Washwood Heath LDV Factory in UK (1914 to 2005)

Washwood Heath LDV Factory in UK (1914 to 2005)

Factory Information

Factory owner: LDV GB (in Administation)

Factory status: Closed


Factory History

Ward End works was constructed in 1914 for the Electric & Ordnance Accessories Company Ltd, to build a small car called the Stellite, while also producing amunition for the war effort. After the first World War, the factory was bought by the car manufacturer Wolseley, and it was under Wolseley that the original workshops were replaced with a large assembly building. When Wolseley were bought by Morris in 1927, production of Wolseley cars was moved from Adderley Park to Ward End Works, with Adderly Park being used for Morris Commercials.

During the second World War, the factory was used to produce vehicles and mines for the war effort, and a new factory was built on the same site called Morris Motors Pressing Branch, and in 1945 renamed Nuffied Metal Products. This factory produced bodyshells for Morris cars, including the popular Minor from 1948.

In the late 1940s, the Nuffield Group reorganised its factories, with most Wolseley production moving to Cowley. Washwood Heath became a parts factory for the group, and in 1952, the Nuffield Group merged with Austin to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC). BMC later merged with Leyland cars to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation. In 1972 Adderly Park was closed, with production of the Morris J4 and JU vans coming to Washwood Heath. Morris Commercials went through various name and owner changes, becoming Freight Rover, Leyland DAF and eventually LDV. The factory was used to produce the Sherpa van from 1974, which was updated but largely the same until 2005 when it was replaced by the front-wheel-drive LDV Maxus van. The Maxus was developed in partnership with Korean company Daewoo, but Daewoo went bankrupt in 2000 and was bought by GM. The Maxus production line was then moved from Poland to Washwood Heath. The Maxus was produced at Washwood Heath until production was paused due to low demand during the 2008 recession, which lead to LDV going into administration in 2009.





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