A MAJOR Chinese firm aims to set up a new base in Coventry.
Detank, a manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks, has earmarked land off the Dunchurch Highway A45 – next to the Windmill Golf and Hotel – as its first base in the UK.
Plans are set to be submitted to the city council next month with the aim of opening the site by March next year.
Bosses said they already held strong links with the area through its parent company Chery Holdings, which has an exclusive partnership to produce Jaguar Land Rover vehicles in China.
The base would see the firm’s range of excavators and fork lift trucks made available for the UK market.
The city’s Lord Mayor, Coun Hazel Noonan, joined a council boss at a recent launch event in London which saw the authority gift a pen and small notebook – featuring Coventry’s crest and worth under £10 – to company chiefs.
Coun Noonan told the Chinese delegation the purpose-built building would be good for both the company and the city.
Detank is based in the city of Wuhu – on the banks of the Yangtze River – around 200 miles west of Shanghai.
Lash Saranna, the man behind its UK operation, said: “Coventry has a proud tradition of industrial engineering, especially fork lift trucks, and it feels right to bring these great machines here.
“Having grown up in Coventry, not far from the Coventry Climax forklift factory – which no longer exists – I feel I am bringing something back to the city.
“The Detank construction equipment is robust and totally reliable, being manufactured with a British-built Cummins engine while the electric forklifts are fitted with British batteries here in the UK.
“Going forward, our intention is to further increase the volume of British parts that will go into the build of Detank products with final assembly in China.”