for business to prosper.

“As a council, we are investing to improve the city’s infrastructure, and are committed to help businesses expand quickly and efficiently.”

Longton Avia (UK) Ltd, which has a distribution base in Longton, is looking for a new site for an assembly plant, which could potentially open in 2013.

The company’s commercial director, Jonathan Dale, said: “In starting this new venture we wished to combine a rich industrial heritage with a strong, unique reference to build on for the future. A town that produced the first diesel truck in Britain has much to offer for a modern, forward thinking enterprise, backed by the enterprise and commitment offered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

“Following the service dealers launch, we anticipate that not only will there be many Longton trucks on the road, but that soon Longton will be firmly re-established on the industrial map of the country.”

Ends

For all media enquiries contact Andrew Brunt in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.

Issued: 04/04/12